Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Arlene Phillips bids for 'older women' on television

The 74-year-old was walking the red carpet at The Olivier Awards when she made the bid for TV producers to give older talent a chance to present and feature on shows past retirement.

In 2009, Alesha Dixon, then 28, controversially replaced Arlene, then 66, as a judge, sparking claims of ageism against the .

Speaking exclusively to, Arlene said: “I guess it just needs to keep rolling along as it is because they’re not short of viewers.”

She then added: “I want me on your TV screens more! I’m very, very passionate about there really should be older women on television.”

Revealing her reasons why, Arlene said: “I think it’s for the good of kids.

“Otherwise they just get used to thinking that you have to be 14 to be on TV.”

The dancer was clad in a vintage black jumpsuit, accompanied by a pink Aspinal of London bag.

However, with the guests walking the red carpet in the rain, Arlene was trying hard to keep dry.

She smiled: “I’m very good, I’m very wet! I’ve got these thin shoes on and my feet are soaking. I’m glad I’ve got an umbrella though, I’m delighted!”

The Olivier Awards celebrate the world-class status of London theatre, and are Britain’s most prestigious stage honours.

Having worked as a theatre director for many years, Arlene revealed that it’s “a thrill” just to be there.

Arlene continued: “I love The Olivier Awards. Even when you’ve got nothing to do with them.

“Just sitting in your seat and watching all those performances one after the other from every show… it’s a thrill.”

The choreographer was not part of this year’s show, with the cast of Hamilton putting on a performance for the show opening.

Arlene said: “I haven’t choreographed anything for tonight. I mean, I wasn’t asked. But I’m not in London very much working on Starlight Express in Germany. So I’ve only just got off a plane!

“I’m hoping they bring Starlight Express back to the UK. At the moment, it’s an exciting show, it’s very different.”

Arlene added that the show now has a modern feel, with both genders playing the title roles.

She added: “It’s really kind of updated. New songs, new characters. Mixed gender, because it was 1984 and males were engines, females were carriages. So lots of changes but lots of excitement.

“Let’s hope it’s a success when it opens there in June – and we come to the UK. After Starlight, I’m directing A Little Princess, Andrew Lippa’s new musical. A one-off concert at the Royal Festival Hall on April 28th.

“Then I’m going to work at The Bridge with Nick Hytner on the Alan Bennett play… with a bit of music and dance, Allelujah!”

The Olivier Awards will broadcast tonight on at 10.20pm.

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