Dame Arlene Phillips is known for two things: from “dancing queen” to performer to choreographer to reality TV star, or as Mama June to “Curly Girl” – the latter a signature character she developed for the Lifetime series.
Phillips also credits “Let’s Do the Twist,” the song she performed with Michael Jackson, for helping her audition for “Strictly Come Dancing” in 2004. “No matter how powerful my personality, I felt so silly,” she told the Telegraph in 2008. “And every single person was nicer to me after we did that song.”
She said she never imagined that “a little piece of my soul was in that routine.” The experience has changed her life as much as it has affected her. “The real mother behind this character, this character which is this exotic woman who does the devil’s dance – I became a mother at that time,” she told the Telegraph.
She also added that “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” brought out a new side of her. “They’re like caged animals. You need to kind of step out of them so you can be more sociable and bolder,” she told the Daily Star.
Phillips, 69, this year took an executive producer’s role on the ABC reality competition. She also has a new book: “Growing Up the Beauty Queen.”