Choreographer of the British Empire

Hello again all,

I write this to you now as Arlene Phillips, CBE. Yes it’s official!  As I mentioned in my last blog, this week it’s all about Buckingham Palace baby.  

But before I give you the rundown of my Investiture, I want to tell you all about my day trip to Birmingham to hear the brilliant director, composer, genius and more importantly dear friend Jeremy Sams give his lecture on Mudra, the theory of music and drama as one. It was a real privilege to hear him speak, and his theory was brilliant, and something I know will stay with me through my work to come.
As I was still suffering from what we shall call my bout of mini flu, I woke up on Wednesday morning still feeling pretty awful, but the excitement of what was to come was going to get me though the day. It was an early start into hair and makeup, and after a final dash round Selfridges the night before, I settled on a stunning orange patterned knee length dress by Erdem, with clear sequins sewn all through it so it shimmered in the light. I wore it with a black quilted coat by Malene Birger, with crystal beading on the collar, a black bow hat from Fenwicks, and of course a fabulous new black patent pair of Louboutins, perfect for my curtsey in front of Her Majesty.  I was thrilled it was The Queen herself who was going to be at the ceremony, as I had the privilege to receive my OBE from her last time, so it really meant a lot she was there this time as well. My family of course were all with me, looking beautiful and smart as could be, and as I took my place in line to receive my medal, I saw them all sitting there at the front and was so overcome with emotion. It really was such an honour, and a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.
After the ceremony, we headed outside for a family photo, I did some press interviews with Louis Smith, who was also receiving his award that day, and I have to say although we were outside for no more than half an hour, it felt like forever because quite simply, it was freezing! My fingers actually went blue, the girls were shaking, it was cold, cold, cold.  After leaving the Palace we made our way to Nobu on Park Lane, where we warmed up with cups of hot sake and jasmine tea, and my friends Debbie Moore (of Pineapple fame) and Chrissy Donnelly (of Hot Gossip days) joined us for a celebratory lunch. We honestly stayed there for about four hours, gossiping, remembering the old days, and munching our way through plates of exquisite sushi. I arrived home feeling elated and exhausted, and more than ready for my bed.
The next few days the mini flu I’d been trying to keep at bay hit me like a ton of bricks, and basically turned into full blown evil flu. I think a definite low point was my trip to the doctors on Friday morning, where I was asked to bring the prescription I’d been told to keep in the fridge. I arrived with my white paper bag, handed it to the doctor, only to find I’d actually brought him a white bag of sliced salami instead…! Now that is real exhaustion at work.
By Sunday I was well enough to drag my lazy bum out of bed and over to watch a final run through of the We Will Rock You tour, along with Abi and Tully, who absolutely loved it.  I can’t wait till the show goes out live next week, make sure you look out for it coming to a city near you here
Monday was Hectic (with a capital H!) as Coco had been on holiday the week before, and that combined with me being out of action for a few days meant the pile of things to do was just ridiculous. Of course I had Tully holding down the fort the week previously, but even he couldn’t get through half of what needed to be done, so it was a hardcore catch up in the office for Team Arlene!
Tuesday was some filming fun, talking about the nation’s favourite dances. I’ve been left with a lovely lingering cough, so trying to get my words out through it meant it took a lot longer then anticipated! I was so excited as that evening I was attending the opening night of A Chorus Line at the Palladium, and what a show it was.  It’s a production I know like the back of my hand, and I was thrilled to see my darling John Partridge up there, dancing rings around the kids, and putting in a fantastic performance as Zack. I have to say another stand out performance for me was Leigh Zimmerman as Sheila, she was simply perfection, and a joy to watch.
 The one and only Bruno and I after Chorus Line.
The clan after the show.
So there you have it, such a memorable week, and one I’m still clearly on could nine from.
So many, many exciting things to come, so make sure you keep checking in and subscribe!
Until next time
Love Arlene x

One comment on “Choreographer of the British Empire

  1. Natasha says:

    Congratulations on your CBE Arlene!

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