Abi Tumbles Into My Blog…

I’ve had such a busy a week I don’t even know where to start.  You know those weeks when you have so many meetings you feel like your life is one big meeting… Well that was my week!

Rather that bore you all to death with the details of each one, I thought why not have some fun with this blog instead, and leave you in the capable and hilarious hands of my youngest daughter Abi. She’s going to share some of my links for you to look at and listen to, along with her brilliant Tumblr blog for you to read while I prepare for my upcoming and exciting trip to Canada, which I will be writing about when I get back next week.

Click here for Abi’s Tumblr page.

So until then… Love Arlene x

 

So I’m taking over from mummy now, and I thought I’d personally introduce you to some things that she has done that make me oh so proud.

I’d never thought I’d see the day mum was designing dresses, beautiful ones at that, totally versatile to appeal to everyone, as she always has everyone in mind! 🙂 Click here to see.

Mummy you saucy minx, venturing into the world of underwear! I think its so important for all women to feel confident with their image, and if my mums underwear can do that for you ladies, then thats just fabulous, flaunt it! 😛 Click here for the collection.

Mum is so up to date being on both Twitter and Facebook, and if you want to catch up with her fantastic lifestyle and the latest news, then hit these hot spots up! Twitter and Facebook.

Well, Dance to the Musicals has provided me with non-stop entertainment, I love it when mummy gets her groove on, and this book allows you to dance through the musicals with her too! Click here to see the book website.

Move It  is one of the best dance conventions there is, its a chance for every dancer to be themselves, dance their style, and appreciate and learn from others. Mummy will be there to fill you with confidence, wish you luck, and make you believe in your dreams. It’s on the 11th March at 11.00 on the Big Dance Interview sofa followed by a signing on the Dancers INC stand! Click here for tickets.

Alana Dancing Star is such a cutie! 🙂 She reaches out to girls of all ages, to let you know that however ordinary you feel, or however hard situations get, you can just dance your troubles away. Dancer or not, just turn the music up, jump around, and shake it off! Click here  to meet @AlanaDanceStar.

Its back! How excited am I? So excited! Are you excited? Get excited! Starlight Express is legendary, and did I mention that the choreographer is a legend? 🙂 : Click here for tickets.

Love Abi xx

Hot Gossip Pink & A Valentine Ball…

Hi all.

Another busy week has gone by, so much for my attempt at a quiet start to the year! Wednesday was full of email catch ups, phone call catch ups, and a fantastic interview with the Manchester Evening news all about my Marisota Lingerie collection I’m really proud of it, and hope you all love it as much as I do. I ended the day with a very exciting and very secret meeting… Yes hopefully all will be revealed soon!

Thursday morning was nonstop radio interviews again all about the lingerie, I’d love to hear your views, you can always tweet me @arlenephillips or write on my facebook wall, as I love to get feedback on how I can make things the best they can be.

Friday was more meetings and a lovely chat with the powers that be at Magic FM, then off I went to Pineapple Studios to cast our final cast member for Starlight 2012. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the office with Coco and Tully, as is all my spare time when I’m not off lunching and gossiping! (Well, working really but that always sounds more fun!).

Saturday another great nephew was born, so I had all the Leeds contingency of the family staying to welcome the little one, and it was just wonderful. The devastating news about Whitney Houston that came later that day was very sad as I had worked with her in the 80’s when I choreographed her first videos, including How Will I Know and I Wanna Dance With Somebody. It’s tragic loss, and she will be remembered always as a true music icon with the voice of an angel.

Sunday morning was a flurry of activity with cooking and children and all sorts of things going on in the house with so many people staying. And suddenly, it was time to wave goodbye, pack up the leftovers from our giant Sunday roast (and try not to scoff the roast potatoes), and then it was once again getting ready time. That evening I’d been invited to watch Beneath the Dress starring my dear friend Frances Rufelle at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and to say she was phenomenal is an understatement, what a performance, and she even brought her daughter on stage, Eliza Doolittle and it was joy to watch.

Monday I made a donation to UNICEF and now own my own colour! Of course it’s a bright pink, my favourite, and I’ve called it Hot Gossip Pink…! You can own a colour too check it out here: http://www.ownacolour.com
A very nasty trip to the dentist – poor me – followed by a trip to meet Andrew Lloyd Webber – lucky me- and a trip to an interview about some amazing Sports Relief Socks and to discuss the Sports Relief Mile – and let’s hope I don’t trip!! http://bit.ly/zau6Iw. As if that wasn’t enough for one day, I joined Nicky Clarke, the ultimate in hairdressing as a judge of the Outstanding Apprentice in Hair Design Award. Not only did they have to design hair, but make up, costume, mood boards and give a speech. All I can say is, the future lies in the hands of the eight outstanding apprentices, and it was hard to pick first second and third. Some of the contestants had only just turned 16. Astonishing! Such fun working with Nicky and his team.

