Busy, busier, busiest…

All I can say is that it’s a good job I got a couple of days off last week in the country, as it has literally been manic…

 

Thursday started with a meet and greet with all the Eurovision team, how exciting!  If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s the song http://bit.ly/GJ0Qp5 After that I headed into town for a long and fully productive meeting with all the Starlighters – as they shall from now on be called – and that pretty much summed up my day, along with fielding endless calls from the busy goings on in the office!

 Friday I was up early to head to the Nickelodeon studios to read a bedtime story! I was in a lovely little garden, and it was fun way to kick off the day.  I was very excited for my lunch with the wonderful Ben Latham Jones at my favourite Japanese restaurant, but unfortunately he came down with food poisoning the night before, so it was cancelled. Hope you’re feeling better Ben!  Instead I buried my in head in the mornings pile of unread emails that seem to be coming in thicker and faster than usual at the moment, and before I knew it I was winding my way to bed. Boy can a day go quickly when holding down down 5 million projects! I sadly didn’t make it to the Sport Relief party that evening, but I’m amazed by the amount raised, and so happy to say I’ve been part of it.  As well as joining in with Let’s Dance and running the Westminster Mile, I’ve also been taking part in Twit Relief and here’s what I raised… 

The WWRY tickets went for £473 on the auction, the Wizard of Oz company including myself sold 262 raffle tickets at £2.50 each, making it £655, so that’s £1128.50 in total, which is brilliant! The lucky winners are also getting super follows too! I’d like a superfollow off Stephen Fry!

 A fabulous Saturday lunch with the family at my new favourite restaurant was the most exciting thing I did all weekend, apart from laze about with the papers in the sunshine…!

 Monday was the big Alzheimer’s Society conference to launch their “Dementia 2012 : A National Challenge Report” http://bit.ly/GR5LFK. I was invited as a key supporter as this is a topic very close to my heart having cared for my dad who suffered the disease, and I very publicly challenged David Cameron over patient care in the NHS.  As I said, ‘How will you train nurses to care?’. Mr Cameron agreed that this is the biggest problem. The response has been incredible, and I’ve been inundated by the press every since. The work of the Alzheimer’s Society is so important that I’m really pleased that people are becoming more aware of what they do and people are getting a better understanding of Alzheimer’s – here’s some news about the day http://bit.ly/GTGnmE 

 After the conference, I attended a tribute to a friend and work colleague of mine Diana Bliss, whom I most recently worked on Flashdance with, who sadly is no longer with us.  It was a very moving service, and I had to gather my thoughts and compose myself to get on with the rest of the day, where the next stop was at the Urdang Academy of Dance, to find a fabulous dancer for an upcoming and very exciting project I’m working on. 

A quick meeting about my Marisota clothes : http://bit.ly/xED91u followed by a chat on Channel 5 live 6.30 news about the earlier Alzheimer’s debate, and to end the day – dinner with the mums from my daughter’s school K.A.S and what a FAB dinner it at Kentish Canteen, do try it out http://bit.ly/Hrcl6g they’re on twitter too @kentishcanteen.

 After Monday’s epically busy start to the week, I thought Tuesday would be a little easier, and with only three meetings to get around town to, it was!  I was planning all things Starlight with my assistant Mykal Rand, talking projects with the BBC, and plotting all things Eurovision with the legend that is Englebert. 

 Wednesday was back to crazy, starting with an early morning makeup from Alana for a photo session with the Daily Mail, for an article all about my Alzheimer’s campaign.  Then I headed off to Epsom to host a charity lunch for 450 women, where I gave a talk all about my life and did a book signing. There’s still time to get in shape for summer, so check out my Dance to the Musicals book here and how you can do it http://bit.ly/Hm5Imk. After a really inspiring afternoon out in the countryside it was a mad dash back to London to attend the launch party of Alana’s company Nutrition Rocks launching their workshops at the St Martins Lane hotel. For information on how to book go to http://www.nutrition-rocks.co.uk. Of course the whole family was in attendance, and here’s Abi to tell you all about it…

 It’s me Abi again, are you all thrilled? 😛 I’m here to talk about another event and my fabulous mother and sister 🙂 Nutrition Rocks has been in the works for two years and it was finally their launch last night, it’s really happening and I couldn’t be more proud. My sister works so hard and it’s beautiful to see it all materialise 🙂

 The launch was at The St Martins Hotel, in a gorgeous room they’d covered in apples, simple but effective and portrayed their healthy message very well.  Aafter ten minutes or so of mingling I was very happy to see the canapés appear, as always I’m searching for the food while mother talks to everyone! She’d been running around all day as per usual, from meeting to rehearsal, home, to meeting and still managed to turn up looking beautiful and stylish as ever, she never fails Alana or I!

