Arlene Phillips Has Said She Cannot Wait To “Pursue Freedom” After Having Her Second Coronavirus Vaccine

The choreographer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge, 77, received her first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab in January and her second on Friday morning at the Peckwater Health Centre in north London.

She told the PA news agency: “I am really excited I have got number two now because I haven’t felt safe, I haven’t felt safe at all.

“I am big on going out and so many times I have been out and the pavements have been crowded. I just keep thinking, ‘Oh my gosh’.

“I’ve got my mask on and head down and my jacket up. Now I feel so much better.”

Phillips, who has worked on many West End and Broadway musicals, said she expected it to be “an event” when she is able to go out “pursuing freedom” once again.

Many theatres have not been able to open their doors since March 2020, with a number closing permanently despite Government support.

According to the Government’s road map out of lockdown, theatres will be able to reopen without social distancing from June 21.

Phillips urged others to accept the vaccine when offered so the performing arts could get up and running again.

“The vaccine for our industry is so important,” she said.

“Andrew Lloyd Webber was one of the first to take up the vaccine.

“He was absolutely adamant, and today I have been reading about New York, who are planning to open up theatres in the late autumn and how they are planning vaccination centres, testing centres, just everything to make sure theatre can go on.

“Theatre is vital. Some people have little understanding of what theatre means because theatre is a form of life, it is a form of expression.

“It is a form of drug, to make you feel and make you feel that life does go on.

“Many stories that people can’t necessarily express for themselves are there in theatre.

“And the meaning of applause, the understanding of applause, that is what many actors, our industry, work towards – to make sure that they have given everything to an audience.”

Phillips said theatre was more important than ever because it “makes people feel alive”.

Sir David Attenborough, Sir Ian McKellen, Dolly Parton, Prue Leith, Michael Eavis, Phillip Schofield and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among the other celebrities who have been vaccinated.

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