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Ex-Strictly judge Dame Arlene Phillips to collect damehood at Windsor Castle

It comes as the Queen, who is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms after catching coronavirus, is self-isolating at the Berkshire residence.

22 February 2022

Dame Arlene Phillips, a staple of the worlds of dance, theatre and television, is to collect her damehood.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge, 78, will receive the honour for services to dance and charity at a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

It comes as the Queen, who is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms after catching coronavirus, is self-isolating at the Berkshire residence.

Coronavirus – Fri Feb 11, 2022
The honour will be bestowed at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

Dame Arlene was a judge on Strictly Come Dancing from the show’s first season in 2004 until 2008 and was then replaced by Alesha Dixon in 2009.

She found fame when she created the provocative dance group Hot Gossip in 1974, and later choreographed for some of the West End and Broadway’s biggest shows, including Grease, Starlight Express, We Will Rock You, The Wizard Of Oz, The Sound Of Music, Saturday Night Fever and Flashdance.

She also competed in the recent series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and was the first contestant to be eliminated from Gwrych Castle in North Wales.

Sue Barker, best known as the lead presenter of the BBC’s Wimbledon tennis coverage, will receive her CBE.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – Gala Ball – London
Sue Barker will receive her CBE (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Barker, 65, left Britain to train in the United States aged 17 and enjoyed a successful playing career, with victory in the 1976 French Open the highlight.

For 24 years she had been the presenter of the BBC’s Question of Sport quiz show, but announced she was leaving the programme earlier this year.

Keyboardist and songwriter Rick Wakeman, who has collaborated with David Bowie, Cat Stevens and Black Sabbath, will collect a CBE, while Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton and theatre director Roy Alexander Weise are among the other recipients.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s national director of emergency planning and incident response, is collecting his knighthood.

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