Lisa Armstrong’s celeb pals vow to make her the next big star

As she bounces back from her split with Ant McPartlin, Lisa Armstrong’s friends, including Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, are helping her follow in her ex’s footsteps

Lisa Armstrong

by Daisy McLure |
Updated on

She recently confessed she’d “love” her own show following her highly praised appearance in BBC’s make-up series Glow Up last month – her first mainstream TV gig in front of the camera since finalising her lengthy divorce from Ant McPartlin.

Make-up artist Lisa – who heads the glam team on Strictly – was an instant fan favourite after appearing as a guest judge on the new series, which sees aspiring make-up artists compete for their dream job.

Many took to Twitter to recommend she reprise her role, with one writing, “Loved you on this, absolute natural. Hope they have you on again.”

Another added, “You were so supportive and gave them handy tips. You would make a good 3rd judge for the show.”

And insiders say the overwhelmingly positive support has given Lisa, 43 – who showed she wasn’t opposed to the idea by responding to one tweet, “would love to” – a much-needed confidence boost, with friends, including Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell and Stacey Dooley all offering to help her carve out a new onscreen career.

A source says, “The positive reaction to Glow Up has given Lisa the motivation to pursue projects she’s always dreamt about, like doing a reality show around the launch of her own make-up school and fronting another talent-style series.

“Showbiz pals Piers, Simon and Stacey have all thrown their support behind her too – messaging to congratulate her and hailing her screen presence. They all agree she needs her own show and have offered to help her pursue her dream in any way they can. She’s flattered and touched by the attention.”

Last month, Lisa, 43 – who was make-up expert for This Morning and has appeared in online show The Updaters and Strictly’s spin-off It Takes Two – revealed how she texted pal Piers Morgan, 55, to tease him about his make-up skills, after lockdown left the Good Morning Britain host without professional help.

The outspoken presenter – who’s worked with Lisa and her ex-husband Ant McPartlin for years – has publicly supported the make-up artist in the aftermath of her 2018 split from partner of 23 years, Ant, and her heartache over his new relationship with friend Anne-Marie Corbett, 43.

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The source adds, “Piers has been Lisa’s rock and has long been encouraging her to do more onscreen work, insisting she has a natural warmth and authenticity that viewers relate to.

“He feels she has that edge and a raw honesty in that she’s not afraid to critique contestants with quick one-liners, which also makes for great telly. He’s even joked she could become the ‘nation’s new sweetheart’, in reference to the coveted crown once held by X-Factor judge Cheryl.”

Lisa was reportedly dropped from her role as make-up artist on Britain’s Got Talent after bosses ruled it would be “untenable” for her and presenter Ant, 44, to continue to work together.

But she’s been making the most of her Strictly work and the opportunities to branch out into new areas onscreen.

Check out: Love Island makeover transformation inspired by Amber Gill

And insiders say pal and BGT judge Simon Cowell, 60, and Strictly champion Stacey Dooley, 33 – who recently heaped praise on her friend, saying, “I really admire Lisa because she has really carved out this magnificent career for herself” – are throwing their support behind her, too, with Simon offering to connect Lisa with industry executives in LA. Lisa temporarily moved to LA after her marriage breakdown, where she was looked after by her close pal and former Deuce bandmate Craig Young.

The source says, “Simon’s assured Lisa she’d always have a job in TV if she ever decided to move to LA. He’s encouraged her to meet with producers who created the US version of Glow Up and to speak with his ex, make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy, who has an influential network. Meanwhile, Stacey has told her to follow Piers’ advice and continue showing the public the real her – she’s urging her to consider doing a documentary about the life of a make-up artist.”

Check out: Strictly Come Dancing scandals- from racist remarks to fix claims


Strictly Come Dancing: The biggest scandals in the dancing world - STACKED

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Ola Jordan calls the show a fix

Ola Jordan had been on Strictly since the fourth series in 2006 but in 2015, she quit.In an interview with The Sun, the professional dancer hinted that the show was fixed, "Some of the marking is way off. People are over-marked and under-marked."All the pros talk about the marking. We ask each other, 'What is all that about? Why are they trying to over-mark that person?'."However, a spokesperson for the BBC denied Ola's claims as "nonsense" and said, "Each judge scores each dance independently, based on its merits and on their expert opinion."

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Dancers in drug scandal

In April 2016 a doctor claimed that he had given enhancing drugs to 150 sport stars – including two Strictly dancers.However, a BBC spokesperson reportedly said, "In the absence of any evidence or further information being presented to us, we will not be commenting."

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Anthony Ogogo calls out Strictly for 'ethnicity' pairing

The professional boxer who was second out of the competition told The Sun, "I didn't think that the BBC would put us [himself and his dance partner Oti Mabuse] together because we're black or mixed race."I honestly thought they would spread the minorities around."

