arlene

Arlene Phillips talks candidly about stigma of having her daughter at 47

She spoke to Giovanna Fletcher’s parenting podcast

Fiona Ward

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has opened up candidly about her experiences as a mother to Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast. In the recording, on which she is interviewed alongside her eldest daughter Alana – who recently welcomed a little girl herself – the choreographer touches on her second pregnancy with younger daughter Abi, who she had at 47.

Arlene and daughter Abi

Recalling a particular moment, she said: “I had Alana at 36, but at 47 – it was kind of astonishing at that time. I remember I went to a mother and baby yoga. My little Abi was crying, she didn’t like having her neck massaged and whatever else. And I remember the leader of the class came around and I said ‘She’s not comfortable doing this, she’s not happy’. And he said, ‘no it’s not the baby, it’s you. You have to find a way to bond, because actually you should be a grandmother not a mother and therefore you don’t understand how to bond with your baby because of your age.’”

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She added: “It’s never to be forgotten. I was fighting back the tears because I didn’t want to be seen like a coward… as I looked around and realised that all the other mums were way younger than me. I didn’t even think about it because for me, my age has been a number… I was in shock, I was absolutely shaking at the response.”

Arlene was a judge on Strictly from 2004 until 2009

Arlene, 76, also opened up about becoming a grandmother for the first time on the sweet podcast, in which Alana spoke of how exciting her childhood was, growing up with the dance star as her mum. There's no stopping the former Strictly star, who appeared on Lorraine on Friday to speak to Carol Vorderman about her latest stage production, Grease!.

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