A Spring in my Step

I think its safe to say that spring is finally here… Just as I have sprung from my bed after what has been the longest illness ever! There’s been so much going on, it’s a blog full of fun, and here’s what I’ve been up to
Starting with my night out at Jersey Boys for the 8th birthday celebration show, which was, as always, a stunning show. The new cast brought such a blast of energy I was on the edge of my seat all over again, dancing away, laughing and crying, and just taking in all those wonderful memories it always invokes in me of that era.

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 I had a wonderful time visiting the gorgeous gang at Loose Women…
I know I mentioned it last week, but there’s still time to enter the Colourful Characters competition from McCarthy and Stone, if you missed me on the radio talking about it you can catch up here  and check out the competition page here!
I’ve been having such an incredible time working on my dance project with Candoco, so make sure you check the website for tkts and tour dates here!

I was also so excited to attended the launch for the incredible new No7 serum, that truly works wonders on my skin, closing pores and smoothing out wrinkles… An absolute must have, that also gets the seal of approval from my makeup guru Alana! IMG_5186

And finally, because it’s spring…

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Lots of love and lambs! Arlene x

Read Away

Finally, I am back in the land of the living! That honestly was one of the worst times I can remember ever being that poorly, and although I still have the cough from hell, I’m back on my feet, back in rehearsals and back on the blog!

I have to admit though there’s not much to report thanks to being bed bound this past couple of weeks, but as always there’s so much hot gossip on the go here’s a little of what’s been going on around me!

You may remember I mentioned I’m working on a piece with Candoco, that I found the most fabulous little mention on, it really has been quite something creating this.

Candoco Evening Standard

I’m so in love with this gorgeous fashion feature I shot with my Alana for Good Housekeeping magazine, all about getting each other out of our clothing comfort zones and into something the other would like to see us in, and have to say I was thrilled with my new look Alana chose for me! I’d never normally wear such bright colours, pointed shoes or skinny trousers, but somehow the look was so flattering, and I was genuinely surprised at how good I felt. I think Alana was also pleasantly surprised at being put in something a bit more girly, no black skinny jeans allowed for her! The whole day was so much fun, and as always with Alana dong my makeup it made me feel even more confident, and I was really proud of the results.

I also have to give a mention to my actual makeup on the day that Alana was using from Studio 10, thanks to their gorgeous  Miracle Effect Priming Serum my makeup stayed put all day, something that rarely happens believe me! You can check out the rest of the range here, it really is up there with the best for all ages, no matter what your skin type.

Finally, I’ll leave you with an article about my father, and the new campaign I am involved in for Alzheimers, its one of the hardest things for me to talk about, and yet one of the most important and meaningful things I can do, so all your support means the world to me, thank you. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/alzheimers-research/arlene-phillips-father-and-alzheimers/

Hoping you all stay happy and healthy, and I’ll be back next week with more from the Jackie rehearsal room…

Love Arlene x

The Megablog

Hello again,

It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a week, and I have been super snaphappy along they way! There’s so many pictures to share with you of all the fabulous and totally diverse places I’ve been, and I thought it would be a great way to start the week…

So this blog begins last Friday night, and dinner with the family at one of our favourite places to eat, HIX in Selfridges.  I think the madness started when Abi and I (who are total non drinkers) were seduced by the very exotic looking cocktail menu, and decided to order ourselves a couple. Well Abi took one sip of her Cosmopolitan, me one of my Chocolate Martini, and we were away with the fairies. After sliding the drinks over to Alana to finish we floated off to the second floor to look  for something I could wear for Let’s Dance the following evening, a dangerous combination when intoxicated and credit card to hand… We had left Angus and Alana’s boyfriend in the men’s shoe department, when Alana got a text saying “”I think Justin Bieber is here, he just picked up the shoes next to me” Well Abi who had been wobbling along through DVF, was off like a shot! Sadly she didn’t find him, but she still had Tuesday to come…

Saturday morning, feeling slight fuzzy headed, I wandered down the road to the hairdressers for phase one of operation “Saturday Night TV Glam Over”, to be completed by Alana on arrival at the BBC. I was off to be a judge on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, alongside Radio 1’s Greg James, and comedian Lee Mack.  It was a hilarious evening, the highlight most definitely being Vanessa Feltz’ Cher costume, she looked amazing!  The winning performances from Jodie Prenger and Lee Nelson were genius, and the standard of the show overall was fantastic. You can catch up on the show here.  It was strange knowing that’s the last time I’ll be a judge at BBC Television Centre, as it closes it’s doors at the end of this month, and I felt a real mix of emotions thinking about all the times I’ve had there.

