Here there and everywhere!

 Another two weeks has gone by and of course it has been crazy busy as usual…

 I have been up to so many different and wonderful things and have finally found the time to put it all together…

 I drunk lots of champagne at the Beaufort Bar at the Savoy with Kathy Lette and Horrid Henry superstar writer Francesca Simon which was quite fabulous

 I spent a very special evening with my Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music director Jeremy Sams watching Le Weekend, which he composed the glorious music for, then eating an even more glorious dinner!

 I’ve been trying out a juice diet by juicemaster extraordinaire Jason Vale, and aside from a couple of slip ups (which I can explain!) I have done pretty well! I’ve been carrying my juice to all my meetings and events, and aside from a dinner out and long overdue lunch with my darling Molly Molloy, I have rocked this diet!

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 Having my juice to hand has meant I’ve taken some pictures of me drinking in some very strange places, for example at the final of Britain’s Best Cat that I was filming over at This Morning. As I mentioned last time, the cats who performed so well in all the rehearsals, basically refused to so much as glance in the right direction, which made for an utterly hilarious final of what was pretty much “Britain’s Most Useless Cat! To say that these cats unwillingly went where no cat has gone before is an understatement, but all made for some hilarious live TV. It was wonderful to work with fellow cat lover Tom Fletcher from McFly, and I’m looking forward to checking out the McBusted tour next year alongside my gorgeous Matt Willis, who I worked with in Flashdance a couple of years ago.

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 Another “juicy” filming day was me talking all about my work and friendship with Freddie Mercury and Queen for an upcoming show called “The Nations Favourite Queen Song”. It was such a rush watching all those old videos again, as the memories came flooding back of such significant points in my life, and just talking about Freddie and how flamboyant and fabulous he was, brought tears to my eyes. It strange even now after all these years how much I miss him. Of course I will keep you updated as to when it airs, and you’ll hear all the secrets behind some of the most famous videos ever made.

 Thank goodness I had finished juicing in time to attend the launch of Bakers Toolkit, the new business from Apprentice runner up and family friend Luisa Zissman. It was cakes and sweet things galore, alongside heavenly pomegranate vodka cocktails I was in my element! I met the gorgeous Francine Lewis, and would have met a whole host of other celebs had I not have done my usual early disappearing act, but it was a fabulous party nonetheless.

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 I had a truly wonderful evening at the Collars and Coats Ball for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which was to raise money for the new dogs housing unit. It quite honestly broke my heart seeing the conditions some of these dogs have to live in, and to give them the love, care and attention they so deserve is all down to the generosity of the public. There were some of the dogs there on the night, and to say I fell in love with one or two is an understatement, and have not so subtly been begging my partner to head down there with me so we can pick out a new friend, so I’ll certainly keep you updated as to how that one goes…

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 Another awesome event I had the pleasure of attending last week was for, of course, Children in Need that I have been working with again this year. Gary Barlow was hosted a magnificent dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, and it was about as star studded as they come. I was sat next to magical genius Dynamo, who made me continuously rub my eyes in disbelief as things flew across the table, cards swapped places in people’s mouths without them realising, hands and fingers bent into impossible positions, it really was an experience I will never forget, Among the other celebrities I caught up with were the divine Ben Shepherd, Louis Smith, Eamon Holmes, Dave Myers of the Hairy Bikers, and not forgetting one of the most hilarious conversations of the night with the one and only Louis Walsh. Watching the performances during and after dinner from artists such as Ellie Goulding and of course Gary himself was simply thrilling, and again an evening that will stay with me for along time. I’d also like to add my congratulations to Terry Wogan, Lizze Fee, and all the team who made this years Children in Need smash last years record by I think 5 million, bringing the total up to £31 million, which is just astounding.

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 Another charity event I was involved in last week was the recording of the flash mob dance I have put together for Save the Children, that will be going ahead on the 13th of Dec, so grab your Christmas sweater, get online, and get learning the dance so that you too can help break the world record for the most amount of people dancing together in Christmas sweaters – and raise money doing it! Me and my boys Ashley and Ashley show you how step by step, and we will be posting the link as soon as it goes up for you to get involved.

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 Filming over and sweaters laid to rest, I was off to experience another kind of dancing at Sadlers Wells with my dear friend Pamela Stephenson, to watch M’Longa, a tango show that was an absolute triumph and a joy to watch.

 I had bit of a brush with radio as I stood in for Vanessa Feltz on the panel at Radio London, and I have to say what an experience! I got into a rather heated debate with the, shall we say “mildly opinionated” Katie Hopkins, who really should as far as I’m concerned keep her mouth shut once and for all! Of course I’m all for people standing up for what they believe in, but to be that prejudiced in this day and age is just beyond me.