Tuesday I was up bright and early to head to the STATE OF THE ARTS conference in Manchester (read more on the discussion here http://bit.ly/yRqdWf) to discuss”The TV trade off – does television do great art?” with BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz. It was nerve wracking speaking in front of the great and good of the Arts World but no sooner had I started it seemed to go by in a blur, and the next thing I knew I was on the train back to London to get ready for The Prince’s Trust Valentines Ball. My Valentine date was Abi my youngest daughter and I was delighted that there were many other young people such as Aston and Marvin from JLS, the young and vibrant entrepreneur, Dominic Mcvey, James and Ola, the fascinating, but not young Duncan Bannatyne and the lovely Debbie Moore.

So that’s my busy week, would love to hear about yours! You can leave comments here on my blog and add in a touch of what’s going on in your world, or join me on twitter and on facebook.

Until next time,

Love Arlene x

Full steam ahead

So, after the fantastic and rather late night press night for Midnight Tango, you’d think Wednesday would be a well deserved lie in for me… But of course no such luck! There was so much catching up to do with Coco in the office that I pretty much stayed in one position at my desk for the entire day. As well as replying to 500 or thereabouts emails, I had lots of lines to learn for my upcoming appearance on The Magicians. I wanted our tricks to be the best, otherwise this would mean my partner Pete Firman and I would have to do the mystery forfeit, which as I have seen so far look terrifying!

Thursday was my first rehearsal day in the studio with Pete Firman for The Magicians, who I was thrilled to be partnering as I think he’s just brilliant. We’d already made a donkey disappear in Weymouth, and now this week on the live show Pete was going to make me disappear! Along with a sneaky and brilliant card trick, we were hoping our performance would be the best and win over the audience, as we had tough competition in the other magicians Latimer, and Barry and Stuart. The day was long, productive and cold! The show is recorded at Shepperton Studios, so it was a hell of a speedy drive back into London to get changed and out of the door to the 50th Birthday party of the Sunday Times Magazine. The party was held at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, and it was a stunning exhibition of all the various iconic magazine covers over the years. Canapes, cocktails and several celebrity guests were milling around, and I had a lovely catch up with the original PR guru herself Lynne Franks. I have to admit, in my usual style, I didn’t stay long and it was home to hot soup and bed all before 9:30, as it was up and off to another long rehearsal day at Shepperton again in the morning.

Friday was a blur of magicians disappearing and reappearing, and then before I knew it, it was Saturday and nearly time for the live show! I was so nervous, and having the producers tell me that this week’s forfeit was the most dangerous yet was really starting to get to me. As I was pacing the corridoor outside my dressing room to try and calm my nerves, who should I bump into but original Starlight Express cast member, old friend and now TV star best know for the role of ‘The Cat’ in Red Dwarf… Danny John Jules! He came bounding over – in full ‘Cat’ costume I might add – and gave me the biggest hug, Chatting away about old times put me right at ease, and before I knew it I was being whisked off to start. The show began with a reveal of the upcoming forfeit… An arrow being shot through an apple, balancing on our head! Thank goodness I had the ever calming Alana with me as the nerves came back in full flow once I’d seen that, and could hardly remember my name let alone my lines! As luck would have it all our tricks went according to plan, although this still wasn’t enough for us to win, and so 50 minutes later there I was, apple on head trying not to shake with fear! I couldn’t believe it was going to be me! Of course I kept telling myself that there was no way that the very strange man pointing an arrow at me who was also spinning on a revolve beside me was going to miss… Although this wasn’t enough to comfort Phil Tuffnel, who after seeing the stunt revealed said “Arlene, I’ not too sure about this…” In a matter of seconds it was all over, the audience were cheering, and I was holding half an apple, with tears of relief running down my face. Looking back what an amazing experience, but I wouldn’t like to do it again!! Until the next tim eof course… If you missed it you can watch the show here http://bbc.in/wdtPCl
A hair raising drive home through thick and ever falling snow was enough to put me straight to sleep, and sleep I did for most of Sunday as well! (Aside from my usual Sunday activitiy of trying to avoid the roast potatoes, and failing…) I did manage to make my way through the snow that afternoon to the farewell performance of Michael Crawford, Danielle Hope and some other cast members at The Wizard of Oz, and what an emotional show it was.