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My judging partners in crime, Greg James and Lee Mack.

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Two comedy legends, Richard Curtis and Basil Brush!

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A sad goodbye to the magical Television Centre.

Sunday morning I was up and at ’em early again, getting ready for the Tesco Mum of the Year awards, that I was attending with Abi, and also presenting one of the awards. It was a truly moving afternoon, and the stories of courage and truly selfless acts of some of the women told were just incredible.  I was truly honoured to be there, as were some of the people I managed to snap along the way.

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My darling Abi and I at the awards.

Monday came around again, and it was an exciting start to the week with a meeting at Candoco, a disabled and non-disabled dance company I am going to be a patron of – so watch this space for upcoming news of their latest projects. Later that afternoon I headed off to Radio 2 to chat with Nation’s favourite Claire Balding, where I also met Phillips family idol Mary Berry. The amount of times I hear “but that’s not what Mary Berry would do” is enough to make you never set foot in the kitchen again!

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The fabulous Claire Balding and I.

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Everyones baking hero, Mary Berry.

Tuesday was all about the Loose Women, and I was thrilled to be a guest, talking all about my upcoming challenge for Malaria No More called Live Below the Line.  Me and my Team Arlene – which includes Abi, Coco and Tully – are all going to be living on £1 a day each for a week to raise money and awareness on just what can be done to help prevent this terrible disease.  Please please sponsor us whatever you can, it will be so appreciated, and help motivate us for the challenge! Click here to find out how.
I had all of half an hour back home after Loose Women before I was back in my comfy shoes, and off across London to the O2 with Abi for, yes you guessed it, Justin Bieber!  One of my oldest and dearest friends Tony Selznick was here to join us, and as he’s close friends with Justin’s hairdresser, we had backstage passes, VIP, the lot! Although as I’m sure you can guess not so much my scene, Abi was in her element and we did all have the most fantastic evening.

Brazil was Wednesday’s theme, and I was in meetings all day about the new Brazilian dance project I’m working on with Pamela Stephenson, and although I can’t say too much at this stage, I can say it going to be dynamite!

Thursday I started my day with a breakfast meeting with my darling Richard Roe, assistant extraordinaire, and Wizard of Oz partner in crime.  We talked all things dance, all things gossip, and laughed hysterically at all our memories of Canada. Then it was back home to pick up my case, and get on the train to Manchester with Alana for a very special charity night “Dancing with United”, a Strictly themed night with stars from football, showbiz and Strictly all strutting their stuff for Man Utd’s very own charity.  It’s an amazing programme helping kids get out of gangs and off the streets, many becoming mentors themselves to help other kids in their position. I was amazed hearing the some of the stories, and felt very honoured to be helping such a great cause.  There were some real legends from the footballing world there, including my fellow judges Gary Neville and Nicky Butt.  Of course there were my fellow dancing superstars Louie Spence and Strictly’s own Camilla Dallerup, who joined us on the panel at the last minute after her partner Peter Schmeichel was taken ill earlier that day.  The dancers included current football hero Fabrice Muamba, Quinton Fortune, and Coronation St stars Anthony Cotton, Shobna Gulati, Jenni McAlpine, and Lisa Riley, and finally Sky Sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao. The standard of dancing was fantastic, and honestly one of the best events I have been to, with amazing attention to detail, and real northern hospitality. One of the funnier moments of the trip was me remembering as I arrived at the station I hadn’t brought any jewelery to wear, so it was a – literally – 35 minute dash round Harvey Nichols to find a necklace while the car was waiting outside!  This was only made funnier by getting it back to the hotel, realising it totally didn’t go, and doing the same crazy trip back to return it before running madly to make the train home the next morning!

See who you can spot in these pics:

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I managed to get a couple of hours rest that afternoon, between trying to get through the endless emails I had been too busy to do all week, and then I was ready and out the door for the opening of Ballet Boyz, the talent was truly breathtaking and it was a beautiful production.

The weekend finally came, and it was absolute R&R, which included being cooked the most delicious Mothers Day meal by Alana, with Abi arranging the most beautiful flowers and decorating the dessert with tiny dried purple flowers and petals strew all around the cakes, it was all just exquisite.
I can barely keep my eyes open as I look at my diary and the mad week to come… So until then…

Much love
Arlene x