Hello again after yet another manic week, isn’t it Christmas and time off yet?! I can hardly complain though I’ve had a wonderful week, starting with a hilarious Monty Python meeting that had me rolling around in stitches. From there I went over to Pineapple Dance Studios for my Nest event, that I wrote all about in a mini blog last week. You can catch up on that here…
From Covent Garden I whizzed across town to the city, and to the ICAP charity day, where I was raising money on the trading floor for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Everyone who was anyone was there, including Louis Smith, Cheryl Cole, Barbara Windsor, Clare Balding, Julie Walters, and Peter Andre.
Lots of the bankers had come in fancy dress, and I managed to get some hot tips from a gorgeous group of Jockeys! I also managed to close two deals, and not crash the market, so yay for me!
Finally it was home time and after a quick change off to my fourth stop of the day, a trip to the new Rambert Company building, where we were shown around by head of the company and dance god Mark Baldwin. It was in a word, amazing. If that wasn’t enough to fit in my day, the fifth and final stop was the Fresh One wrap party for The Sound of Musicals, the series I was executive producer on. If you still haven’t seen it, despite my incessant tweeting, you can catch the final episode here http://bit.ly/HQH3v. The final episode focusses on the challenge of keeping audiences coming year after year, once the glitz and glamour of opening night has been and gone.
I managed to pop to the country for a few days of Christmas prep, which really got me into the spirit! This included finding a tree and stocking up on food and drink just incase we get snowed in… not unusual!
Sooner than I could blink I was back in London, and back to glam! I had a fabulous morning at Selfridges in their beauty hall getting my hair put up at Hershesons Blow Dry Bar, my eyebrows tinted and threaded at Blink Brow Bar, and my nails exquisitely painted at the Paint Shop, it really is a one stop wonder. It was all, by the way, in prep for the event I was attending that evening, The Sun Military Awards. Before my “glamformation” could be completed I managed to swing past the Sky News desk to talk about the amazing promise made at the G8 summit in regards to Alzheimer’s research and the promise to pledge 100 million towards care and research his coming year. Home and into makeup with Alana, red Alexander McQueen dress at the ready, I was whisked away to the Imperial War Museum for what I always find one of the most amazing events of the year.
As well as meeting the serviceman and women there to be honoured for their incredible acts of bravery, I also had a very interesting conversation with no other than David Cameron. I had gone over to thank him for his pledge for Alzheimers research, and he turned to me and said “well it all came about from your challenge to me at last years conference”. Well I nearly fell over backwards, I couldn’t believe it! I am so proud to say that in my own way, I have made a difference. I spent the rest of the evening floating around on such a high, chatting with the charming stunning Amy Willerton and larger than life Joey Essex, both fresh from the jungle.
I was home so late, and up so early for another Python meeting, and I think I must have still been on a high from the night before as there seemed to be more hysteria than usual! After spending the rest of the day in the office doing a major catch up with Coco, I was more than ready to escape to watch the English National Ballet perform The Nutcracker at The Coliseum. I attended the Winter Wonderland themed party beforehand at the gorgeous St Martins Lane Hotel, where I caught up with the lovely Helen Fospero, the glamorous Liz Hurley, the charming Greg Wallace and the larger than life presence of Cherie Blair. I wept my way through the ballet, marvelling at the breathtaking performances, watching the dancers bring to life the characters in a way that I have never seen, and I have seen The Nutcracker probably every year of my life since I was a child! It truly is the most phenomenal production, and all I could do was stand in awe talking to Tamara Rojo, the company director, and offer nothing but heartfelt congratulations. A swift exit home to prepare for yet another insanely early morning, as this time it was all about the Christmas Jumper…
It was finally the morning of the Xmas Jumper Flash Mob I had been organising for Save the Children, and it was an cold start at Westfield London when I arrived bright and early, wrapped up in my very own Xmas Jumper to keep me warm.
Alongside my gorgeous “ Ashleys”, we led the crowd – who were dancing on the ice in their skates no less – through the routine to Kelly Clarkson’s new Christmas single Underneath The Tree. It was a fantastic morning, and I’m so happy also such a success.
