Why I begged to strip off on stage: Kelly Brook turned down I'm A Celebrity to dance in London's risqu new cabaret
Underwear model turned actress celebrates her 33rd birthday today
11:12 GMT, 23 November 2012
Kelly Brook knows that after 15 years in the spotlight some people still wonder why exactly she is famous. ‘People ask, “What are you You are not really this, not really that”,’ she admits. But now she is hoping that they have a better idea.
This week the underwear model turned breakfast TV presenter turned actress and clothes designer, who celebrates her 33rd birthday today, finished her sell-out run as a sexy dancer with the acclaimed French cabaret group Crazy Horse.
‘I am hoping that this has reminded everyone why I am still around,’ she says. ‘Because this, more than anything else, is what I love. It’s taken me back to my roots, it’s why I got into showbiz in the first place and it’s why I put up with what I put up with . . . what I have to.’
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Seductive: Kelly Brook struts her stuff during a solo spot in French Cabaret group Crazy Horse
Kelly, you see, didn’t enter the showbusiness world with just her curves and little else. She trained primarily as a dancer at the Italia Conti Theatre School in London for three years before she started modelling and her career took off in directions she would have never imagined.
‘In your career you get swept away and taken in all directions,’ she says. ‘Sometimes you have to be quite business-minded and political.
‘I have done a bit of everything; I’ve been on television, been in Hollywood and made a film, but at the back of my mind it has always been dance.’
That is why when she heard Crazy Horse was finally coming to London, she begged promoter Harvey Goldsmith to let her be a part of it.
Crazy Horse, which has been a fixture of Parisian life for more than 60 years, has a formidable reputation as the world’s most seductive cabaret. It is a blend of eroticism and inventively choreographed dance — a mixture of creamy flesh, long legs and high fashion.
Centre of attention: Kelly poses with some of the other Crazy Horse girls. The underwear model turned actress celebrates her 33rd birthday today
Super Trouper: Kelly flew to Paris and pestered promoter Harvey Goldsmith to persuade the French cabaret group to let her join
Lounging: Kelly Brook performs during a dress rehearsal for the cabaret which recently staged a week of shows in London
The show has strict rules when it comes to selecting their dancers they must all be indistinguishable from each other, and identical in shape, height and bust size.
The dancers get through 2,500 pairs
of stockings in a season, as well as 500 litres of make-up and 300
lipsticks specially made in the shade of Rouge Crazy.
fashion is a major attraction, with their stilettos designed by
Christian Louboutin and costumes — such as they are — created by corset
queen Poupie Cadolle.
show has strict rules when it comes to selecting their dancers — they
must all be indistinguishable from each other, and identical in shape,
height and bust size.
has found herself following in some famous footsteps — other Crazy
Horse productions have featured burlesque stars Dita Von Teese, Carmen
Electra and even Pamela Anderson.
first saw Crazy Horse in Paris about four years ago and I thought it
was the most amazing show I had ever seen,’ Kelly recalls. ‘It was so
beautiful to watch and I loved the way it really celebrated the female
girls are naked, but it is about so much more than that. The
choreography and lighting are so incredible that it is mesmerising.
‘It is famous for being the best
cabaret in the world and commands huge respect,’ adds Kelly. ‘I am all
about the integrity, and I think as long as that’s how you approach
things, then you can’t go wrong. But it’s pretty hard to find nowadays.
Red hot: Kelly blows kisses to the audience at the end of another raunchy show
Curtain call: Other Crazy Horse productions have featured Dita Von Teese, Carmen Electra and even Pamela Anderson
had a long chat with the choreographer and I said that if the show was
coming to the UK I would love to be in it, but I was told they did not
often have guest stars and it felt very much like there wasn’t an
opportunity. But it was still one of my dreams.’
It is not a dream she ever forgot. When she heard Harvey Goldsmith — the promoter behind Live Aid and Cirque du Soleil among many others — had persuaded the French company to perform in London, Kelly, showing the sort of steely attitude which has enabled her to pick herself up after every showbiz pitfall, set to work on him.
Along with her fianc, former rugby player Thom Evans, she flew to Paris to see the show when she knew Harvey would be there, and pestered him to persuade the French company to allow her in.
Harvey recalls: ‘I was a bit
gobsmacked, to be honest. Kelly and her boyfriend came up to me after
the show and she said: “I love this show and I want to be in it.” Then
her managers started calling me up saying she wanted to be in the show.
Then she started Tweeting about it.
spoke to the French and they were intrigued. But they met with her and
after a half day of rehearsal, the choreographer left surprisingly
impressed. Kelly got it really quickly and she also got on really well
with the troupe.’
Stilettos: Kelly strikes a pose during rehearsal. The dancers get through 2,500 pairs of stockings in a season, as well as 500 litres of make-up and 300 lipsticks
who performed a solo dance, was only meant to appear for a week. But
she loved it so much that she’s agreed to stay for another two.
there were any worries that the artistically erotic show — which is
being performed in a specially built club on London’s South Bank — would
not appeal to the Brits then they have been blown out of the water. We
Brits may be known for preferring our eroticism less overt, but it has
been playing to packed houses.
‘I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity and if they come back to London I would love to do it again,’ says Kelly, who is reluctantly leaving the show as she has to start training for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.
‘I know there will be some people who only came because they wanted to see me half-naked, but hopefully they will come back because they realise what a great show it is. The boys from Il Divo were there twice in one week.
‘That is one reason why I didn’t go totally naked [Kelly wore a teeny red basque which she showcased on Twitter beforehand]. I know that would get headlines, but this show is about so much more than that.
‘I loved being with the other dancers. We all shared a dressing room and spent an hour warming up before every show. Every one of us had a classically trained background and I was just one of the girls.’
Kelly, who performed a solo dance, was only meant to appear for a week. But she loved it so much that shes agreed to stay for another two.
Brought up in Rochester, Kent, by her mother Sandra, a cook, and scaffolder father Kenneth, she began modelling underwear after winning a local paper beauty competition at 16, and went on to promote lager, cars and crisps.
She became a breakfast TV presenter for Channel 4 — replacing Denise Van Outen — and later appeared in TV acting roles in Smallville and Marple. She has also acted on stage, in Calendar Girls.
She has had high-profile relationships with actors Billy Zane and Jason Statham (whom she was with for seven years) and rugby player Danny Cipriani.
Kelly turned down an offer to appear in the current I’m A Celebrity . . . Get me Out Of Here — she says she is asked every year — but she does not regret her decision for a second.
She explains: ‘We are so overwhelmed with reality shows that there isn’t much opportunity to showcase your talent because it’s not as entertaining as watching someone eating bugs in the jungle.
‘I might have the wrong attitude when it comes to my career, but I felt that I would rather be in this show, watched by 400 people than be on a show I am not passionate about being watched by ten million.’
Head girl: She may have come a long way in her professional career, but Kelly proves she still knows how to model a set of underwear
And she says she leaves the show not only more enthusiastic about her talents and with the hope of appearing with Crazy Horse if they come here again (if model Daisy Lowe, who has also asked to be in the show, does not nab her place), but also even more sure of her sexual appeal. So she won’t be stopping the lingerie shoots any time soon.
‘The troupe had girls from 19 to 33,’ she recalls. ‘But it was so much more interesting to watch the older girls.
'It made me realise I couldn’t have done this show when I was younger. Now I am in touch with my sexuality. I am confident as a woman and with the way my body is.
‘When I did lingerie shoots when I was younger I would block out the whole experience. There was nothing going on in my head and when I look back at old pictures, I don’t look comfortable. But now I realise I know how to use my body.
‘My whole Crazy Horse experience was really empowering and I feel really sexy.’
Forever Crazy, performed by Crazy Horse, runs on the South Bank until December 16. Tickets available at forevercrazy.co.uk.
VIDEO: In case you missed it! Here's Kelly on stage with the Crazy Horse dancers…