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I'm a Celebrity's Arlene Phillips makes candid confession about motherhood

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge had daughter Abi when she was 47

Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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Dame Arlene Phillips has candidly opened up about her experience of motherhood on I'm a Celebrity.

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On Wednesday night's episode of the show, the 78-year-old former Strictly star opened up about the judgement she faced as an older mum, revealing that she used to "dread" the school run.

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Sitting around the campfire, she told the other contestants: "My daughter Abi, I remember dreading, absolutely dreading taking her to school, age 4, and having to explain, 'No, I'm her mother not her grandmother. I was 47 when I had her.'"

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Arlene has two daughters – Alana from her first marriage to fashion designer Danny Nobel and Abi from her long-term relationship to set designer Angus Ion, whom she is currently still with.

Arlene also revealed that when she became pregnant with Abi at the age of 47, for the first four of five months, she thought she was going through menopause, believing it was not possible that she could be with child. She gave birth to her eldest daughter at the age of 35, meaning there is a 12-year age gap between the two as Alana is now 42 years old and Abi is 30.

arlene phillips with her daughters© Photo: Instagram

Arlene with her daughters Alana, 42, and Abi, 30

Arlene, who is the oldest celebrity to take part on the ITV show, also talked about an encounter with a rude obstetrician at a mother and baby class with Abi who told her she would have to "understand" what it is like to be a mother again.

She said: "My obstetrician came up and whispered – I can never forget this – he knelt down and said: 'Have no fear it will get better because you really should be a grandmother, so you're going to have to find ways to understand how to be a mother again.'"

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The other campmates were moved by Arlene's brave admission, with Frankie Bridge telling audiences: "Arlene was talking about the fact that she always felt a little bit self-conscious At school with her daughter because she was an older mum.

It just blows my mind that that was ever an issue for her. The fact that she's here, she's 78, going through all of this with us, she's still dancing around and I imagine back then she was exactly the same. I get where she's coming from but I don't think she's got anything to worry about."

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