Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Alesha unleashes tirade against her critics

Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon hit out at criticism

Alesha Dixon says she was as surprised as everyone else when Arlene Phillips was axed from Strictly Come Dancing - yet she has had to take “all the flak”.

Dixon told Jonathan Ross that she thought they would both be judges on the BBC1 show.

She said the backlash against her has made her stronger and dismissed suggestions that Phillips' departure was due to ageism as “rubbish”.

Dixon told Ross: “I knew nothing, I found out when everyone else did. I was as surprised as everyone else, but I took all the flak for it.”

The singer disputed suggestions that Phillips (66) was a casualty of ageism — claims that have also been rejected by the BBC.

She said: “Personally I don't think it's about ageism, I think that's a load of rubbish.”

The 31-year-old, who won the contest in 2007, said that while worried that the other judges would not warm to her, she has come out fighting after coming under intense media scrutiny.

“I thought, I'm not going to let the media ruin my experience. It's made me stronger. My life has never been smooth; it's made me more determined, focused ... I'm a fighter, I believe you have to rise above negativity.”

On show contestants having affairs, Dixon said: “It gets flirtatious, it doesn't surprise me.”

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Leo:

You feel optimistic and for good reason. An admirer has been trying to win your heart. All this attention is flattering. If you're single, keep playing hard to get. The more you resist, the more they'll persist. Are you already in a relationship? Start pursuing a cherished dream. Fulfilling your heart's desire will make you a better partner and friend. Dwelling on what might have been will just make you bitter. Take a risk. It's better to try and fail than be paralysed by fear.More