Ed Sheeran brutally rejected by Arlene Phillips as he awkwardly dances in audition for Britannia High in throwback clip

ED Sheeran can be seen getting brutally rejected by Arlene Phillips as he awkwardly danced to Justin Timberlake in a throwback clip.

The 29-year-old star was 16 in the video, auditioning for ITV musical series Britannia High alongside the likes of Pixie Lott and West End icon Zizi Strallen.

The short-lived programme aired in 2008 and starred Skins' Mitch Hewer, with ITV filming their audition process for a behind-the-scenes special at the time.

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene led the judging panel after producers scoured the UK's top performing arts schools for the 140 best young talents.

While the rest of the panel were blown away by Ed's singing ability, Arlene ruled him out completely after she saw his moves.

Dressed in a dark green top and jeans, teenage Ed can be seen stomping his way through a routine to Justin Timberlake's Like I Love You.


Watching him in shock, Arlene mutters: "Not even an option.

"Eventually we are going to have to find some people who can dance because they can't all not dance."

She'd previously insisted: "We are looking for triple threats; they've got to be able to sing, dance, and act.

"They've got to be stars."

Ed's singing talent did get him through to the next round but again he floundered at the dancing, although Arlene acknowledged "he is trying" – but "hasn't a clue".

Ed told the camera: "I'm just trying to really get it in my head… I think I messed up as I got kicked in the face by accident."

The other judges continued to be blown away by Ed's musical talents, with the would-be millionaire playing guitar as one judge joked that they would "sign him anyway".


Speaking after being rejected by the show, Ed looked defeated as he said: "I don't think anyone can say they didn't want the part and weren't hoping to get the part, everyone wanted it as much as the next person."

However, he eventually got the last laugh after shooting to fame in 2011 with his first of many hit singles, The A Team.

Last month we revealed that the star had made an incredible £70.4milllion in 2019 alone despite taking a break from music.


The figures follow the record-breaking Divide tour, which finished in Ed’s hometown of Ipswich in August 2019.

That became the highest-grossing music tour ever, grossing £607million over 255 shows.

Europe generated £58.9million, with £11.4million from Asia and £125,624 from North America.

Ed is now reported to be one of the wealthiest music stars in the country, worth £200million.

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