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Karen Hardy favourite to replace Alesha Dixon on Strictly Come Dancing

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Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Karen Hardy has become the bookmakers' favourite to replace Alesha Dixon on the show's judging panel.

The 'Boy Does Nothing' singer and former Strictly champion quit the BBC contest for ITV programme Britain's Got Talent earlier today (January 2).

Alesha Dixon, A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards 2011

© PA Images

Karen Hardy

© PA Images / Yui Mok/PA Archive



William Hill is offering odds of 4/6 that Hardy will join Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli on the panel next series. The ballroom pro competed on Strictly from 2005 to 2008, winning the 2006 competition with Mark Ramprakash.

Hardy is followed in the betting by Darcey Bussell at 6/1 and Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey with odds of 8/1. Both have made guests appearances on the Strictly panel in recent years.

Dixon's predecessor Arlene Phillips, however, only has an outside chance of reclaiming her spot, according to the bookies.

So You Think You Can Dance judge Arlene Phillips

© BBC

Jennifer Grey

© WENN



The 68-year-old is level with Strictly contestant Nancy Dell'Olio at 33/1 and behind former participants Jill Halfpenny, Kara Tointon and Russell Grant, as well as show professional Ola Jordan.

"Alesha took time to settle in and we think the BBC will go with a professional judge this time round," a William Hill spokesperson said. "Arlene fans will be sad to see that she is a 33/1 outsider to return to the programme."

Phillips was axed from Strictly in 2009, sparking controversy as viewers initially rejected Dixon's appointment and accused the BBC of ageism.

The famed choreographer told Digital Spy last year that she doesn't "want" or "need" to return to Strictly.

> Arlene Phillips: 'I learnt to live with Strictly Come Dancing axe'

Watch Karen Hardy and Mark Ramprakash perform their Showdance below:

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