The Ghost of Wasps Past

Hello again,

I can’t believe so much has happened in such a short week.

Monday morning I was on my way back to London after a wonderful weekend away in the country, and it was back to the office and piles of work to look over. I had a busy week of shoots and and other events ahead so I tried to get as much done as possible before I headed out to dinner with an agent friend of mine Jorg Betts. He took me to a fabulous restaurant called Bar Boloud which is downstairs at the Mandarin Oriental, it was my first time there and I can’t wait to go back it was simply delicious. As for the company it was a night of gossip gossip gossip, so thank you Jorg for such a wonderful evening, I must think of somewhere equally fabulous for next time.

I’ve been working on my facebook page, although I do find it somewhat strange asking people to ‘like’ me… Still I always love reading your comments and feedback on the things I post so please continue too, and even get your friends to ‘like’ me, if you like…

I have some really exciting news I can’t wait to share with you all, although for now it’s just as teaser as I can’t “reveal all yet”… Yes that was your clue!
Oh and if anyone hasn’t seen there are still some great deals in the summer sale from my Marisota range you can look at here, Please do send me your comments about the clothes either via facebook or twitter as I want to make the new upcoming collection the best it can be, and hearing about the good and bad points from you, the women who wear it, means I really am designing it with you in mind.

Tuesday morning I was up and in hair and makeup at 7am for my 5 minute interview with the lovely Matt Stadlen, so look out for it on BBC entertainment news. Then it was off to a meeting about Midnight Tango, which I am thrilled to say is doing amazingly after the success of the cinema screening event. I am so excited it’s coming into the West End in January, you can keep up to date with all the news on the show from the website

After my meeting I rushed back to North London for a shoot with Best Magazine, which was all about my QVC jewelry, I have to thank all the lovely people from Best who were there and made it such a great day – and if you missed any of the shows on QVC you can buy online at,

Ghost the musical opening night was the final stop of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, but the special effects and the lighting were outstanding. As usual it was a quick pop in to the party where I was delighted to catch up with Craig Revel Horwood, and then it was a quick dash home as I was absoultely exhausted and Wed was to be another long day.

I had some final filming to do for my upcoming book so early Wed it was hair and makeup again and off down to Central School of Speech and Drama which was out filming location for the day. All ran smoothly, and around 2pm it was a break for lunch. There’s a little cafe just downstairs by the entrance so off we went for a round of sandwiches, minus one Alana who wasn’t staying for lunch as she had some errands to run. We said our goodbyes, not more than 5 minutes later I saw her wander unsteadily back into the cafe, white as a sheet and she just looked at me and said “I’ve been stung in the eye by a wasp”. She has a nasty allergy to wasp stings, and as the day went on the sting got bigger and bigger until her whole face was completely blown up and her eye closed over, and I sent her off to A&E as no amount of antihisthimine was doing the trick. Several rounds of steroids and antibiotics later and as I write this a few day on, it’s finally back to normal, but oh I felt for her.

Thursday I was awake at the crack of dawn as I could hardly sleep with excitement, yes it was day Abi was coming back from her trip to the US. I was there to meet her at Gatwick, and I actually cried when I saw the plane land and knew she would be in my arms in a matter of minutes – yes I know I’m a soppy mother! We spent the rest of the day back at home catching up, eating takeout and having cuddles, it was a perfect day.

Friday was my partner’s birthday, so me and the girls took him to lunch at my current favourite restaurant Pollen St Social, where I had a great chat with the chef there Jason Atherton, who in my eyes is simply genius. The food as usual was exquisitely presented and a dream to taste. Presents and a little cake made the rest of the celebration, and then sadly it was back to work for all of us.