 I will speak for me and mummy when we both say we are so proud of Alana and what she’s achieved, I’ll speak for me when I say I’m proud to be part of such a talented family who do so much yet all seem to be here for one another, team morale I say!  So there you have it Phillips Fans, I hope you enjoy and see you in a few 😉 Abi xx

And I’ll see you all next week! 

Love as always

Arlene x

LET’S DANCE

So another busy week has passed – and it was in fact meant to be a cheeky week off… no rest for the wicked hey!

One thing I’m so excited about is that I’m going to be working on this year’s Eurovision entry with the one and only Englebert Humperdink!  I’m staging the UK entry and hopefully, we will wow our way to dix points!  That’s what all these secret meetings at the BBC that I’ve been hinting at were about… So here’s to our 2012 entry, and my upcoming trip to Azerbaijan, eek!

As I mentioned, I tried to take a mini break and head off to the country for the week, which did not get off to a very good start on Thursday morning due to immense fog and traffic.  When we finally arrived 6 hours later (should have only taken 3) – I received a call from the Beeb asking if I would come and be a judge on the Let’s Dance for Sport Relief final.  Of course I was thrilled to. So, no sooner had I arrived, I had to pack up and leave.  I spent most of Friday barking orders down the phone to those on Planet Arlene still in London to get everything ready for me for Saturday.  What dress, what shoes, which jewellery – right down to the necessary undies!  All I had to do was jump on a train early Saturday morning, take a cab to the hairdressers, get to the studio and get into makeup. What could possibly go wrong?  Seeing as I was sure all was timed like clockwork, I managed to have a glorious dinner with friends that night, and went to sleep dreaming of dance.

Saturday was St Patricks day, and also the 6 Nations Rugby in Cardiff, two things I had clearly forgotten to factor in to my overwhelmingly crowded train journey, and one thing I certainly hadn’t accounted for was the train breaking down in the middle of nowhere!  Not known for my calm demeanour in such situations, I immediately had visions of being rescued by helicopters and flown in to the studio screaming “It’s alright I’m here, now get me into makeup!” By the gods clearly taking pity on me and my impending nervous breakdown, the train started up again and I made it safely to part 2 of the journey.

It would seem the panic was not completely over as after the hairdressers, my taxi took me to the wrong studio! Arriving late at the wrong studio started to spin me out again, thankfully it was only a 5 minute drive to the right one, and so I made it in one piece to meet my hilarious co-judges Rhod Gilbert and Frank Skinner.  Hilarity was definitely the theme of the night, as the three of us sat in my dressing room discussing the upcoming show, let me tell you those boys have a wicked sense of humour.  Of course I couldn’t possibly tell you what was said, but I will tell you it was very naughty, and made me almost cry my makeup off with laughter, much to Alana’s scolding.  The show flew by, and I was thrilled the brilliant Rowland Rivron won with his dance to Weapon of Choice, he was absolutely fantastic.  A huge well done to all those who took part, and to the show for raising over 1 MILLION POUNDS for the charity!  That I was proud to be a part of. If you were out on the tiles that night you can still see the marvellous performances on bbc iplayer http://bbc.in/GHvAWB ( but remember you votes won’t count now!!). If you’re running the Sport Relief Mile, and are really quick you might just be in time to bid on the Let’s Dance for Sport Relief T-shirt signed by us three judges http://bit.ly/GIKtKD

Sunday was Mothers day, and I awoke to a delicious breakfast in bed made by Abi, and fabulous book of Vogue Icons from Alana, but no sooner had I finished eating I was back on a train to the country to try to finish the rest of my mini break! Did anyone happen to catch my show about secret song requests for Mums on Magic FM, if you missed it you can have a listen here, it was such fun doing the show  http://bit.ly/zbdBZL

Monday to Wednesday was a blur of eating, relaxing, socialising, a countryside walk or two, and of course a daily catch up with Coco, until yesterday when I arrived back in London to of course another barrage of emails and a busy week ahead.

A few things I want to mention before I leave you for another week are…  You can catch me on the Culture show I mentioned last week here  http://bbc.in/GGazkN all about ‘Reasons to Dance’, and an article in the Scottish Daily Record about it too  http://bit.ly/GDoqXy.

Finally, some more dates for the Starlight Express tour have been added here  http://bit.ly/GDvJ1 so get booking!

That’s all from me, so have a wonderful week… Spring is finally here!

Love Arlene x

Arlene and friends

Hello again!

So another week has gone by in a blur, and I hope you don’t get as exhausted reading this as I was living it!

Thursday started with an early morning catch up with Coco, until it was time for hair and makeup with Alana to get ready for quick day trip to Falkirk in Scotland!  The first drama ensued when my cab didn’t turn up to take me to the airport, so I had to dive in the car to Paddington Station where I managed to leap on the Heathrow Express and just make it with a few minute to spare, sadly didn’t even have time for duty free shopping…

From landing onwards the day went brilliantly.  I was visiting the amazing National Theatre of Scotland who are a theatre without walls to visit their ‘Reasons to Dance’ project. They have created a production  in which the whole town can get involved by giving their reasons to dance.  You cans see it tonight on BBC2 at 7pm.  It was such a truly wonderful and inspiring day.

I just managed to catch the last flight back to London, and finally arrived home sometime around 11:30, and with an early call time the next morning for my Marisota shoot I fell into bed and had barely closed my eyes when the alarm went off.

Friday and Saturday was the shoot for my amazing new collection, and with a crack team of hair and makeup around me, all signs of tiredness vanished!  I had hairdresser to the stars Jon Chapman who gave me an incredible mane of thick wavy hair, using some fabulous clip in hair pieces a mountain of Philip Kingsly hairspray!  I’m passing you briefly now over to Alana who’s going to tell you about how I got my look for the shoot…

Hi all! As the new collection is lots of bold, structured pieces, I wanted to give Mum a look the reflected that, with dark eyes and strong lips.  I used MAC Mineralize Charged Water first on the skin, a moisturiser infused with diamond dust to really hydrate the skin and give it a glow. Lancome’s new Teint Idole 24hr foundation is one of Arlene’s favourites, as it doesn’t move, and gives a flawless, dewy coverage that only needs the lightest dusting of translucent powder to blot the t-zone. I used the Urban Decay Naked palette to blend dark grey over the eyelids, then YSL Shocking liquid eyeliner and mascara to define the eyes. A smudge of black kohl pencil inside the eye and a set of fabulous lashes by We Are Faux finished the eyes. I defined the brows with a MAC eyebrow pencil, shaded cheeks with St Tropez bronzer, and then dusted a peachy Armani blusher over the apples of the cheeks for a subtle glow.  Lips were primed with a dab of 8 Hour Cream, and YSL Rouge Per glossy lip stain in 3 (plum) and 6 (peach) were blended to create a glossy pout in the perfect colour.  I hope you like the pictures, and if you have any questions about Arlene’s beauty regime please email me at info@alanaphillipsmakeup.com.  Love Alana x

I’m back, although not for long…  Sunday was another jam packed day, starting with the Move It exhibition, where I was interviewed on the Big Dance sofa, and had a book signing at the INC Dance stand.  It was amazing to be surrounded by so much dance, and of course I wanted to stay all day but it off to the next event by midday, and here’s Abi to tell you all about it…

It’s me Abigail again!  Mummy has asked me to be her roving reporter on the Tesco Mum Of The Year Awards, what an honour.  Let me begin by saying the day started off a little scary, red carpet and paparazzi, three words that don’t bode well with me.  Mum can flaunt it like a pro with her champion smile and winning poses, but then again she is a professional in everything she does from working the red carpet to interviews with the press and presenting awards.  Drinks, food and celebrities, a chance for all to mingle and chatter while I run off to find where the canapés are coming from, I’m joking, maybe. Of course I stay by Mum’s side and greet everyone she introduces me to with a smile.  Mum is such a social bunny, and knew practically everyone there from athletes to singers, presenters to reality stars, Denise Lewis, Pixie Lott, Gaby Logan and Amy Childs to name a few.

Of course he day wasn’t only about the celebrities who were there, it was about these courageous and brave woman who are overall outstanding mothers. On our table was Sharon Sambrook, who’s son had developed an adult brain tumour at the age of ten, rare in children, then Sharon found out that only 3% of Cancer Research goes towards brain tumours so from there went on to raise 90, 000 pounds towards Brain Tumour Cancer Research, just incredible.  Sharon won the award for Charitable Mum Of The Year presented by my Mummy, who looked absolutely stunning and spoke such kind words as she expressed her affection and awe at Sharon’s achievement.  The other mums who had done such extraordinary acts of kindness after being met with such challenging situations they were all presented awards and every time I looked behind me, yes, Mummy was in tears.

The Celebrity Mum Of The Year was Gaby Logan, who was there with her hubby Kenny, whom Mum knew from the Strictly days, and although Gaby being a better dancer, Kenny stayed in much longer despite my darling mothers hilarious put downs.  How Gaby finds time to fit in all her charity work with her busy life, makes us think she’s a bit of a Supermum and I’ll let you in on a secret, Mummy is too. No really, she has super powers – how she finds time to give to charity, choreograph musicals, present radio and television programmes, go to meeting after meeting, design her own clothes and undies and still manage to always be there for her two daughters whenever they need, makes her a supernatural being

From the opening of the awards by the big voice that is none other than Tesco Mary from The X Factor to the wonderful hosting by Fiona Phillips, the afternoon ended with an outstanding performance from the beautiful Dionne Bromfield who got everyone up and dancing.  This is when me and Mummy wished that John Partridge was on our table so that the Queen of Dance could have a boogie with her King.  After we were all danced out we said our goodbyes and left with bags full of goodies, so thank you Mummy, thank you Tesco, thank you readers and I’ll see you in a few, love always, Abi  xx

And I’m back again!  Monday and Tuesday sort of blended into one, with meetings, paperwork, a trip to the dentist, and a catch up with my longtime friend the wonderful Richard Stilgoe who wrote the words and lyrics for Starlight Express. I also went to a meeting at Magic FM to talk about my guest appearance.  Make sure you tune in 10am-2pm this Sunday on Mother’s day!

Wed was a hilarious morning, running the Westminster Sport Relief mile with about 30 MP’s, and Abi!  The two of us headed down to St James Park in our running gear, only to be almost trampled at the start!  I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t run the whole way due to my bad knee, but walk the rest I did and Abi who shot off at the start again went whizzing past me on the way back as I slowly limped past the finish line.  It was great to meet so many MP’s and participate in such a fantastic cause, I hope you’ll all be watching on the 25th to see me attempt it again!

So until next week,

Love Arlene x

Being fabulous in the 50’s

Hello!  So it’s been another crazy week on Planet Arlene, filled with all different sorts of goings on. 

 Early Wednesday morning and a jet lagged Arlene got off the plane from Toronto to a day of errands, going here, picking up this, looking at that, rush rush rush… and then back home to get into makeup for a TV appearance.  I was filming with the one and only Len Goodman, who through various events I’ve seen more of this past month than I have in years! We were talking about the 50’s – 1952 to be exact, memories of our childhood and some of the historic events that happened that year.  You’ll have to tune in to find out what they were, so I’ll keep you updated as to when it’s on.

Thurs 1st March was St David’s day, and I hope all my Welsh friends and followers celebrated in style!  The day was less party more go go go, with Coco arriving back from holiday it was catch up central, followed by a fitting for my upcoming Marisota shoot taking place this weekend.  I love the shoot days, I feel like a very glamorous someone else with a team of stylists, hair and makeup pampering me non stop. Then of course I go home and put my pyjamas on, and feel like me again, still happy just slightly less glam!  That evening was the press night for Russell Grant and the new Wizard of Oz company, so with family in tow we headed off to the Palladium to watch the show.  It was a fantastic performance, the cast were outstanding and I was so proud of Russell and just how brilliantly he has developed into the role.  It was lovely to see so many friends and celebs there, and I had a long chat with the divine Harry from McFly, who really is as gorgeous in the flesh! The lovely Robbie Savage was there as well and many of the Strictly pros who I had a lot to gossip about with. The party afterwards was a whirlwind of flash bulbs and champagne, and I finally made my escape home a hour later, as well you know I’m not one to party all night.

Fri was meetings a million, including Starlight Express and a trip to Sony, all very exciting and went very well I’m happy to say.  I had some of the Leeds contingency of the family arriving for the weekend, so I popped into M&S after work to pick up some treats, most of which I had to resist eating on the way home!