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Jamelia calls the show fake

In 2015 when Jamelia and Peter Andre were in the bottom two, Jamelia was voted off by the judges even though she received a higher score that him.After leaving the competition Jamelia claimed that the show was fixed. Appearing on Strictly's spin off show It Takes Two the singer said, "I think we did a great last dance."But it wasn't until they re-recorded Pete's standing ovation, I'd say that was the moment we knew we were going home."

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James Jordan brands the show as bias

Jamelia isn't the only person who thought the show was being bias to Peter, professional dancer James Jordan also tweeted, "I love Peter but I wonder if he will open or close every show? Fairness."Peter left the competition in week 10 – the week after Jamelia's exit.

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Anton Du Beke's racist comment

Back in 2009 the BBC received complaints after Anton said to his dance partner Laila Rousaa, "Oh my God, you look like a P---."This came after he reportedly asked Laila, "You're not a terrorist, as you?" after finding out that her father is Moroccan and her mother is Indian.Anton apologised and explained, "Laila and me have strong personalities and she gives as good as she gets."I must say immediately and categorically that I am not a racist and that I do not use racist language."There was no racist intent. I apologise unreservedly for any offence my actions might have caused."Footballers' Wives star Laila accepted his apology and said, "I'm really enjoying the show and dancing with Anton and hope we can go as far as possible in the competition."

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Bruce Forsyth defends Anton Du Beke's racist comment

Following Anton Du Beke's offensive comment, Bruce Forsyth stepped in and defended his co-star. At the time he said, "We used to have a sense of humour about this. "You go back 25, 30, 40 years and there has always been a bit of humour about the whole thing."However he later backtracked and said in a statement, "To be absolutely clear, the use of racially offensive language is never either funny or acceptable."

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CREDIT: Instagram / simonrimmer

Gemma Atkinson and Simon Rimmer accused of one night stand

In 2017 there were rumours flying around that two contestants had a one night stand. Later on after fans accused Gemma Atkinson and Simon Rimmer of being the culprits, they laughed off the rumours with the chef tweeting, "Gemma is like a daughter to me and has become a friend of all my family. I think it's funny."

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Anastacia doesn't dance but STILL gets through

There was a bit of controversy surrounding Anastacia and Melvin Odoom in 2016 when they both fell into the bottom two.Because the America singer had a scar tissue that rupture she was unable to take part in the dance off which meant Strictly had to turn to the public votes. Unfortunately Melvin received the lowest amount of votes and was sent home but fans were left furious.Anastacia went on to speak about the incident on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and said, "I didn't want to have to injure myself but with a Dance Off, you just don't know what to do. "It's all a bit confusing... I totally thought I was going to go. I mean, [Melvin] lives here, I'm an American. Who knows her? "So when they called my name, it just was the worst. I wanted him to go through because I couldn't dance."

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Vick Hope claims the producers were involved in the results

Vick Hope and her dance partner were booted off Strictly Come Dancing 2018 following their dance off with Seann Walsh and Katya Jones. However after leaving the show, she hinted that the judges decision may have been fixed.On her radio show, she explained, "We had to have a dance off as well – it was very strange – so after the dance off, then the judges have to give their decisions."But there was a bit of a conflab with some producers and then they gave their decisions, and it was just stunned silence in the studio, it was a really weird atmosphere."She also said that Shirley Ballas 'relished' in giving her negative feedback. Her comments were pretty harsh to be fair.

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Danny John-Jules 'decided not to join us' on It Takes Two exit interview

In 2018, Danny John-Jules was repeatedly forced to defend himself after a string of allegations that he had been bullying his dance partner, Amy Dowden – to the point she was often left in tears, and told bosses she couldn't cope. Despite putting on a united front, rumours continued to swell, and when they were booted off the week following the scandal Danny reportedly refused to have anything more to do with the show.Reports were substantiated the next day. Due to appear on spin-off show 'It Takes Two' with Zoe Ball, Danny "decided not to join" dance partner on the sofa for their exit interview, leaving a tearful Amy to do it alone – wishing him only the best, of course.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing curse

Finally, we can't ignore the fact that the majority of scandals surrounding the BBC One show is because of the alleged Strictly curse. There's been far too many relationship break ups during or after celebrities take part in Strictly Come Dancing.

Lisa has been through a tough time since her 11-year marriage ended in January 2018, following Ant’s spell in rehab for drink and prescription drug issues.

Things had been rocky between the pair ever since Ant announced their split in 2017 – a statement Lisa did not put her name to. In 2018, Lisa appeared to take aim at Ant’s girlfriend when she tweeted Anne-Marie was “My friend and OUR PA who I let into OUR home.”

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But after it was revealed the pair had mended their suspected feud after reaching a divorce settlement in January and reportedly agreeing to share custody of their beloved labrador Hurley, pals say Lisa is determined to put all the negativity behind her and focus on her new career move.

The source adds, “Lisa’s been through hell and back over the last few years and she wants to close the door firmly on the past and move forward with her life.

“She’s so grateful for the incredible support she’s had from her friends. She can’t wait to fulfil her career goals and she’s brimming with positivity about the future.”

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