Jumpers at Dawn

Image

 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.

ImageImageImageImageImage

 

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!  

Image

Image

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.

Image

 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. 

Image

ImageImage

 

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…

 ImageImage

 

Image

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.

Image

 

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.

Image

 

 

Image

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.

ImageImage

 

So I leave you with one week to go before Christmas, and I have to ask, are you ready?!

 

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!

Image

 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.

Image

 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.

ImageImage

 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…

Image

 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.

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

 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.

Image

 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.

ImageImage

 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

 

Image