From there I jumped in my car across town over to ITV, where myself and Fiona Phillips were on This Morning talking about the Alzheimer’s Pledge, and again just how important it is to understand this truly awful disease, that affects so many of us in the most heartbreaking ways, watch here. I spent the rest of the afternoon replying to all the incredible tweets of support and thanks I had received over the past couple of days, reading peoples tragic stories of their experiences with loved ones, and it really did warm my heart to see the difference I can hopefully make to so many people’s lives.
So I leave you with one week to go before Christmas, and I have to ask, are you ready?!
Last week I met my hot stepping winners of the Nest Pensions campaign to find Britain’s over 60s who’ve still got the moves on the dance floor. See more about the competition here.
At 70 I still love every minute of what I do and I don’t think anything should get in the way of having fun on the dance floor, especially age. Lifelong passions like dance are what make tomorrow worth saving for.
I met up with the winners at my favourite dance studio Pineapple Dance Studios where the lovely Alex from AJK Dance had taught them a routine for me to watch
I had a great time with my fabulous dancing Divas. Well done everyone and keep dancing!
Love Arlene x
Hello again all, and OMG it’s nearly Christmas! Last week was definitely my “prep” week as I know what’s coming up, and I can’t be one of those people battling through the crowds looking like they want to cry the day before Christmas Eve… I took full advantage of Selfridges 20% offer, and while I was there I even managed to fit in an eyebrow tint and shape at the fabulous Blink Brow Bar!
My week was less running around, more office catch up with Coco, and lots of looking over the new Monty Python script, that I just can’t wait to get started on. I had a fantastic meeting with Eric Idle, and I don’t think next spring can come soon enough to start rehearsals!
I attended a wonderful event for Karen Betts at Vanilla in Central London called the Gift of Confidence, that was all about the amazing effects of medical tattooing. Karen is the eyebrow goddess I keep tweeting about, who has not only worked her magic on my brows, but has transformed the lives of so many others in the most incredible ways. Bringing confidence back to people who have lost their hair through chemotherapy, or tattooing a lipline to reconstruct a clef palette, not to mention her work with burns victims through the Katie Piper foundation, her work is truly amazing. You can check her out, and all the other treatments available through Nouveau Beauty Group here http://www.karenbetts.co.uk
I was fortunate enough to see the third year students at RADA in their musical High Society, and what powerful performances from the leading roles,to the smallest part. I was truly blown away, and wish the graduating year all the best of luck, but especially my dear friend Paul Jacobs, who I am immensely proud of. He completely changed career from producing at the BBC, to a tremendous actor, and all I can say is wow.
Of course my week would be incomplete without some form of gossipy brunch, this time with my dear friend Cjay at the fabulous Soho House, where no subject was off limits! Having known each other for what must be thirty years now, I am so excited we are going to be working together next year on what is going to be the project of the decade!
Over the weekend I had a heavenly lunch with my sister and her husband, and our dear friend Fiona, of Skin Associates that I clearly owe my “youthful” complexion too! It was the first of many Christmas meals to come, so let’s hope I have enough time to keep going on the exercise bike!
Sunday night was X Factor time, and I was appearing on the Xtra Factor after watching the show. I went along with my girls, all in support of the adorable Luke Friend, who more than blew me away in the sing off, where I can’t believe he ended up yet again! I was surprised Tamera went, I had thought it would probably be Rough Copy to go, as charming as they are, I don’t think the vocals stand up to the other contestants. For example Sam Bailey, talk about a voice – but oh my goodness someone needs to teach that girl to walk in a pair of heels! It was interesting to watch James Arthur perform live, he does have a beautiful voice, although he clearly needs to think a little harder before he opens his mouth to speak… I had wonderful catch ups with Sharon, who looks unbelievable I might add, and of course my darling Louis, who as always has me in hysterics with his naughty, naughty gossip. It was a fun night, and a fabulous end to the week, before the next round of madness starts… and you can read all about the next time!