Is that who I think it is?

Yes, singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor lives in Bedford Park. Daughter of Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, who also lives locally, she first came to prominence in the late 1990s, as the lead singer of the indie rock band Theaudience. After the group disbanded she went solo, achieving widespread success in the early 2000s. Her music is a mixture of mainstream pop, disco, nu-disco, and 1980s electronic influences.

Here she is performing what is probably her best known song Murder on the dance floor at the Bedford Park Festival.

Her solo albums include Read My Lips (2001), which won the Edison Award for “Best Dance Album”, Shoot from the Hip (2003), which produced two Top Ten singles, Trip the Light Fantastic (2007), Make a Scene (2011), Wanderlust (2014), which became her highest charting album since Read My Lips, peaking at number 4 in the UK and Familia (2016), which like Wanderlust was produced by Ed Harcourt.

The best of all of these have been re-recorded with an orchestra for her Orchestral Greatest Hits boxset. It includes a poster, handwritten recipes from Sophie (as cooked for the band during the album recording) and an Orchestral Greatest Hits Tea Towel – perhaps acknowledging that her fans are now all grown-up. Produced by Ed Harcourt, many of the tracks have the full 16 or 18 piece orchestra.

Apart from her prolific music life, Sophie also represents Save The Children. She went on a tour of India for them in November 2017 and raises money for the BBC’s Children In Need appeal.

Sophie talked to The Chiswick Calendar about her music and about taking part in Strictly Come Dancing in December 2014.

Nick Raikes met her at the Park Club’s own version of Strictly.

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