Turning Paige

Elaine Paige does Michelle Pfeiffer

Elaine Paige does Michelle Pfeiffer

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Draping herself sensuously across a grand piano like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys for her latest tour’s publicity shots is something Elaine Paige admits she’s wanted to do for years.

“I don’t think I seriously thought it would work but I’m so happy with the result I might even be trying it out on stage!” says the actress, recording star, producer and broadcaster.

We will find out next week when she stars at Blackpool Opera House on the third date of her latest nationwide your.

She will be performing a selection of her favourite standards, her greatest hits and some modern classics from her latest album Elaine Paige and Friends and has been in rehearsals for weeks.

“No show can just be put on - there’s lighting, music arranging, costumes and even thinking what to talk about to do,” she says.

There’s also thinking about her trip to the USA afterwards to play Carlotta in the Washington Kennedy Centre production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies

“I’m really looking forward to that - and a bit nervous,” she says. “I’ve done America before but apart from performing for President Reagan I don’t know Washington too well but it’s a great time of year to go.”

It means taking a break from her popular Radio 2 Sunday show but she will put a couple in the can before she heads out.

“I love doing it and it’s a great way of keeping in touch with people,” she says. “I think taking a break will help me keep it fresh.”

While her heart is still in musical theatre Elaine says she feels lucky to have had a varied career.

“I love the idea of not just being stuck in one box and radio has helped give me anew voice - I’ve learned a lot about who I am from it.

“I love the intimacy of talking as if I’m just addressing one person at a time - and I’ve discovered a lot of new musicals too.”

n For your chance to win tickets to see Elaine Paige in concert plus copies of her latest CD see tomorrow’s Duke’s Diary.