 So feeling much calmer, I made my way to Parliament to support a new venture I am involved in for the National Youth Arts Trust set up by my friend Fiona Laird, alongside patrons such as Grayson Perry and Ewan McGregor, that involves mentoring young people who want to be involved in the arts, and for various reasons are unable to do so due to lack of funds, It is such an amazing collective to be part of, and just seeing the hope and happiness it brings makes it even more worthwhile. I will introduce you all to the fabulous girl I am mentoring soon, and I can’t wait to keep you informed of her progress.

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 So there you have it, my last two weeks, and hopefully the last time I will be so behind on the blog for say, another how many weeks…!

 Just kidding, so until next week…

Much love,

Arlene x

 

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Bubblegum, Brighton & Other Adventures

So it seems once again my life is running away with me!  I managed to disappear to the country for another couple of weeks, before I knew it I realised I hadn’t checked in again for ages! When I’m surrounded by fields and flowers and family, time just has no concept to me. So here I am, back in London and back to life as we know it…
 
I spent my time in the country scouring the vintage shops, socialising with our friends and eating glorious meals at our favourite restaurant The Stagg. One particularly memorable outing was to Ludlow, where we ate the most divine bubblegum ice cream, clearly along with time I had no concept of diet either!
 
Since I’ve been back there’s been a lot of the usual office catch up, as well as some exciting meetings, including talking over the upcoming Starlight Express worldwide tour. I had brunch with the gorgeous and talented Robin Cousins at Soho House where every mouthful was gulped down to make way for our non stop chatter, and also a top secret meeting at the R.U.G offices to confer with the Lord who is Andrew Lloyd-Webber himself.
Wednesday was an exciting start to the day, filming an interview for the new London Lifestyle TV channel up at the top of the Gherkin. The views were spectacular, and I could have happily stayed up there for hours. That evening however was a party to end all parties. The ITV Summer Party was in a beautiful and exquisitely decorated garden. There was food and nonstop champagne with guests so familiar as TV faces I thought I knew them all when actually I didn’t! The highlights for me were seeing Olivia Coleman from Broadchurch and Kevin Whately from the family favourite Lewis. I also chatted to old friends Ant and Dec, Holly Willoughby, Emma Bunton, Louie Spence, Ben Shepherd, Dermot O’Leary, Ross King (who had hot-footed from USA for the party), the surprisingly calm Keith Lemon, the sweetly adorable Matt Lucas and the beautifully kind Helen Fospero. Of course there were many more including the usual gangs from Essex and Chelsea, and it was wonderful to see everybody mingling and mixing. Sadly my phone decided to die on me as I was leaving the house so I couldn’t take any pictures, and I woke up the following morning with my head banging wondering if it was all a dream…
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The weekend was a belated birthday treat from my Sister and her husband, who took myself and my partner to Brighton for the day on Saturday. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was in my element wandering through the Lanes. The vintage shops there are some of my favourites, and I made sure I really scoured them thoroughly! We ate at Riddle and Finns, which I have to say was just heavenly. The day was superb from start to finish, only marred by the time I got home feeling a little worse for wear due to getting a bit of sunstroke. Hence Sunday was spent in bed drinking lots of water and catching up on my stack of magazines by the bed.
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Feeling much spritelier and continuing in the birthday spirit, we took my partner to Odette’s in Primrose Hill on Monday to celebrate his birthday, and I have to say the food was out of this world. Light and fresh, and incredibly good value, I would highly recommend it to anyone local or otherwise, and I can’t wait to go back soon.
 
One thing I did want to share with you all is that this year, I’m really excited to have been asked by Save the Children to be part of their fantastic dance event the Ultimate Danceathon, taking place this October. Last year’s event was a huge success and it was great to see over 9,000 people all over the UK dancing to raise money for such a great cause. There were so many different styles of dance involved – from professional clubs to groups of friends who juts get together and dance in their living rooms! It just goes to show how great dance is at bringing people together! What’s even more exciting is that this year anyone who raises over £300 with their event will be entered into a prize draw to have tea with me – I’m really looking forward to a lovely afternoon chatting all things dance! If you love dancing and think that you’ve got what it takes to host a five-hour dance event then why not sign up this year? It’s really easy to get involved, you just register online at www.savethechildren.org.uk/dance and then get everyone together to dance for five hours and raise sponsorship money to help vulnerable children. Save the Children will even send you an organisers pack with everything you need to organise an event. 
 
So it’s another busy week ahead, and I’ll be sure to check in next week without fail to tell you all about my adventures with dogs, The Apprentice runner up Lusia Zissman, and WAG the Musical…
 
Until next time…
Love Arlene x