The audience were almost as entertaining as the Hollywood legend herself at the dazzling Joan Collins Unscripted event at The Lowry Theatre
Dripping in dazzling diamantes, Dame Joan Collins was every inch the Hollywood icon as she took her seat - on a golden throne, naturally - for her “Unscripted” one woman show at Salford’s Lowry Theatre.
Well, we say one woman, but Dame Joan was joined on stage by one very important man too - her husband Percy who acted as host with the most while fielding questions for his glamorous wife from the audience.
And what questions they were!
Make no mistake, this night was all about Dynasty legend Joan, but what made it such a warm, witty and wonderful evening in the company of a showbiz great was the brilliantly down-to-earth questioning from Manchester, and Salford’s, finest.
Here we select some of the highlights of a suitably fabulous night at The Lyric Theatre in the company of the evergreen Joan.
She turned down Hollyoaks
When Dame Joan was asked if she’d ever consider going into a soap, the audience got the surprising response: “I was just asked to be in Hollyoaks... but I’m not doing it.”
Apparently there were not too many Hollyoaks fans in the audience as they all cheered at that! Percy was quick to respond, pretending to be on the phone, he quipped: “Salford says, ‘just pass on Hollyoaks’”
Joan added: “You know who is doing it? Linda Gray.” Yep, a fellow American TV legend - Dallas' own Sue-Ellen Ewing.
Working during Hollywood’s golden era, Joan had plenty of stories to tell about her showbiz friends, and the odd enemy. Partying at Gene Kelly’s house, chatting with Marilyn Monroe who told her to “watch out for the wolves in Hollywood honey”, being booted by Bette Davis on one of her earliest films... We could have listened to Joan talk all night.
Top tip for looking fabulous?
Apparently Joan looks THAT good by plunging her face in iced water every day. It was a tip she picked up from Paul Newman, no less! Well, if it will make us look as good as Joanie...
Career Plan B
Asked what she would have been if not an actress, the rather surprising answer? “A private detective”.
When the questioner gets it a bit wrong...
A bold Mancunian leapt to his feet to ask Dame Joan: “How did you feel when you turned up on the set of Good Morning Britain and Piers Morgan had the same frock on as yourself?”
Joan looked a tad confused before saying: “do you mean Susannah Reid?” to roars of laughter from the audience.
“Wait until I tell Piers that,” she laughed. In answer to the question, she purred: “It was quite cute really, I thought it looked quite sweet.” Husband Percy added: “What were you going to do? Go home and change?” to which quick-witted Joan retorted: “Well, she could have! She’s got a changing room full of dresses...” Quite!
Badly Drawn Boy
Oh dear, it appears Manchester’s very own Damon Gough didn’t leave much of an impression on La Collins. When asked about the music video she collaborated with him on, 2008’s Spitting in the Wind, she said: “I can’t remember the name of the singer! I’d never done a music video so when they asked me I said: ‘ok, why not’.” She added: “It still haunts me”. Ah, we thought it was pretty special, actually.
She’s never had a stylist
Joanie is one of the world’s greatest style icons, with impeccable taste and elegance - and it’s all her own work.
“When I first went to Hollywood, they didn’t have stylists, you were just told to bring your own clothes. So I always took my own clothes on publicity shoots, and designed a lot of my own clothes too. Every time I’ve had a stylist I never fit into any of their clothes anyway!” For her Salford show, she dazzled in the first half in a sheer black lace and diamante-encrusted trouser suit, before changing into a full length and fabulous gold sparkling gown for the second half. Divine!
Clearly the audience were keen to get some of five-times-married Joan’s tips for romance. One woman couldn’t resist putting her friend’s story in the spotlight, saying “She’s been with her partner for 23 years, and 17 years of them engaged. She dresses up every Halloween as Miss Haversham. What else can she do?” With impeccable comic timing, Joan responded: “All I can say is, maybe you should... leave him!”
Even the interval had a splash of stardust
Dame Joan left stage for a brief intermission with Percy saying: “Here is a message from our sponsors” before the screen rolled with Joan’s memorable moments on TV adverts over the years. Her recent Snickers “diva” advert, a brilliant 80s promo for Sanyo cookers, and of course the legendary Cinzano splashed drink on the plane promo alongside Leonard Rossiter.
The parting shot
Thanking the crowd for their standing ovation, she says: “It’s been a wonderful life...If you live every day as if it were your last, one day it will be.” Ah, there ain't nothing like a Dame...