Darcey Bussell Photographed by Laurie Lewis

By Neil Cunningham

This portrait of Darcey Bussell by Laurie Lewis wearing yours truly, has always been one of my favourite photographs. It features Darcey among the regilded angels at the top of the Albert Memorial during its renovation by English Heritage in 1998 and was used to promote simultaneously the new Royal Ballet season and London Fashion week.

I vividly remember ascending 200ft up to meet the angels (by lift of course) and in another photograph that Laurie subsequently sent me privately of Darcey and I (which I call Beauty and the Beast) he has perfectly captured the stomach churning sensation of looking out across London from the scaffolding.

Recently it had crossed my mind to contact the photographer and ask what happens to all these once-seen pictures and so I was therefore delighted when The National Portrait Gallery’s Instagram feed delivered this twenty-year-old photograph to my phone this morning, promoting a Q&A evening with Mr Lewis as he launches a new book of his portraits.

In Conversation: Laurie Lewis, Dame Darcey Bussell and Zelda Cheatle  June 22nd 2018, 18.30 at Ondaatje Wing Theatre, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H OHE

To order Portraits by Laurie Lewis visit: