Vive La France!

Bonjour! I have just returned from a glorious few days in the south of France with the one and only Mr Eric Idle and family, which as I’m sure you can imagine was nothing short of hilarious. Not to mention the food, (cheese) the wine, (with more cheese), beautiful scenery and sunshine it was all together way too short and supremely sweet.

Ill be back blogging over the weekend about my adventures in the beautiful South Downs, so until then enjoy these with love from Provence! x

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The Daily Blog Three

Oh what a night! Off I went to meet my dear friend and date Cjay at Drury Lane dressed up and ready for The BAFTA’s. The first person I bumped into on the red carpet, the brilliant James Corden over to the UK for one night only. Then in quick succession I caught up with friends Christine Bleakley, John Bishop, Konnie Huq and her remarkable and witty husband Charlie Brooker. The show was brilliant, and super speedy and before I knew it we were heading off to the Dorchester for dinner and late night partying, where I chatted to Graham Norton, Anton du Beke, the magical Dynamo and so many others my jaw was aching! So, why was I there you might ask? Because Monty Python Live had been nominated for an award! Sad to say, we didn’t win, but that didn’t let us stop partying on. Needless to say I was completely wrecked the next day, but I blame it on coming down with a nasty bug, and not those bellinis… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Why no photos you might ask? Well that’s because I was so busy gossiping away, it completely slipped my mind and for once just left everyone free of my iPhone! It was an amazing night, and here’s a clever piccy taken by not me for once!

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I hope you have a wonderful Saturday and I’ll be back in the morning with news and some amazing photos from my trip to Starlight Express in Germany…

See you in the morning!

Love Ax

PS. Take advantage of a one off opportunity to come and meet me in Cheltenham! Click on the link for details… cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/arlene-p… pic.twitter.com/rbulacTJTy

Into The Snake Pit!

 

AP & girls Quidam

Hello!

So this year has really started back with a bang! As soon as I got back to London I threw myself “into the snake pit” so to speak, with a whole crazy week of plotting the Python show alongside the brilliant Eric Idle and my fabulous assistant Richard Roe. I think sometime around Thursday mild hysteria set in, and I can tell it’s going to be a very interesting and exciting next few months. Its going to be choc full of Python old and new, and I just hope the audience laugh as much as I have done.

I was so happy I managed to find time for some Cirque du Soleil, and that included not only attending the show – which I will tell you about in a minute – but also fitting in a visit from my dearest long-time friend and now head of Cirque du Soleil worldwide Jerry Nadal. Jerry and I go way back working on Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever in Las Vegas many years ago, and have remained firm friends ever since. He was in London with his partner and two angelic twin boys who literally made my heart melt. Of course as I mentioned we attended the UK premier of Quidam at the Royal Albert Hall, one of the original Cirque touring shows, and still retains as much beauty and spectacle as it ever did. It was such a wonderful evening, all my family there with me, and of course catching up with some fabulous famous faces. ImageImageImage

One person in particular I couldn’t wait to see was David Emanuel, fresh out of the jungle. David and I have know each other since the crazy 80’s, and my daughter Alana was even a child model in his fashion show! I thought he did brilliantly on the show, and it was wonderful to catch up and reminisce about the good old days – or so we remember them as!

One thing I have been cracking down on is my new year fitness. Every morning I’ve been getting in the pool and kicking ass on my exercise bike, not to mention really making an effort to stay away from the seemingly ever present roast potatoes! Hopefully I’m going to see some results soon, as I’ve got a whole gorgeous wardrobe of clothes waiting for me to fit back into.

I’m excited to report I’m going to be on the radio this coming Saturday morning on LBC with Andrew Castle from 8am – 9am, so tune in! We’ll be catching up on all the goss, as well as a fair few topics that I’m sure will get people talking.

I’m also very excited about seeing Candide this weekend, starring the lovely Scarlett Strallen. I have know her since she was born, having worked for many years with her mother Cherida Langford, her grandmother Babette Langford, and of course her auntie Bonnie Langford – as well as her three amazing sisters Summer, Zizi and Sassi. Needless to say I am so immensely proud of all of them.

Signing off, work calls!

AP & Craig RH

The Xtra Gift

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

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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!

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Much love
Arlene x

Chasing The Week Ahead

Hello again,
So I left you last week on my way to the country for the weekend, I find escaping from the madness even for a couple of days makes all the craziness in London seem so much less, well, crazy! (That and all the local delicious Chase Vodka!)
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The week started with a rather long drive home, battling through traffic to make my way back for the launch of Kelly Hoppen’s fabulous new book, which was one of the most star studded events I have ever been to. Victoria Beckham, David Gandy, Jo Wood, Brix Smith Start, and looking fabulous as ever of course Kelly Hoppen, the list was endless, as was the glamour, and of course me being me and rushing there last minute was definitely anything less than! It was wonderful to catch up with Jason Gardiner, and the book itself has so many inspiring ideas everyone was talking about what they wanted to do next. As always I was home and in bed before midnight, just like Cinderella, before all the glamour around me faded away.
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Tuesday was the long awaited and top secret Monty Python meeting ahead of Thursday’s big press launch, which of course was also top secret, so I literally spent the week walking around on eggshells so as not to reveal my excitement!
One thing I’ve been drying to show you is the Christmas Jumper campaign I’m involved with for Save the Children, that was released last Wednesday, and so here it is! http://bit.ly/1g2HQ7X http://bit.ly/18d3JSc Just click on the links to see how you can become involved and learn the routine along with me and my boys. I also  that day managed to fit in a visit to my dear friend Phil Edwards, who I am sure you have heard me talk about many a time as we go way back to Starlight 1984! After being rather poorly, I am so thrilled so see him back on his feet and getting back to hi musical brilliance.
Thursday finally arrived along with the much awaited Python’s press conference and it was in a word, sensational. Also, I can now officially reveal I will be choreographing the show for the 02 next year, and I’m stunned to say that it sold out in 45 seconds! So of course more dates were added, that apparently took a further 9 minutes to sell out as well! I can hardly describe my excitement at being involved in such a huge event, and also at getting to work with the Pythons again after choreographing the Meaning of Life, and other projects for them all those years ago. Of course I will keep you posted on the progress, and you can look forward to some top secret behind the scenes pics next year… http://bit.ly/1fm52Ag
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Friday I was back doing my Starlight thing with auditions for the show in Germany. I always love seeing the familiar faces, as well as all the hot new talent and the amazing things people bring to their auditions. Casting is well underway, and again if you haven’t seen the show there it really is worth a visit for the sheer excitement of skaters flying past inches from your seats, leaping through the air and skating like you have never seen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1WRYoM6vRM
The weekend was filled with family and friends, with my sister Karen coming to stay, and having a divine afternoon tea at the Charlotte Street Hotel with and old friend who was in town from LA, Julie MacDonald. It was gossip a plenty and cakes and other delicacies sat temptingly in front of us, far too tempting that we ate the lot!  On sunday we cooked lunch for our friends Larry and Maryrose – I say we, my partner made the most heavenly fish soup with homemade croutons and roué, and Maryrose brought my favourite fruit salad she makes for dessert. I do love those weekends of filled with all my favourite things, and being able to start my weeks with a smile.
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If anyone missed the latest episode of The Sound of Musicals that I helped produce you can check it out here  http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/cqfxsp/the-sound-of-musicals–series-1—episode-3  Enjoy! x