Saturday was a drive back up to the country, where I’m writing this from, and as I’m sure you all know by now despite it’s utter tranquility it really running the gauntlet of avoiding huge dinners! I’ll report on how many things I avoided next week…

Before I go here are all my upcoming book dates where I’ll be doing readings and Q&A session, and as always I really hope to see you all there! I’ll also be at Edinburgh Festival 15th Aug buy tickets here, Henley 1st October, and Cheltenham Festival 15th October

Until next week…
Love Arlene x

A fete worse than…


And so another week has passed, and once again it has been busy busy
busy. Monday started with a trip back to the Loose Women studios to
talk about the upcoming screening of Midnight Tango, and while I was
there the gorgeous boys from The Wanted surrounded me in a group hug
on the sofa, much to the jealousy of my daughters! It was lovely to
see Kate Thornton, we had such great times on the Strictly Live tour
together and always enjoy the brief catch ups we manage to have
whenever we get the chance.
After Loose Women I rushed straight over to the Dominion Theatre where
I was holding auditions with Brian May to cast the 10th year of We
Will Rock You. 10 years. I can hardly believe it, and still going

Tuesday I was up bright and early to head to QVC Towers for a meeting
about my latest jewelry collection I’m designing for them. It’s such
an enormous building, and the view of the iconic Battersea Power
Station from the meeting room is just incredible. I’ll keep you
posted as to when it’ll be available from, but for now check out the
current collection at
Tuesday evening it was back to Sadlers Wells – I say back to as I have
been there almost every week the past few months. I went to watch
Hofesh Schecter, and it was every bit as spectacular as the reviews
made out. Hofesh’s choreography to his own specially composed score
was brilliant, and I was up on my feet screaming at the end.

Wed was a fun day filming a sketch for the Lee Mack show “Lee Mack’s
All Star Cast”, and I have to tell you Lee had me in stitches. Did
anyone see it on Saturday night? One thing I will say is that Joan
Collins looks incredible. Now there is a woman that defines glamour,
she has such a presence people almost want to bow as she sashays past,
I know I almost did! A lovely although long and very late day,
everyone involved was fantastic and I really enjoyed myself, so thank
you All Stars.
Thank you as well for all your amazing responses about the Midnight
Tango screening Wed night, 130 cinemas in total took part and from
what I hear they were pretty much all sold out. It’s something I’ve
been looking forward to for a few weeks now, and I was thrilled it
went off so perfectly.

Thursday I was busy putting the final checks to my new spring/summer
2012 clothes collection for Marisota, and I know you’re just going to
love them. Lots of gorgeous printed dresses and little jackets that
you’ll see me wearing very soon on some upcoming television
appearances, so keep an eye out and tweet me what you think. I love
getting your tweets, the funny ones, the cheerful ones, the
encouraging ones and the downright crazy ones – I do love my followers.
That evening I was very excited to be one of the privileged few
invited to the screening of The Apprentice final. All I can say is
that I was on the edge of my seat, and it has been almost impossible
to keep quiet about the winner. I was thrilled with the result
though, and really look forward to seeing not just what Tom but all of
the candidates get up to next, and wish them all the best of luck.

Friday I headed back up to the country for the weekend, and it was
straight to dinner at The Stagg at Titley, where clearly no diet is
safe! More dinner parties, and village fetes with afternoon tea,
fabulous lunches with as much cheese, wine and dessert as I can
avoid. I do love it so much though, and just a few days in
tranquility is worth all the temptation as I always come back to
London refreshed and ready to start another week.

So until next time…
Love Arlene x

Take That and Party

So firstly, hello!  It’s been 2 weeks since my last blog, due to the fact that I was laid up in bed for most of the previous week after my horrible dental surgery, so honestly had nothing to report!  As I’m sure you can all guess I am hopeless at doing nothing, so it was it was sleep sleep and more sleep as being awake sitting around my house was driving me mad!  

So I’ll start from last Wed when I finally managed to make it out of the house and off to the English National Ballet’s Summer Party with my good friend Debbie Moore.  It was such a lovely evening, beautiful weather, beautiful dance and good friends all around, the highlight of which was catching up with Bruno who has just returned from the US after judging on Dancing With The Stars, just what I needed to cheer me up as I was missing my younger daughter Abi dreadfully.  She left for America and the house seems so dreadfully quiet and empty without her.  Plus I miss having all the pretty flowers around she brought home from her course, although now she has finished I’ll have to start paying her to make the bouquets! 

