Early doors

Hello all, this blog is coming live to you from Sunny LA! Of course you’ll have to wait till next week to read about my adventures here, but till then here’s what I got up to in London last week… My Monday morning began at the eye watering time of 4:30 am to get in to hair and makeup with Alana for my appearance on Sky Sunrise news with the lovely Eamon. As I blearily made my way to the car for the long drive to the studios the excitement began to kick in
(well that and the triple expresso!) and by the time I arrived I was ready to go! It all went very well I’m pleased to say, and by 8am I was finished and on my way home again! A few hours sleep later I was up and out the door again to hit the West End for Emma Forbes’ book launch at The Ivy which was fabulous, and then the Crazy For You press night at the Novello Theatre which was also absolutely fabulous. A long but fun day, and that was only that start of my week.

Tuesday I was up (although not quite as early!) to head to the This Morning studios to do the news review, this time with the brilliant Iain Lee. We had such a great time going over the stories of the day, one in particular that stood out was the man that had been mummified, did anyone watch the documentary on it? I don’t think I could I’m far too squeamish. After that it was back home for some phone interviews and a catch up with Coco, and the it was off to meet my old friend Iain Burton, creator of the divine brand Aspinal, for tea. A good few hours was spent talking about the good old days, and of course browsing through the new collection that I have to say is just stunning. The next and final stop of the day was at my friend Rod Aldridge’s party to celebrate 5 years of his foundation, and he invited a large number of the dance community to celebrate with him, so a fabulous time was had by all, dancers sure know how to party!

Wed was a morning in the office doing yet another Coco catch up session, before it was time to head to the BASCA Golden Badge Awards at the Savoy, to pick up the award I was being given for my contribution to the music industry for all the various videos I choreographed for artists including Queen, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Duran Duran and Diana Ross, to name a few! Brian and Roger of Queen and the fantastic Ben Elton all congratulated me, I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since we stared on our We Will Rock You journey together, and of course many many years before that I was choreographing Queen videos with Freddie. I also want to thank my dear friend Jeremy Sams for the kind words he wrote about me, and thank you to my Abi who came with me, it was so lovely to have her there. The evening was a short stop in at the Fabulous Magazine awards, where I had a great catch up with Louie Spence, and one too many cocktails, hence the briefness! Not being a drinker I was 3 sips down and almost 3 sheets to the wind, so it was early doors for me!

Thursday was a day spent editing my new showreel and packing for LA, as it was early Friday morning I was heading off. The evening before leaving I was honored to host the Take a Break Family Heroes awards with Neil Fox, recognising people who have overcome serious adversity, putting their own troubles aside to help others lead a regular and happy life, despite the many problems of their own. It was a truly humbling evening, and one that shall stay with me for a very long time.

I will leave you with a couple of dates for your diary, tune in to QVC on the 4th of November as I’ll be on talking about my new book and selling signed copies, the other early Dec (the exact date I’ll keep you posted) talking about my jewelry, both would make the perfect christmas gift so don’t miss!

I meanwhile will check in next week when I’m back from my travels, with all the gossip stateside!

Till then

Love Arlene x

From Cheltenham to LA…

Hi guys.

So this blog took a bit longer to post than usual due to unbelievably busier than usual week, and what’ more exciting is that I’m posting from LA!

Last tuesday began with a great shoot and interview for the Daily Mail talking about my new Dance to the Musicals book, with me wearing my Marisota clothes and my QVC jewelry it was triple Arlene! It’ll be out on Sunday 29th of Oct, and as for the book that’s out on the 3rd of Nov! After that was a couple more interviews and then home for my usual quick change routine and it was off to the very fabulous Children in Need charity dinner in Battersea Park. It was a really incredible evening, with amazing performances from Charlotte Church and Texas, as well as a celebrity game of A Question of Sport hosted by the brilliant Nick Hancock. It was also lovely to catch up with the gorgeous Mark Ramprakash and the ever charming Anton Du Beck, and a thoroughly wonderful evening was had by all, topped only by securing the winning bid in the charity auction for the Eve Arnold photo of Marilyn Monroe.

Wed was another packed day, starting with an early morning filled with lots of interviews again about my new book. A yummy lunch meeting at the Covent Garden Hotel, a Wizard of Oz production meeting in the afternoon, a trip to the Faber offices to see the latest on the Alana Dancing Star series, and all finished off with a delicious family dinner cooked by my partner. Phew!

Thursday was a much needed catch up morning with Coco, going over various projects and replying to emails, gossiping and getting all current affairs in order! That afternoon I had my QVC show which is always great fun to do. I love going on air as I get to interact with the viewers, and as you all know I love to hear your feedback and I’m so glad you all seem to be loving the new collection. http://www.qvcuk.com/ukqic/qvcapp.aspx/app.nav/params.file.UKMC0CIY,1.class.UKMC0CIY.level.3 A quiet night at home with Abi and lots of sushi was the perfect end to the day.

