Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 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.”

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Responsibilities involving insurance, inheritances and taxes will command your attention. Don't put these matters off a moment longer. You may be busy with work and family, but these duties will never let up. If you continue to spend all of your energy on these things, you'll miss a golden opportunity. Ask colleagues and relatives for help with mundane errands while you focus on the long term financial future. If you don't protect your economic interests, nobody else will.More