The following day I attended a birthday party for my friend Marcia, who I have know for many years as she had children in both Abi and Alana’s classes at King Alfreds where they were both at school.  It was great to catch up with some of the other parents as we so rarely see each other now the kids have all grown up…  How time flies.

After that I had to pop into the Wizard of Oz rehearsals in the afternoon to see how the new children/munchkins were getting on!  Some of them are just too cute for words, and so talented for ones so young!  I didn’t stay to watch the show though as I went on to the Faber Summer Party, who are the company that publish my Alana Dancing Star books.  It was great to meet some of the other authors (never thought I’d be calling myself that!) and I also saw my friend Francesca Simon who writes the Horrrid Henry books.  We worked on the idea of a children’s musical together many years ago and went to the US to do research in the Hasbro headquaters, now that was a trip!.  It really is such a small world, how people’s paths can cross in such an unexpected way always amazes me. 
I was very honoured to be asked to present an award at the Royal College of Nursing that evening to the Employee of the Year, so it was there I went on to after leaving the Faber party.  It was there of course I bumped into Michael Ball, Les Dennis, Lionel Blair and Cheri Lunghi also presenting awards, and of course our chatter got very loud! 

Saturday I was up early to take Alana to Brent Cross to look around homewares as she’s just moved house, and what’s a parent for if not to help out, although why at 31 she still can’t drive is beyond me!  Alana if you’re reading this (which I hope you are…) Learn to drive!   We went round Fenwicks and John Lewis, and I had to physically restrain her from trying to buy everything in sight.  It’s her first house,  and she wants everything to look perfect right away, so convincing her with phrases like “little by little” and “make do and mend” were my words of wisdom for the day.  We did find some lovely things in Next Home, I’m just waiting for their sale to start so I can pick up a few bargains myself!  
After weighing ourselves down with bags, it was back home to get ready for our Saturday night out… 

It was Take That at Wembley!  Wow, is all I can say.  What a breathtaking concert, I was mesmerised from start to finish, and that’s unusual for me as I find it hard to concentrate on one thing at a time!  The boys looked and sounded fantastic, and as for the creative design – mind blowing.  Robbie’s entrance to Let Me Entertain You was so exciting I though Alana was going to pass out, and as great as their new music is, even I was singing away to Everything Changes,  We really enjoyed the evening, and it was lovely to see Philip Schofield and his family dancing away behind us. There really is something special about being at Wembley too, and it took me back to so many of the concerts and events I attended that have been held there over the years. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen, Elton John – amazing memories I will always keep with me, although I think the one that really springs to mind was seeing the Rolling Stones and refusing to leave a second before the end, and it taking me 3 hours to get home – but I only lived about 20 minutes away! 

Sunday morning all the extended family came over for breakfast, and it was bagels at the ready, without cream cheese for me I might add, just the smoked salmon…  I do love having my family around me, it always makes me feel complete. 

One thing that’s happening next week I am so excited about is the show I’m producing with Vincent and Flavia ‘Midnight Tango’ is being filmed live from the theatre in Bristol and shown in 100 selected cinemas around the country as it’s performed. What an amazing event, it really is a show that’s so moving it just reaches in to your soul and makes you fall in love with Tango, an absolute must see for everyone.  Make sure to look at the MT website to find your nearest cinema and check out upcoming tour dates.

Another event I’m really looking forward to in is the Edinburgh Bookfest on the 15th August, where I’ll be reading a section from my one of my children’s books and doing a Q&A session so would love to see you there!

I know I’m always saying how grateful I am for all your lovely comments on Facebook and Twitter, and due to such an overwhelming response on Facebook I’ve now closed my personal page and set up a fan page instead  – so please ‘like’ it! :

Last night I went to watch Sylvie Guillem at Sadlers Wells, and I actually felt like I was the luckiest person alive to watch that performance.  A true icon of dance, her passion and creativity was simply breathtaking and I could have sat and watched it straight after all over again.  I guess I certainly made up for my ‘lost’ week with all my outings and theater trip, I certainly feel very lucky to have done and seen so much and I always love sharing it with you.

Looking forward to filling you in next week on all the things I’m going to get up to over the coming few days, until then…

Love Ax