27/01/2012 11:40 GMT | Updated 27/01/2012 11:41 GMT

BBC Dampens Arlene Phillips 'Strictly Come Dancing' Speculation (EXCLUSIVE)

Rumours that Arlene Phillips is set to return to Strictly Come Dancing have been downplayed by the BBC.

A Strictly spokeswoman has told The Huffington Post UK: "No decision has been made on the next series of Strictly yet."

Earlier today The Sun reported that the former Strictly judge had been in talks with BBC bosses about regaining her seat on the ballroom panel following Alesha Dixon's defection to rival Simon Cowell's show Britain's Got Talent.

However, the spokesperson said: "Arlene did meet with someone from the BBC but it was a meeting arranged well before Christmas, well before Alesha announced she was leaving and it was just a catch up/touch base meeting.

"Strictly and her return (or not) to it were not discussed."

And while names continue to be banded about as to who will fill Alesha's boots, including ex-Strictly professional dancer Karen Hardy, Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey and former contestant Kara Tointon, the BBC say discussions about who will replace her haven't even begun.

The spokeswoman said: "No decision will be made for a while yet so any names at all you hear that are in the running are all purely speculative. The genre controller and channel controller have not even discussed the casting of the next series yet."

Arlene has also commented on her rumoured return to the show, telling the Daily Mail: "I've tried to put everything from Strictly aside and move on with my life. I'm content with doing what I'm doing. I don't need it anymore."