Strictly icon Arlene Phillips says BBC put her in grim hotel for Blackpool stay

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has recalled the state of the Blackpool hotel the BBC put the judges up in.

During series one of Strictly in 2004, Arlene remembers being checked into a hotel that was "not clean" for the special segment of the show.

Arlene 79, exclusively told us: "All I can remember is the first time we went to Blackpool the hotel we went in was sort of promenade hotel and it was neither very clean nor very nice.

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"We could not believe it, we came to Blackpool and we were staying in a less than three stars hotel.

"We laughed about it forever after but it was cold and horrible. That was with strictly – the very first time.

"They changed our hotel after that but we were like 'what is this going to be like?' There was nothing like the way it is now.

"The show has grown in every way, it was quite a simple show when we started and not quite the glamour that it is now or the status that it is now – it's bigger brighter better, and great to watch."

Arlene also argued that the BBC show needs to be condensed.

The ex-judge says she loves the show but she wishes the judge's segment was shortened.

Arlene, 79, exclusively told the Daily Star: "I do wish they would condense it, I don't know if we as judges right at the beginning talked as much, maybe we did, but it feels quite a long time now.

"But when I was there I felt like we were pushed and rushed maybe the show didn't have the time that it has now – it's almost two hours now.

"Maybe we didn't have that time but I never felt that there were ages for each person to talk but I could be wrong."

But how could the show be improved?

Arlene answered: "I love watching the dances I don't know how long they are one minute and a half? But there seems to be after, the chat and they go upstairs and more chat and they get scores and it feels like that section between couples should happen much faster.

"I could be dreaming but it never seemed that long. But once they've been and done I really want to get on to the next dance."

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