‘I feel like weeping’ says dance choreographer on CBE award

Choreographer Arlene Phillips has revealed she wants to reinvent herself as a comedian as she approaches a landmark birthday.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge, who received a CBE for her dance and charity work from the Queen at Buckingham Palace yesterday, said she would like her own sketch show.

Phillips said: “I want to be funny this year. I’m about to turn 70 so now I can let myself go.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I’d like to be in a comedy or do something totally over the top, maybe a sketch show.”

The dancer, who wore a colourful Erdem dress for the ceremony, was emotional after being presented with the honour, which she described as “a real treasure”. Speaking outside the palace ballroom, she said: “I feel like weeping. As I stood before the Queen an incredible emotion came over me. From where I came from, I never expected to be here receiving the CBE.”

Since leaving Strictly, Phillips said she had spent more time on charitable causes. She spoke to the Queen about her career in musical theatre as well as her role as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Phillips had nothing but praise for a fellow Buckingham Palace guest, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith who was awarded the MBE. She said she would like to snap up the champion of last year’s Strictly to appear in a show. “He’s very magnetic,” she said.

Smith described being given his award by the Queen as “quite surreal”. “I never thought, starting off in gymnastics, I would be in this position,” he said.

Smith, who has just completed the Strictly tour, said he now wants to concentrate on sport – specifically visiting schools to encourage children to get involved.