arlene-phillips

Arlene Phillips says she was treated like a 'freak' for giving birth at 47

The former Strictly star, 74, welcomed daughter Abi in 1990

Gemma Strong

Arlene Phillips has said she was made to feel like a "freak" when she fell pregnant at the age of 47. The former Strictly Come Dancing star, 74, opened up to Good Housekeeping about the prejudice she faced back in 1990 when she found out she was expecting her daughter Abi. "[I was told] I was some kind of freak, that I would find it hard to bond with my baby when I could be the grandmother," Arlene revealed.

"I'm so vociferous if anybody says something to me that I find offensive. But I was so vulnerable. I let all these remarks go by with tears in my eyes. Nowadays, being an older mother is very common. When you let all those things go you see the absolute joy of having a baby when you are older. You really do feel like you've been given a gift."

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Arlene Phillips pictured earlier this year with her daughter Abi

Arlene fell pregnant with daughter Abi, whose father is set designer Angus Ion, in 1990. The acclaimed choreographer said that while she feels less self-conscious about being an older mum than she used to, she does worry about the future. "The main worry is always whether you will see your children grow up," she said. "My own mother died from leukaemia when I was 15 – she was only 43, so you can't legislate for that."

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