Parliament and a Banana Split

Hello!
I am writing this to you on a surprisingly sunny afternoon, and I have to say what a treat this weather is! It’s yet again been a busy week full of comings and goings, and here’s what’s been going on…
Last Monday the Wizard of Oz opened in “Fabulous Las Vegas”, and although I wasn’t there to celebrate it myself (sad face!) I sent the cast a good luck message and lots of love. You can follow @yellowbrickroad on Twitter for updates and backstage pics, and for all my followers in the US you can book tickets here!
I had a very nerve wracking morning in Parliament speaking for the Alzheimer’s Society, and all over twitter you can see the amazing support of MPs pledging to raise awareness of dementia and improve services. Find out how you can make a difference and become a dementia friend http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/
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I had another fantastic morning filming a new campaign for Save the Children, all about getting kids involved in reading. They have teamed up with a company called Beanstalk who have volunteers to work with kids who for many different reasons either have trouble, or lack the confidence with their reading, which studies show can greatly affect their chances for good GCSE grades later on. I spent the morning reading and talking with some of the 7yr olds from a primary school in North London, and was amazed at the progress they were making with the help of their reading mentors. As soon as I have the pictures to show I will post them up!
A photo that I DO have to show you is one that I’m very proud of, and also very proud to be a part of the campaign… Yes the Bearfaced picture I mentioned I was shooting a few weeks ago for Children in Need is finally out and I love it! Do you Dare to Bear?
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As I’m sure you know I am still all Starlight Starlight Starlight, and have been busy with interviews and rehearsals for the International Tour that’s about to roll out across the world!  Tickets.  And you can also check out the new video here.
Someone who I am sure is thrilled by this little patch of sun is my partner Angus, who braved the rain and the cold to go camping in Devon last weekend, and came back utterly bedraggled poor thing! Anyway while he was in one kind of tent, I was sort of in another – although it was more of a marquee at a Birthday garden party I was at on Saturday night. It was my friend Wayne Garvie, who had decided to throw a mini fete, complete with garden games and a gorgeous food! Delicious chicken and lamb wraps, with different salads and fillings, and then huge plates of piping hot churros with thick chocolate dipping sauce. I think thats all I need to say about that…. *stares off into the distance dreaming of churros*
Following on the food theme, I’ve had a couple of lovely breakfast meetings this week, one at the Ivy Club, which is always a treat! I also went to a party at the Soho Sanctum Hotel in Picadilly to celebrate the launch of my darling Sam Dowler’s new PR company, Big Smoke that he has started with Made in Chelsea’s Cheska. It was filled with the usual faces like Lizzie Cundy, PR Guru Nick Ede, several of the Chelsea crew such as Ollie Locke whom I adore, and a few other very fashionable people that I probably should have known! True to form I didn’t stay long, and somehow managed to make it home with a giant caramel ice cream cone from Scoop that just happened to be by the car park…
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Another blog worthy addition is the secret filming I did for ITV, yes frustrating I know that I can’t reveal all yet, but as always it’s worth the wait…
Did anyone catch me on the charity version of Fifteen to One last Friday as part of the Channel 4 80’s night?  All I can say is that I had major question envy!
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Friday was also a trip to the eyebrow goddess Karen Betts for a much needed top up on my brows, and as ever I love hearing about the amazing work she does with the Katie Piper foundation, she really is a genius.
This weekend I was lucky enough to snare tickets to Chimerica, and it was well worth the wait to see I can tell you. A genuis production, made all the more incredible by the young ages of the writer and director, who are truly brilliant, as was the production.
Sunday was a wonderful end to week with a fabulous Sunday lunch at The Delaunay, where my heavenly lobster cocktail and banana split was devoured in an instant!
So for all those that missed me this morning, you can catch me on The Wright Stuff this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on Channel 5, so make sure you tune in!
So until next week, let’s hope this weather continues!
Love Arlene x

Hello again!

I feel like the past few blogs I’ve posted have been filled with promises of more frequent updates, and yet every time I do it’s always a good couple of weeks until the next! Somehow my life currently seem to be moving faster than I can keep up with it, and so although my blogs are fewer, there’s certainly more to talk about in each one!

