Iconic actress and author Dame Joan Collins lives in Belgravia, west London, with her theatre producer husband, Percy Gibson.
What is the first thing you do when you get home?
Kick off my shoes - whether they’re ballet flats or boots - they come off. I’ve always done it.
What's your favourite time of day at home?
I particularly like the morning. My husband makes us a coffee - we like instant coffee - believe it or not - I’ll then read three or four newspapers in bed and watch some morning TV.
Since I spent my life working, since I was 17, it’s nice and relaxing to do that.
Where's your happy place?
In the south of France. We try to visit my place every summer. It’s incredibly relaxing. There’s no traffic, it’s right in the middle of the hills of Provence and has a fantastic view. I can see the sea in the distance and rolling hills around. It balms the soul.
What's on your bedside table?
In France, a bottle of water, a hairbrush and a fan.
In London, about eight books, three or four framed photographs of all my children and a box of Kleenex.
What's your favourite homeware shop?
Peter Jones (a.k.a John Lewis & Partners). It works for me.
It’s close to where I live, it’s established and it has practically everything you might need.
What smell says home to you?
Poinsettias, white or pale peach roses and lilies.
I have floral decorations in the home all year round, as many flowers as possible, which I change with the seasons.
In the spring and summer, I have light coloured flowers then at Christmas, I’ll have deep red flowers as much as possible.
What chore do you love doing?
I’m not keen on chores. My mother never taught me to iron and I can cook… but I’m not keen on it!
Are you a good host?
I love entertaining. I recently hosted a birthday party for my daughter. We had 11 people sitting around the dining room table - it was a bit of a squash!
Have you changed anything in the way you live your life at home since COVID?
I just don’t like being around lots of people, so I prefer to either go to friends’ houses, have friends to my house or go to restaurants, which we do quite a lot.
What do you do if you have time at home on your own?
It varies. I like to have something on the TV, I don’t like the blank, black screen, so if I’m not watching the news, I’ll have Eighties’ music videos on MTV.
What do you miss most about your home when you’re away?
I don’t. I miss my family but I don’t miss my home. Never miss anything that can’t miss you!
I love my homes, I nurture them and I constantly move the furniture, the pictures and the objects. I think of them fondly but I don’t miss them because the one that I’m in is usually so lovely.
Behind The Shoulder Pads - Tales I Tell My Friends by Joan Collins | £17.39 at Amazon
Packed with stories from her past ranging from her time as an actress in Hollywood to her iconic role in Dynasty, with special appearances from the Royal Family, and stars like Michael Caine and Warren Beatty, Dame Joan tells all with her unique acerbic wit...
Quick fire questions with Joan Collins
- Shoes on or off? Off.
- Eat at table or laps? Both.
- Lighting - bright or moody? Bright with lamps. I don’t like down lighters so I have a lot of lamps. I like to read in bed so I have a very bright lamp next to my bed.
- Quick shower or long bath? I only like showers when the weather is very, very hot.
- Colourful or neutral? Colourful. I’d say eclectic!
- Neat or creative chaos? I’m in between. Today my one year old granddaughter’s toys were all over the floor outside so I tidied them up!
- Music, radio, tv or quiet? I always listen to music and love the radio too as I can always catch Kate Thornton or my friend Amanda Holden’s show and they make me smile. I have learnt to switch off from the news.
For tickets to Dame Joan's 'Behind the Shoulder Pads' 2023 UK tour from 1st October to 24th October visit Amick Productions.
Original interview by Gemma Calvert
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Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.
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