Friday was a hilarious day of auditions for the new Wizard of Oz cast, as there was a power cut so I spent part of the day watching dancers in the dark, or running to the boxing gym next door as soon as it was free because they had large windows and some light! Boy that was a long day, but what an amazing amount of talent! It’s so exciting to know the show is going to continue on at such a high standard, and again if you still haven’t managed to see it make sure you do, it’s so magical. http://www.wizardofoztheatre.co.uk/

Saturday I headed off to the Cheltenham Book Festival where I was hosting two events, the first with my Alana Dancing Star books. As usual the response from the children was so overwhelming, and now for all those of you that are on Twitter you can follow Alana and her magical adventures at @AlanaDanceStar! The second was with my new Dance to the Musicals book, where Strictly’s Darren and Lillia joined me in front of a sold out crowd to do a Q&A. It was such an amazing day overall, and I want to thank all those that came for your support. It was also great to catch up with Darren and Lilia, as I have to admit it’s been a while since we’ve really had the chance to get together due to our ridiculous schedules! You can see pictures from the event on my official facebook page facebook.com/arlenephillipsofficial, and if you want to ‘like’ me that would be great too!

After arriving home very late Saturday night I was once again up at the crack on Sunday, although this time it was actually to go to the dentist as it was the only time I had available! It was – although I feel very guilty for saying – straight back to bed for me afterwards as after the week I’d had, and the week I had ahead I needed my rest!
Seeing as it was a 4:30am start for me Monday morning, I pretty much did nothing all day and it was heavenly.

Make sure you read my blog next week to hear all about the start to my week on Sky Sunrise news, and the many other exciting things I got up to… and of course my fabulous trip to LA!

Till then
Love Arlene x

Smoke and Mirrors

Hello again!

So I left you last week with a teaser about my first ever panto appearance, and what a hilarious experience it was… I’m going to be playing the Magic Mirror in Barnstable’s production of Snow White, and so it was off there I went on Monday to film my part! Yes film! I was all dressed up in a fabulous green and purple headdress and collar, and spoke only in very clever (or so I thought!) rhymes. I had so much encouragement from all the creative team, they really helped me get in to character as I’d never done anything like this before, so to say I was nervous was an understatement. I also met all the kids who were going to be appearing, and what a talented and enthusiastic bunch they were. I do hope you can all get to see it this christmas… http://www.northdevontheatres.org.uk/north-devon-theatres-showinfo.asp?showid=874

Tuesday I was back at This Morning talking about the headlines with Holly and Phil that included the verdict on the Amanda Knox case what a difficult case and for a parent to lose their child, devastating. Then onto Jodie Marsh’s new and supposedly improved body. I say supposedly, as I think to turn your body around to that extreme in such a short space of time can be dangerous. If it is as she says all down to hard work and training then good luck to her, but personally I’m not sure I believe it. Once I had finished on the sofa, it was a dash across town to get to the SENSE Awards, a lunch I was hosting to honour those that are or work with deafblind people. It was so amazing to see how many different forms of communication there are. The achievements of everyone there were humbling. It was a very moving day, and something I was so proud to be a part of.

Wednesday was a long but very exciting day. It started off choosing the finalists for the Tesco Mum of Year awards. Other judges there were Michelle Mone, Emma Forbes, Denise Lewis, Liz Jarvis and Tara Cain. I was totally blown away by what some of the women nominated have done, and let me say that choosing the winners was possibly one of the most difficult things for all of us. As a single mother for the first 6 years of Alana’s life I understand the pressures that some of the women have been through, and even those with families who have achieved incredible things made me very proud to be a part of the process, and I cant wait till we award the winners next year. After I had finished there it was back home to get ready for the Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show at the Grosvenor Hotel Ballroom that evening. I was the host of the show and it was such an emotional evening, to be surrounded by so many strong and brave women – and men – who have beaten or have yet to beat this terrible disease. They walked the catwalk like true professionals, shared their triumphant and yet heartbreaking stories, and joined together to raise money and spread awareness of breast cancer. I had a truly incredible evening, and would like to thank all those that came and supported the event.

Thursday was a somewhat less emotional day, just lots of catching up in the office with Coco, and a very fabulous lunch and gossip with some very close friends from the BBC. It was an early night for me though as I was up bright and early to head back to the This Morning studios, this time to discuss being an older mother, versus the other two guests who both had babies at 14, and a second at 16. It’s something I feel very strongly about, as being a mother is about having the knowledge and life experience to help and guide your children through their life, and I can’t imagine what a 14 year old has to offer in that respect when they have so much life ahead of them to live themselves. After finishing at the studios I headed into town for meetings withe Jeremy Sams, the director I worked with on the Wizard of Oz, and then Phil Edwards who I have known and worked on shows including Starlight Express since way back in the early 80’s! A lovely family dinner to finish the day and another early night, two in one week lucky me!

