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Sunday, December 27, 2015

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'Oliver Twist is my favourite book of all time, but it gave me nightmares': Joan Collins on her cultural highlights

The flamboyant Hollywood star adores Sinatra, Strictly, Double Indemnity with Barbara Stanwyck, Homeland, the 'good-looking' Bradley Cooper and plays Michael Bublé all the time 
'When I was in Dynasty, we used to have screenings at my house in Hollywood and once George Hamilton brought Elizabeth Taylor. She lit a cigarette and set fire to one of her acrylic fingernails,' said Joan Collins
'When I was in Dynasty, we used to have screenings at my house in Hollywood and once George Hamilton brought Elizabeth Taylor. She lit a cigarette and set fire to one of her acrylic fingernails,' said Joan Collins

My TV gold
You can’t beat Homeland
Lucille Ball
Milton Berle was one of the funniest men ever and Lucille Ball (left) and Jack Benny were hilarious. For American dramas, you can’t beat Homeland
My father had one of the first TV sets when they came out in the early Fifties, but when I moved to America the first hotel that I went into had colour TV. Milton Berle was one of the funniest men ever and Lucille Ball and Jack Benny were hilarious.
Now I like to watch Sky News and Strictly Come Dancing. And for American dramas, you can’t beat Homeland.
When I was in Dynasty, we used to have screenings at my house in Hollywood and once George Hamilton brought Elizabeth Taylor. She lit a cigarette and set fire to one of her acrylic fingernails and I had to take her to the bathroom to fix it.

My movie magic
I love Double Indemnity with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck (pictured), I’ve watched Gone With The Wind ten times and I adore The Fabulous Baker Boys
I love Double Indemnity with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck (pictured), I’ve watched Gone With The Wind ten times and I adore The Fabulous Baker Boys
The first film I saw was either Snow White or a Shirley Temple movie, when I was very young. 
Two years ago, for my birthday, my husband Percy gave me my 100 favourite movies, which are now on my iPad. 
I love Double Indemnity with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck, I’ve watched Gone With The Wind ten times and I adore The Fabulous Baker Boys.
I don’t like watching myself in films or on TV but I did think I was very funny in Rally Round The Flag, Boys! with Paul Newman.

My favourite book by my late sister Jackie is The Power TripThe thing I like about Dickens is that he is wonderfully descriptive
I had nightmares after reading the scene in Oliver Twist, my favourite book of all time, where Bill Sikes killed Nancy. My favourite book by my late sister Jackie is The Power Trip
Words of wonder
I’m an avid reader and went through five books a week when I was small.
From childhood I loved Enid Blyton and Charles Dickens. But I had nightmares after reading the scene in Oliver Twist, my favourite book of all time, where Bill Sikes killed Nancy. The thing I like about Dickens is that he is wonderfully descriptive.
The last good book I read was Can I Go Now? The Life Of Sue Mengers, Hollywood’s First Superagent, which was really engaging. My favourite book by my late sister Jackie is The Power Trip.

The art in my heart
I have six or seven of Paul César Helleu’s late 19th-century portraits and about 15 works by Erté. I love Salvador Dali and also Emily Patrick. I have a wonderful Andy Warhol painting of me in my apartment in LA. I have some of Tracey Emin’s art – she’s a good friend of mine – and I have several portraits by Sacha Newley [her son] in my flat in London.

Music to my ears
Of the current artists, I like Pharrell Williams; Blurred Lines and Happy are great songs
I adore Frank Sinatra. Of the current artists, I like Pharrell Williams; Blurred Lines and Happy are great songs
I’m a fan of Latin American musician Sérgio Mendes, I love Chet Baker and I adore Frank Sinatra. 
I also play Michael Bublé all the time. 
Of the current artists, I like Pharrell Williams; Blurred Lines and Happy are great songs.

I remember being entranced by Dick Barton Special Agent when I was about 12
I remember being entranced by Dick Barton Special Agent when I was about 12
Don’t touch that dial
I listen to Magic FM when I am in London, or Riviera Radio when we are in St Tropez. When I was growing up in the Thirties and Forties, radio was terribly important. I remember being entranced by Dick Barton Special Agent when I was about 12. I also enjoyed Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh, and copied it when I edited my school magazine a bit later, calling it Much Binding in the Fourth Form. Then there was The Goon Show, which came a bit later. I loved Peter Sellers.

The play’s my thing
The last production I saw was Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. He’s such a good-looking actor but he brilliantly transformed himself for the role.
I adore musicals and particularly Kiss Me, Kate. I used to go to the theatre all the time when I was growing up, as my father was a variety agent. My grandmother was a singer, dancer and entertainer, who had toured South Africa.Performing is in my blood. 
‘The St Tropez Lonely Hearts Club’ by Joan Collins is published by Little, Brown, priced £16.99

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