So here we are. Up and running with the new website, hopefully by now you will have had time to look around and discover many of the new features.
The big news for you is the announcement of my 50th Anniversary Farewell Tour. I really look forward to seeing you all and it’ll be As If We Never Said Goodbye! So hopefully by now you will have booked your tickets for one last outing! 2014 is going to be an exciting year, not only my 50th year in the business, but also the 10th anniversary of EPOS at BBC Radio 2 and many more things to celebrate!
But what a year 2013 has been! After almost two years of touring the world I decided this year to take things a little easier to plan for next year!
So I’ve seen lots of tennis – Monaco ATP Tournament, the World Tour finals at the O2 arena and my favourite, Wimbledon, where I hosted two lunches as President in aid of the Dan Maskell Trust. And at last the long wait is over – we have our own holder of the Wimbledon Championships Singles title in Andy Murray! Absolutely fantastic! I also had a great evening at the Tennis Ball at the Dorchester in aid of Give It Your Max and the International Club’s Development programme.
I’ve seen many shows including Dame Helen Mirren in The Audience, Dame Judi Dench in Peter & Alice, Tim Rice’s From Here to Eternity, The Rocky Horror Show, Once, Scottsboro Boys, Barking In Essex, Matilda, Privates on Parades, Merrily We Roll Along, Pippin, Vanya, Sonia Masher & Spike and cried with laughter at the brilliant Dame Edna. I’m also looking forward to seeing ALW’s latest musical Stephen Ward – which reminds me, in my 10th year of EPOS at BBC Radio 2, I managed to finally sit down and interview the Lord himself about his new musical.
At the movies I’ve seen Behind The Candelabra, Saving Mr Banks, Blue Jasmine, the masterpiece of Gravity, Twelve Years a Slave and so many more as I discovered the Cineworld Club Card! It’s a great idea and would make the perfect stocking filler for any movie fan. I also spent a few days at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where I saw ….. nothing! I was given accreditation through the BBC and was so looking forward to it, but it was a bun fight!! With winter weather and lashings of rain everyone was walking around in gossamer summer frocks and desperate to be inside at the movies, so there were hour-long queues as everyone needed shelter!
I was taken to see Deacon Blue in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, I saw Cliff in concert at Hampton Court and I’ve given a few of my own concerts this year beginning with completing my world tour in the USA followed by ‘EP unplugged’ at Littlecote Country House in Berkshire in July and Holme Lacy House in the idyllic Wye Valley in October. I sang with the wonderful Idina Menzel on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night and finally, after many missed opportunities, I sang with Michael Feinstein at the Palace Theatre as part of the London Festival of Cabaret, where I also met Irving Berlin’s granddaughter, Emily Fletcher. I was also thrilled to be invited to sing at this year’s International Women’s Federation gala in Canada at the spectacular Vancouver Convention Centre.
On the personal front I visited the Chelsea Flower Show, I celebrated Arlene Philips Birthday at a special bash, raised a glass of champagne with Cilla Black at her 50th anniversary party at Tramps and attended Joan Collins book launch at the Westbury Hotel who I also bumped into at the Hennessey Gold Cup … see later.
Travel-wise I drove a 1927 Bugatti at the Bugatti Owners Club garden party, I was invited to the House of Commons and also visited the beautiful Royal Collection at Buck House celebrating our dear Queen’s remarkable 60 years on the throne.
In the summer, and what a wonderful summer we had, I went to the wedding of ‘my younger self’ in Follies, played by Pamela Otterson, at beautiful Cape Cod so managed to catch up with many of the Follies family.
And as I race to tell you all this news before the end of the year I have visited two race courses recently – Epsom for the Princess Alice Hospice luncheon, where I gave a speech and managed to help raise over £15,000 which included £1,000 from sales of my live CD and book, and last week I attended this year’s Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse where I met up with lots of pals and the wonderful jockey Bob Champion who’s life story was made into a movie for which I sang the title song ‘Champions’.
So you could say this year I’ve been ‘Living the Life’ …. Oh, now showing on Sky Arts HD! What fun we had and how spooky that Twiggy & I have had some parallel life moments!
Strictly speaking that’s the end of my news but if you’re a fan of the BBC dance show you should tune in on Christmas Day on BBC1 to see me trying to strut my stuff! I’ll say no more!
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy 2014!
Until next time, take care
Lots of love
EP xx[ View more photos relating to this blog on Elaine’s Flickr page ]
Above Photo Montage: Elaine on the set of the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ show (Top left), Elaine at the Princess Alice Hospice luncheon (Top Right), Elaine with Barry Humphries/Dame Edna (Bottom Left) & Elaine with Joan Collins at the Hennessey Gold Cup (Bottom Right)