So I can’t actually tell you yet what I was filming over the weekend, but my clue is that it was a recipe for disaster… Until next week…

Love A x

Phantoms and Fabulousness

The week started crazy busy as usual, with Monday a blur of emails, phone calls, diary planning and catching up in the office with the amazing Coco, so it was tuesday that it all really began. The day started off meeting up with my wonderful co-producer on Midnight Tango to talk about the release of the upcoming DVD, available in stores from the 14th of November, all very exciting! I spent the rest of the day getting last minute presents for Abi who’s 21st was on Thursday, but more about that later…

Who was up bright and early on Wed to see me on This Morning talking about Monogamy! I was having a debate with a lady who believes that bringing a third person into a relationship keeps it going. I have to say I’m sure many of us have a ‘past’, but as far as I’m concerned when you say “I do” it’s just about two. It was lovely to be on the sofa with Phil and Holly, and also to see Coleen in the news hub after – and afterwards the messages were flying in on the subject! As soon as I’d finished on air it was off to an early lunch with my dear friend Stacey Haynes, whom I have mentioned before. Whenever we get together we can barely speak for laughing so much, and of course this lunch was no different. It was 2 fantastic hours of gossip and hysterical giggles, and I hope it’s not as long till the next time we get together. I think I must have overdone it somewhat at lunch as I was due to attend the opening night of the new West End musical Rock of Ages that evening, but by the time 6:00 had come round I was feeling more than dreadful. I was sad to miss it, but I’ve heard really great things about the show and I’m so looking forward to seeing it soon.

Thursday was a crazy, special and insanely busy day. Most importantly it was Abi’s 21st birthday, my how time flies! Seeing as I had a morning full of unavoidable meetings I left it to Alana to organise the first part of the day, and she took Abi off on a mystery birthday morning out, while my first meeting was at home with David Grant, voice coach to the stars to talk about an exciting upcoming new project I hope to be able to tell you about soon… Then it was on to a very exciting meeting about my new underwear collection for Marisota, followed by several quick interviews about my upcoming book, phew! Then it was over to Mayfair for a family lunch at Nobu, which was nothing short of divine, and a real treat. We spent the rest of the afternoon eating birthday cake and watching Abi open her presents, until it was time to go off to the theatre to watch Wicked, which was truly amazing.

Friday was another round of interviews and press for the book, until it was time to get ready for the wedding of the year, my dear friend John Partridge and his boyfriend Jon. I can’t say too much about it though, you’ll have to wait till their fantastic copy of Hello comes out, but what I will say is that it brought tears to my eyes, and it was a thoroughly beautiful day.

Saturday was Henley book festival, and to al those of you that turned up but couldn’t get a ticket I am so sorry, I had no idea it would sell out like that! There’s some pictures form the event up on the Alana Dancing Star website so have a look… http://www.alanadancingstar.com/file/Welcome.html I really hope whoever couldn’t get in to Henley will come and see me at the next reading at Cheltenham on the 15th October, as you know how much I love to see you all there. I’ll be appearing at the kids festival in the morning

http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/find-events/literature/lb61-alana-dancing-star-with-arlene-phillips
Then in the evening I’ll be talking about and signing very exclusive copes of my brand new book Dance to the Musicals which isn’t even on the shelves yet!
http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/find-events/literature/l340-strictly-come-dancing-arlene-phillips-with-darren-bennett-lilia-kopylova
Sunday was a truly spectacular day. It started with brunch with the family and my dear friend Nick Howey, who was over from Las Vegas. I have worked with Nick for many years on various productions, including Starlight Express and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber both out in the US, and who was also accompanying myself and my partner to the Royal Albert Hall for the 25th Anniversary concert of Phantom of the Opera that evening. I don’t think I have ever attended such a wonderous event, it was truly a night I will remember forever. There were a couple of really emotional moments for me, firstly when Michael Crawford walked out on stage, as I have worked with him since way back in the 70’s right up until this most recent production of The Wizard of Oz. Also, hearing Sarah Brightman sing at the end of the show was just breathtaking. I spotted Sarah when I was teaching at Arts Educational School and she was a student. I was just in the process of creating Hot Gossip and I chose her as one of my dancers, then discovered she could sing and after the hit record ” I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” I introduced her to my good friend Andrew Lloyd Webber, the rest as they say is history. Catching up with her at the party was just non stop chatter only to discover she really is intending to go to ‘outer space’! For those of you that couldn’t get a ticket it will be coming out on DVD, I know I’ll certainly be buying to watch again!

So the week coming up involves all sorts of crazy events, including my first ever appearance in a panto… but that’s all to be revealed next week so make sure you read my blog, same time, same place!

Till then

Love Arlene x