Ed Sheeran’s disastrous dancing TV audition from 2007 resurfaces, with ex-Strictly judge Arlene Phillips branding future star (now worth £220million) ‘clueless’

Sometimes, rejection can be an important step in the right direction.

Indeed, Fred Astaire was famously dismissed at a screen test with the words: ‘Can’t act; slightly bald; can dance a little.’

Well it turns out Ed Sheeran – now a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter with a £220million fortune – suffered the same humiliation at the age of 16…thanks to Dame Arlene Phillips.

The then schoolboy Edward took part in a televised audition to appear in ITV musical drama series Britannia High in 2007, where he performed Justin Timberlake’s Like I Love You.

However, his wooden dancing failed to impress the former Strictly judge who declared he was ‘not even an option’ to progress.

Sheeran, in an uncut clip from the audition that was rediscovered shows her wearing dark green jeans and a jumper.

The judges were stunned by his voice and he made it through to the next round.

But he struggled with the dancing element and Dame Arlene remarked: ‘Ed hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing, but he is trying.’

High hopes: Ed Sheeran on show

Ed Sheeran’s show has great hopes

Strictly appalling: Arlene Phillips isn’t impressed

Strictly appalling: Arlene Phillips isn’t impressed

The teen Sheeran – who made it through just one round of the show – defended himself claiming: ‘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 show aired only one season and was eventually cancelled by him.

Reflecting on the disastrous audition, Sheeran, now 30, told The Jonathan Ross Show: ‘This was a TV show I did for ITV when I was 16 and it was a show where you had to be a triple threat.

Bad move: The young Sheeran looks wooden

Poor move: Sheeran’s young man looks wooden

Flat-footed: Ed tries hard with his dance routine

Ed is not a good dancer:

Stiff: Ed was declared ‘not even an option’ to progress

Stiff: Ed was declared ‘not even an option’ to progress

‘You had to be able to act, dance and sing – two of which I couldn’t do. A girl was in my high school who was an amazing dancer.

‘She taught me this dance which looked amazing when she did it…so I just copied what she did.

‘I walked out of the audition like “I think that went really well” and then I saw Arlene Phillips go “not a chance”.’

Sheeran – who has since sold more than 150million records worldwide – recently secured his fifth number one album with =.

He made an appearance last week in Red Notice, which was the highest-watched movie on Netflix in its first weekend.

And earlier this week he announced a collaboration with Pokemon Go – a mobile phone game which had more than one billion downloads by early 2019.