Danny-Boy Hatchard says viewers should watch Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway “later” and tune in to watch Let’s Sing And Dance For Comic Relief instead.
The duo’s popular ITV variety show will be going head to head with the BBC’s celebrity talent show in aid of Comic Relief on Saturday night.
Hatchard, 25, will be taking to the stage during the BBC One show, which is fronted by former Great British Bake Off hosts, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
He will perform Elton John’s 1983 hit I’m Still Standing and will compete against ITV game show brain boxes from The Chase, group Boys Aloud (consisting of Blue’s Duncan James, S Club 7′s Jon Lee, 5′s Ritchie Neville, Ben Ofoedu of Phats and Small and singer Gareth Gates), cast members from Holby City and Casualty, and former Strictly Come Dancing pros James and Ola Jordan.
He told Press Association: “I thought Elton would be great because everybody knows Elton John and this song in particular that I picked is also quite current because it’s in the new movie Sing so that would make it quite relevant to the younger generation if they didn’t know who Elton John was.
“There are probably aliens out there that know who Elton John is (though), I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who doesn’t know who he is.”
The actor said he signed up to do the singing spectacular “because mainly it’s for such a fantastic cause and you get to raise as much money as we can, but it’s also a lot of fun”.
Viewers recently said goodbye to his EastEnders character Lee Carter, who is the son of Mick Carter, played by Danny Dyer.
In December Hatchard spoke about taking on a hard-hitting storyline which saw Lee pushed to the brink of suicide in the run-up to his exit from the show.
He has, however, not ruled out a return to Albert Square again at some stage in the future.
He said: “I have a very, very special place in my heart for Lee, you know, I helped create this character who bless him, didn’t have it very easy.
“Now he’s gone away, well, it is strongly insinuated he’s gone away to get better, if he comes back, whether it’s with me or another actor I hope he does come back happier and finds himself.
“Of course you know, it all depends on what I’m doing and whether EastEnders would want me back. I would always strongly consider coming back because I loved it there, I love my on-screen family like they are my own family. It depends on how things work out, you never know really, so never say never really.”
His singing stint on Let’s Sing And Dance For Comic Relief is not his first one, as he recently performed a medley of Frank Sinatra’s hits at a one-off event.
“I like a good sing song every now and then,” he said, explaining: “But I’m not pursuing a career in singing, I did a gig not too long ago and if I could clear that up, the reason I did that is because what a lot of people do when they leave soaps, where I feel they often go wrong is, because the soap world is busy and you are working every day you know, loads of pages of dialogue to learn and it works at an incredible pace, to then just stop can be a bit of a shock to the system.
“So I thought it would be wise to maybe do something outside to help soften the blow a bit and help keep me occupied for when I finished the show. That’s the only reason I did it, I’m not pursing a career in music. I’m an actor I’ll always be an actor.”
:: Let’s Sing And Dance For Comic Relief airs on BBC One on Saturday at 6.45pm.