Monday morning I was back in gear, and starting the day with a round of interviews about Russell Grant and his transformation to the Wizard, and the it was over to ITV for a chat on the sofa with the lovely Alan Titchmarsh. I was talking about my new lingerie line with Marisota http://bit.ly/xED91u , and the upcoming Starlight Express tour that I have finally finished casting, so it’s full steam ahead!

Tuesday I spent in the theatre with Russell, preparing for his opening night that evening, which I am thrilled to say went off without a hitch, so congratulations Russell, and here’s to a fabulous run, although I’m sure you could have predicted that…

Till next time
Love Arlene x

Here, there and everywhere

So my week continued on in much the same vein as the previous… mad mad mad!

Wednesday started off at the Covent Garden Hotel meeting Mark Linsey – well more of a gossip than a meeting, followed by a catch up with a very dear old friend of mine from the New York days Jimmy Walski, which was just fabulous. Then it was time to make my way to the Palladium for a few hours dancing down the Yellow Brick road with Russell Grant. I ended my day by racing over to The Aldwych, where I first had a meeting with my co-producer Adam Spiegel at The Delauney, the hot new restaurant, and then popped in to watch the preview of Midnight Tango.

It was an early and freezing start to Thursday morning at the Olympic site to talk about “Your Personal Best” a campaign set up by GSK and NHS London to get the over 55’s with long term health conditions to get active. My partner in crime was the lovely Len Goodman and we are explaining to everyone it’s not about going out of your way to go to the gym or to classes, but just doing your personal best to get the most out of your day, be it climbing the stairs instead of taking the escalator, or walking the last part of the way home, just keeping your body moving in the best way you can. It was very exciting to see the new stadium, but boy was it cold! The event finished in the afternoon at Glaxo Smith Kline where we got all the staff up and dancing a Cha Cha with Len and a Disco routine with me!

On my way back from the very glamourous GSK headquaters I popped into the CiCi PR Press event, where all the companies represented by CiCI were being showcased, and I went home with the most wonderful goody bag, so thank you very much all there!!!

Friday was another early start to continue the press for Your Personal Best, and it was a day of radio and media interviews, so this time I was wrapped up like a sausage in a hot dog and no make up on, as I didn’t have to have any pictures taken! I came home to a delicious family dinner with my sister and her husband and it was an early night for me before another morning of rehearsals… Yes even on a Saturday I was there at Pineapple Studios for some more Oz rehearsals with Russell Grant, who I have to say is going to be fabulous!

A traditional lazy Sunday with family and food, although I did finally manage to make it to see The Artist, which is a brilliant film that everyone is raving about, so go and see it if you haven’t already! I ended the evening having dinner with another visiting American friend, Jerry Nadal, who is now executive Producer on all the Las Vegas and International Cirque du Soleil shows. We didn’t want to say farewell as we had so many years to catch up on, but he needed some sleep having arrived from Las Vegas, Moscow the next day, followed by Macau and back to Las Vegas in under a week. Now THAT’S international travelling!

At 4am on Monday morning the phone rang, it was the car company telling me that my car had picked up the papers and would there with me in an hour… Try as I might to get back to sleep it just wouldn’t happen, so an hour later I was on the way to Sky Sunrise news in possibly not the best of moods! I did have the longest day ahead of me, and certainly could have done with another hour as I realised around 2pm, when I had finished my filming for part two of the day and knew that part three was yet still to come! Part two was filming some video introductions for Vintage TV of all my favourite old videos I choreographed throughout the 80’s, part three was heading off to the BBC to film my episode of Pointless with Alana as my partner. All I will say is make sure you don’t miss it, so I will keep you posted with the link when I know the air date, it is in a word, hilarious. A truly exhausting day, and there was still more to come on Tuesday…

Another set of rehearsals with Russel Grant and the company at Wizard of Oz, followed by an afternoon of prepping and pampering for the press night of Midnight Tango that evening. I’m writing this the morning after, so I want to say that last night was a resounding success! The show was utterly breathtaking, the audience went wild, and it was great to have my family and friends there to support me into my first foray as a West End producer. It was lovely to see Tess Daly and Karen Hardy there, the gorgeous Mark Ramprakash, Louie Spence, Lulu, Pamela Stephenson and of course the man who’s side I have barely left the past two weeks, Russell Grant! There were so many celebrities there, but I wanted to spend time with my old friend and Director of Midnight Tango, Karen Bruce, who had done such a superb show! Vincent and Flavia were a revelation, and I urge you go go go to Midnight Tango, you will be truly amazed. You can find tickets here: http://bit.ly/wdldM5

Lots of love,
Until next time
Arlene x