We caught up with the mother-of-two to chat to her about diets, relaxtion and the Olympics.
You’ve signed to become the face of Oykos. You must be approached by so many companies to promote their products, how do you decide which ones are best for you?
On this occasion, it was because the advert was so camp! When I read the script, I just thought it was hilarious and I get surrounded by eight semi-naked men, it felt like a no-brainer, to be honest. But I genuinely like the taste of the yoghurt, I used to always eat Danone yoghurt beforehand, and then this one’s so nice and it’s so creamy. It doesn’t taste like it’s good for you, but it actually is because it’s yoghurt. It’s gorgeous. I did all kinds of things with it in my commercial, and none of it was shown! They treated it as a yoghurt, and not as a sun-tan lotion or massage cream, which is what I was hoping they’d do.
You obviously keep yourself very fit; do you follow any particular diets?
No, I don’t believe in diets. I’m a vegetarian, so I think that by default I’m naturally quite healthy. I have a lot of pulses, and veg, and fruit. I do love a glass of wine, I love cheese, I love butter. I don’t deny myself anything. I’m not as fit as I was, I used to run a lot more, but I just don’t have the time. I still believe very much in getting out in the fresh air. I play football with Lexi and Chris; I get put in goal all the time! And I’ll take the dog out every day, it’s just naturally having fresh air. I think genetically my Mum is slim, and after all my pregnancies, I’ve just kind of bounced back, not that I’ve done anything. I’m sure I’m heavier than I was, I don’t weigh myself either, but you can go by how much you have to tuck yourself into your jeans! But I just don’t care about that. I think my body’s served me quite well of late, so I’m not going to deprive it of anything, be that a cake or a glass of rosé!
You were the presenter for Superstar, how was it to go from being a judge on Britain’s Got Talent to being a presenter?
I loved it, I absolutely loved it! Live telly is a completely different ball game, obviously I’m used to doing live telly with Britain’s Got Talent, and I’ve done a lot in America, but being in charge of the whole show, having someone in your ear counting down when the advert has to come on. Because it’s live, you can’t mess up, and make sure everyone’s finished talking. I just loved flying by the seat of my pants. I think having a theatre background really, really helped, because obviously I’m used to doing things once without being able to make a mistake. I think I made a couple of fluffs, but nothing that wasn’t recoverable from. I had such great feedback. I loved it, I loved the project and I loved all the boys so much. I invested so much time into them and energy, and a lot more emotion than the Ant and Dec role. I would meet them more and see them, and get to know them properly behind the scenes. It was an amazing show to be part of. At drama school, Andrew Lloyd Webber was a god to us, so to actually have him come to Shrek, and ask me to do this job and be working with him every day, was just amazing. I loved every minute of it.
After having done six series of Britain’s Got Talent, do you think there’ll be any acts left out there that will be able to shock you?
(laughs) Every year I think the answer to that would be no and every year, I have to eat my words. Every year, someone comes along, and I’m like, “Jesus, who thinks of these things?!” I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next. You’re right; every year I think there’s nothing that’s going to shock me, there’s nothing I’m going to have not seen, and every year somebody brilliant out there pulls it out of the bag and does something amazing.
How do you manage get a balance between your busy work schedule and being with your family?
I think the thing that a lot of people don’t know is that when you make television, like Britain’s Got Talent, the auditions and the live shows take up about three weeks of my life, and Jesus Christ Superstar took up ten days, so technically this year I’ve only worked about a month. I was in Majorca filming the yoghurt commercial for three days, so maybe four weeks and three days I’ve worked since January. It’s ironic that people think I’m always working, because I’m not (laughs)! I get to work sporadically, and then you’re on telly. Most of this year, I’ve had off. Telly’s very quick, and disposable, and gone in a whisker, and then you just get on with your life again. So I feel like I haven’t really worked.
What do you do to relax from your work?
Sometimes a lady comes to my house and gives me a massage or I love watching telly. In the evening, with a glass of wine and Chris, and watching telly. Or I’ll take the dog out for half an hour by myself. Really, I suppose, now we’ve got two children there isn’t much time. Chris and I might have a date night if my Mum’s down. My Mum’s always encouraging us to have time to ourselves. So that kind of thing, but nine times out of ten, I might get someone round to give me a massage, and basically I love watching telly. I hate people that say they don’t watch telly! That’s my pet hate in life. They pretend they don’t watch reality telly, they go (adopts snooty voice), “Oh, I’ve never seen that”. I hate that! I love watching telly, I can’t think of anything better (laughs)!
Have you been watching any of the Olympics?
Oh my God, I’ve had it on tap! I went to the opening with my Mum, which was amazing. We’ve had it on in the background at our house all day, and we’ve managed to be around for most of the gold medals. I was just saying to somebody earlier, every time the national anthem plays, we all run into the lounge and salute! Even my daughter Lexi, who’s six and a half, now knows the words to the national anthem. It’s been very camp, and we’ve just kind of had it on in the background, like how airport lounges have the news on, it’s been brilliant. I’ve had it on a drip all this time.
Have you been particularly following any sports?
I love the gymnastics, I used to do it. I love all track events. And then I fell in love with sports in, is it the velodrome? I’ve fallen in love with things like that, that you just think, “I didn’t think this was going to be interesting”. My husband the other day was glued to the horse jumping! Absolutely glued to it. He said, “This is amazing!” I think because nearly half our medals have been gold and we’re just doing so well, as a country, as a nation. This year has been about celebrating being British. It’s just geared everyone up, and given everyone a new energy and a new outlook on our country and our people. It feels like there’s a war time spirit, not that I know, I wasn’t around during the war (laughs)! That’s what it feels like – you know when your granny used to talk to you about food parcels or something?
Finally, as you’ve done so many different things in your career, is there anything else you’d really love to do?
Yes, I’ve said it millions of times and they still haven’t got me, I want to be in The Archers (laughs)! I haven’t done radio; I haven’t been in a radio play. I learnt at drama school, there’s a special way to turn a script when you’re on radio. I can turn a script without making a noise. I’d like to come and open the local fête as myself in The Archers. They must have a fair or fête or something on the farm! I want to come and be the celebrity opener. So write that down and make them offer me the part!