An Evening With Alexandra Bastedo
Originally scheduled for 27th October and cancelled due to bad weather warnings, we all gathered at the Golden Willow restaurant on a (still) wet and windy 3rd November evening for another of our popular "An Evening With..." events. Only this time, instead of Alexandra Bastedo interviewing another celebrity, Alexandra herself was the celebrity being interviewed by actor Craig Henderson.
Alexandra explained how she found her way into acting - her insistance on using 'could of' instead of her mother's 'could have' led to her mother enrolling her in drama school - although at the time she had visions of becoming a vet. She took to these classes like a duck to water and after winning a newspaper competition at the age of 16, she found herself flying to Hollywood to join a group of other girls to star in a film called "The Candyweb". This began her career in film, TV and stage, and she treated us to glimpses of what it was like to work with stars such as Kirk Douglas, Jeremy Brett, James Coburn and a little look into the telephone manners of Warren Beatty. We learned that all the filming of The Champions was done on sets at the studios - they didn't even get to Geneva! The benefits of having a Dobermann dog when suffering stalkers was also neatly explained. We also learned that she first met her late husband, Patrick Garland, at a time when he was already a famous director, having 4 West End shows running simultaneously - a feat not equalled since.
Alexandra then told us about her life after they moved to Chichester, the beginnings of her animal rescue, and her work at Chichester theatre and other provincial theatres, detailing her tour in "Pickwick" with Harry Secombe and Roy Castle and the challenges they faced as they toured.
Finally she talked passionately about her life in West Chiltington and the formation of the ABC Animal Sanctuary Charity. We were left in no doubt of her dedication to rescuing animals in need of care and protection, and the large parts of her life she has dedicated to this end. The interview came to an end all to soon, leaving us all wanting to hear more details of her life and travels.
Alexandra has started work on her autobiography which will give us a lot more details of the life she enjoyed, the people she has met, and her accomplishments. The book will be entitled "Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal" and we will detail her progress in writing the book on this website.
After the interview finished we were treated to the usual high-standard buffet dinner which is a trademark of the Golden Willow, and after dinner we managed to raise some much-needed funds for Alexandra's ABC Animal Sanctuary through a raffle and auction.
If you would like, in the meantime, to learn a bit more of Alexandra's life prior to her autobiography, then by becoming a Fan Club Member you will be given access to Alexandra's book, "Beware, Donkeys, Dobermanns and Ducks", which is serialised in the Members section elsewhere on this site, as well as enjoying other benefits - click here for further information.