One surreal societal fallout of lockdown has been, for better or worse, a more intimate window into the lives of famous people. For the first time, we know we’re all in our version of home, be it a flat, two-story house, or private island mansion. So what is a celebrity, used to performing for a living in glitter and glitz to a massive crowd, to do when stuck inside like the rest of us? Dance-pop queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor has decided that the thing to do is share her Friday evenings with the world, and watching her and her adorable family will warm the cockles of your isolated heart.
A self-proclaimed private person, since the world flipped upside down, the singer has started to live stream her increasingly popular lockdown “kitchen discos” weekly from her West London home. Bextor got her start in the late ’90s singing Britpop but rose to prominence and dance music stardom with her 2001 debut solo album Read My Lips going double platinum with such hits as “Murder on the Dancefloor.” Since then she’s danced her way (nearly) to victory on Strictly and spends most summers performing on the Pride Festival circuit for her devoted LGBTQ+ fanbase.
Each video invariably opens with a close-up shot of her living room disco ball alongside the opening strains of “I Will Survive”, fading out to Bextor dressed in her dancing shoes, a crazy amount of children underfoot. Those are Bextor’s five red-haired boys (Sonny, 15; Kit, 11; Ray, 8; Jesse, 4; and Mickey, 1), and these kid’s antics are the secret to the quarantine comfort brew. Watching Sophie dance around with the children, singing her own hits as well as covers of disco classics, is a joyous sensation. She bumps into one while absentmindedly shimmying her hips, apologises, and ruffles his hair. It feels like hanging out with that friend of yours who has had all the children, which is fun precisely because you can get your fill of playing auntie without having to put them to bed afterwards.
It’s a great way to kick off your at-home dance parties, so grab a feather boa, and keep reading to tune in to all of our videos (she’s recorded nine, including several “afterparty” songs). Afterwards, you may even feel compelled to invest in your own disco ball.