Saturday morning I had a quick interview for The Sun on Sunday about Prince Harry dancing in the Bahamas and very nicely I have to say the boy’s got Rhythm!  Then the rest of the day was mine to relax and family and friends buzzed around me.

Sunday Abi and I went to the very exclusive Home House for lunch with my dear friend Grainne, her daughter Megan who was at school with Abi, and our mutual friend Brix Smith Start.  The food was fantastic, the company even better, and a quick trip after lunch to Selfridges to purchase a divine new pair of Louboutins made the day just perfect.  Having said that, arriving home to Abi’s chocolate strawberries she’d made earlier in the day really was the cherry on the top!

Monday was again a flurry of meetings with Adam Spiegel for all things Midnight Tango and Brian Grant the Director of Britannia High for a future project… Then it was once again into hair and makeup with Alana as I was judging the ENB Emerging Dancer Awards at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. I saw six of the most outstanding young dancers I have EVER seen, but the award went to mini Acosta no that’s Jonah Acosta, Carlos Acosta’s nephew, he was outstanding!

Yesterday I once again spent the day with Len this time at the Royal Albert Hall, talking about Your Personal Best, the campaign I’m involved in to get the over 55’s active.  It was such an interesting day with talks and advice from doctors to fitness experts demonstrating all kinds of exercise and how just the smallest thing can make the biggest difference.  A quick trip to cast an eye over Midnight Tango at the Media night. Meeting up once again with Len, but this time with his partner Sue as well as lovely Barbara Windsor and Pam Clements, Gethin Jones looking hot (see our pic on twitter!) and Sarah Hadland and Patricia Hodge from Miranda. After all this, more than ready for my bed, as today and the rest of the week is once again jam-packed!

So until next time…
Much love Arlene x 

 

 

The Wizard of Toronto

Hello again, I’m back!  I hope you all enjoyed last week’s guest blogger Abi, as you’re definitely going to be hearing some more from her over the coming months, and also Alana who I know is going to be writing a beauty blog for you again as the last one was so popular!

 

Anyway, on with the gossip! I’m afraid there’s not much to report on the last few days of last week as they were all full up with meeting after meeting, catching up with Tully as my beloved right arm Coco had gone to France, and a rather painful trip to the dentist, so the less said about that the better!  Oh and best not forget the arduous task of packing, and no sooner had I closed my eyes on Friday night, I was up and on a plane to freeing but fabulous Toronto.

 

It was a whistlestop drop in for three days to do the final round of auditions for the upcoming Canadian tour of the Wizard of Oz.  Despite being somewhat constantly exhausted, I had the most fantastic time.  I have to say more than anything, I was overwhelmed by the incredible talent we saw, how exciting the performances were, and just how difficult it was to choose a cast from all that brilliance, we wanted everyone! 

 

I was staying at one of my favourite hotels called the St Germain, a gorgeous little boutique hotel where I stayed on my first trip there a few years ago, and I was thrilled to say it hasn’t changed a bit.  The best part about it is definitely the breakfast, and I’ll tell you why.  Ever since Alana was a baby and I would travel a lot with her, I would go down to breakfast in the morning and “bandit” her some lunch.  That would mean making her a sandwich from the deli plates, or maybe picking up a yoghurt or brioche – hence the Breakfast Bandits was born.  There always seemed to be something naughty about doing it, wrapping up criossants in tissues and hiding them in my bag, so when one morning at the St Germain we were offered not only a takeaway cup for our coffee, but a paper bag for the bagels we were so sneakily trying to stuff in our pockets – it was like a dream come true… Legal Banditry!  Alana and I were over the moon, and hence returned from Canada several pounds heavier…

So there I was in rehearsals with my coffee and bag of muffins, happy as could be, despite the freezing winds!

 

While I’m on the subject of food, we (being myself and the rest of the creative team) went for a couple of the most delicious and interesting meals I have ever had.  A restaurant called Canoe, up on the 45th floor, with the most inventive and extraordinary dishes.  Mustard Ice Cream and …. Foam to name a couple.  Another meal at a local Mexican restaurant got rahter messy due to the copious amounts of Tequila and Sangria being consumed, and there were a few very sore heads in the audition room the next morning!!

 

So I’m writing this you in between finishing a fitting for my upcoming Marisota shoot, and getting ready to go and see my darling Russell Grant as the Wizard in tonight’s press night, so it’s ta ta for now, I’ve got some red shoes to put on!

 

Love Arlene x