I’m A Celebrity 2021: Arlene Phillips on upset over childhood critique


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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 2021 star Dame Arlene Phillips has shared her upset over receiving cruel criticism over her art when she was a child, remembering how she came ‘bottom of the class’.

Having spent four years as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Arlene, 78, is back on our screens in I’m A Celebrity, taking part in the competition with stars including Naughty Boy, David Ginola, Richard Madeley and Danny Miller.

On the latest episode, she revealed she’s considering quitting the show altogether after spending the first few days in the dreaded Clink with her campmates.

However, before she entered Gwrych Castle in Wales, she sat for her portrait on Portrait Artist of the Year, with Metro.co.uk sharing an exclusive clip from her episode airing tonight.

Despite evidently being a creative force in her own field, Arlene admitted that when it came to the visual arts as a youngster, she was not as adept.


While watching the three artists in front of her creating their portraits, she recalled how she was given an extremely harsh critique as a child in art class when her picture was compared to the scribblings of a spider.

Dame Arlene Phillips on Portrait Artist of the Year (Picture: Sky Arts)

The former Strictly judge said she’s ‘in awe of artists’ (Picture: Sky Arts)

Dame Arlene Phillips on I'm A Celebrity

Arlene is considering leaving I’m A Celeb (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)

‘I am sadly not good at art, and actually came bottom of the class when I was told my picture looked like a spider had put ink on its feet and crawled all over the page, so I am in awe of artists,’ she said.

In an earlier part of the programme, she admitted she would struggle to stay still for four hours, given how naturally energetic she is.

The artists then suggested how she should pose, requesting that she turn slightly in her seat so as to give them a range of angles to work from.

On Tuesday evening’s episode of I’m A Celeb, Naughty Boy told David, Arlene, Danny and Richard that he wanted to leave the show after participating in his second trial of the day, after being chosen by the celebrities in the Main Camp.

‘I do think my time here is done. I had a feeling earlier and I was thinking about mum and obviously I love you guys – I don’t think after knowing what the Main Camp probably knew what they were putting me through knowing I did the challenge earlier – I don’t know if I could ever join that camp,’ he said.

Arlene then revealed that she felt ‘exactly the same’, leading to speculation that they both could leave the castle in the near future.

Portrait Artist of the Year airs tonight on Sky Arts and NOW and I’m A Celebrity airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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