Alesha Dixon to replace Arlene Phillips on Strictly Come Dancing

Alesha Dixon and Darcey Bussell new faces on Strictly Come Dancing panel

Alesha Dixon is set to replace Arlene Phillips as the female face of the Strictly Come Dancing panel.

The BBC has confirmed that the former winner of the show will be adding a fresh-faced glow to the panel, after ditching Arlene.

And prima ballerina Darcey Bussell is also set to shake things up by putting contestants through their paces, before joining the panel as a guest judge in the final weeks of the series.

The BBC has attempted to ease the severity of the blow to Arlene, by giving her a spot on The One Show, where she will report on Strictly.

Former Mis-Teeq star Alesha will act as a full-time Strictly judge as BBC bosses look to give the show a makeover.

Darcey will feature during the final three weeks of the 14-week series as part of the judging panel and will also be used on BBC2 spin-off show, It Takes Two.

BBC1 controller Jay Hunt denied any accusation of ageism, saying the show simply needed a ‘different flavour’.

She added: ‘Of course Arlene is disappointed. But, critically, she is incredibly excited about moving to The One Show.

‘She knows at some point she is going to need to do something different with her career and this gives her the opportunity to become a face of factual on the channel and to be absolutely at the heart of what BBC1 does.’

Arlene added: ‘I am delighted to be part of The One Show. I will miss Strictly. It has been a big part of my life.’

And we’ll miss her acerbic yet spot-on comments!

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