I managed to get back to my hideaway in the country for a week, which was wonderful as ever. We were also joined for a couple of days by our long time friends Flea and John ,who arrived in spectacular style! John is the drummer for Spandau Ballet, so there was lots of rhythm and music the whole weekend. There’s some lovely pics of the weekend John posted to my twitter so make sure you have a look @arlenephillips

Between long walks, long dinners with friends, and dare I say it one or two longs naps… I was refreshed and ready to hit London and the long week ahead.

I arrived back to Alana in the office as Coco was away on holiday (goodness knows she needs one after running my crazy life!) so we hit the ground running with the piles of emails I had tried to ignore whilst away. I’d just like to add it’s not that I ignore them through choice, my family usually try and hide my computer so that I do actually take a break!

The week was filled with so many different and exciting things, starting with a hilarious mornings filming at the ITV This Morning studios. I’m not allowed to tell you what it’s about yet, but I can give you a clue…
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Whilst I was there I bumped into a couple of celebs in the form of the adorable Shane Filan from Westlife, who was debuting his new single, and also the wonderful Ruth Langsford who so brilliant supports the Alzheimers Society alongside me.
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As always I do love trying out new places to eat, so this time it was the turn of Cicchetti in Picadilly, the sister restaurant to family favourite San Carlo in Manchester, which I wrote about last time. The whole family came with to celebrate Alana’s birthday, and after feasting on a variety of mix and match dishes including mini pizza and lobster pasta, The Dessert arrived. A wonderous plate of miniature Italian pastries, Tiramasu and Ice Cream, we left feeling suitably stuffed and ready for a lie down!

I managed to get in some theatre (of course) and watched The Colour Purple at the Chocolate Factory, where I cried my eyes out for at least three quaters of the show. It was brilliantly done, with a truly outstanding cast although I think it is sold out, beg, borrow or steal a ticket and get yourself down there. I was also lucky enough to bag tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert at the Roundhouse for the Itunes festival, which was a sumptuous theatrical feast in itself. Her voice live is as powerful as you would expect, with an array of costumes like you had never seen. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience and I loved every second.

On a complete whim on Friday evening, myself and the family decided to head down to the cinema for a bit of Alpha Papa action, starring the brilliant Steve Coogan. Having loved Alan Partridge since the early days it was great to see a whole movie dedicated to his self obsessed idiocy, and the film didn’t fail to deliver it. I’ve also worked with Steve on a couple of occasions, and find his genuis quite staggering. Although not the most fast paced of films, I found myself laughing out loud alongside the rest of the cinema, and was still laughing all the way home.

All of a sudden it was the weekend again, and it started off with a brunch for 20 members of my family, who had arrived from Leeds, Cheshire, some had even come all the way from the Kings Road, which when you live in North London even seems far!  Fresh bagels wiht cream cheese and smoked salmon were piled high, along with a giant box of cupcakes from Dixie’s, owned by Apprentice finalist (and daughter’s best friend) Luisa Zissman. Of course they were too delicious to resist, but I only had the one. (Ok two…)

As I had family staying for the rest of the weekend it was pretty much taken up with trips here and there around London, a gorgeous dinner up in Hampstead, and a wonderful home cooked Sunday lunch. After saying my goodbyes, that evening I said a very big hello to my darling Patrick Murphy who is visiting from his new job in Australia, and I have been missing him so much! We gossiped and laughed as much as we possibly could, as I know it’s gong to be quite a long time till I get another chance.

I was bursting with excitement about a very special dinner with my dear friend Jerry Nadel, who currently runs all the incredible Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. We met many years ago when Starlight Express was there, and have remained friends ever since. We ate delicious sushi at Roka, and pretty much tried everything on the menu!

So it’s now Thursday, and Coco is back, and here we are in the office, still since Monday doing crazy amounts of catch up and sending lots of love to you all and hoping the rain isn’t getting everyone down!
So until next week…..

Love Arlene x