Ex-EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa on trying to impress in All Star Musicals
As All Star Musicals returns to ITV, Danielle de Wolfe sits down with actress Jacqueline Jossa to learn more about her experience on this year's show.
All Star Musicals is back in town, accompanied by a healthy dose of jazz hands and falsetto for good measure.
Following a host of celebrity names as they battle it out to be crowned television's ultimate triple-threat, the popular ITV show looks set to return, bigger and better than ever before.
This year's line-up includes Good Morning Britain's Alex Beresford, former EastEnders' star Jacqueline Jossa, wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, Coronation Street's Lisa George, James Bond actor Colin Salmon, and rugby star Danny Care.
A diverse mix of abilities, the one-off instalment will see the celebrities once again stand centre-stage in a bid to impress the live theatre audience and panel of West End stars.
Returning to the judging panel, theatrical icon Elaine Paige will sit alongside Les Miserables actress Samantha Barks and Aladdin star Trevor Dion Nicholas as they feed back to the performers. Not only that, but the show will feature a special performance to mark The Phantom of the Opera's thirty-fifth anniversary in London's West End, alongside a special rendition of Grease, performed by the panel, alongside host John Barrowman.
Ahead of the new series landing on our screens, we sit down with Jossa, 29, to discover more.
WE'RE EXCITED TO CATCH THE NEW EPISODE, HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A FAN OF MUSICALS?
I've always loved musicals. I'm a musical geek. My favourite thing to do is to go and watch a musical, so to get a chance to be on the other side of that, to do something a bit different, push myself a little bit, it was a no brainer, really.
WAS THERE A SENSE OF COMRADESHIP AMONG THE CELEBRITIES?
It was a relief that you had someone else going through what you're internally going through. At the end of the process, we finally got to meet each other. So then it was kind of clung on and supported and it really made everyone feel better, I thought.
DID YOU FIND PERFORMING LIVE A CHALLENGE?
I haven't done much live stuff ever really. EastEnders, if you mess up, you can go again. And then in the I'm A Celebrity... jungle I was just being myself and I found that quite natural. I kind of realised about 20 minutes before going on, 'Oh, this is the first time - apart from a karaoke session, a little bit drunk with my pals - I've actually sung a whole song on my own in front of a live audience'. I started panicking a little bit then. Stupid idea, really, but it was like 20 minutes before going on. I psyched myself out a little bit. And it was really scary. It was really nerve racking.
DID YOU PICK UP ANY GOOD PERFORMANCE ADVICE?
I got loads of advice I have kept with me. Some of the things I was taught by Samantha Barks - I'm like her biggest fan anyway, so it was a bit crazy to even meet her. Then to sing in front of her and get advice from her, I've definitely locked it away in my little toolbox for the future. And we were so lucky to work with Mary. It did unlock a new part of my voice I didn't even know I had - a new confidence. And I really enjoyed it.
DID YOU GET TO PICK YOUR SONG?
This is a song I've never sung before and never would have attempted to sing. No thank you. It's not me at all. I had hopes and dreams; I really wanted to do a different song. I was hoping for a bit of, you know, Eponine or something because it's something I know well and I enjoy. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I felt a lot more comfortable singing other songs but I guess that was the challenge of it. They wanted each of us to have our own challenges, and not make it easy for us. And that definitely worked; I think we were more proud in the end because of it.
WILL WE RECOGNISE IT?
Nans, grandads, four year olds - every age knows this song. It's probably the biggest song a Disney Princess has ever sung.
DID YOU HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN THE AUDIENCE?
I actually prefer not to have people but you can't not in something like this. I think it's selfish not to let my kids come and watch, and my mum and dad. They always get first dibs when I do something like this, because it's been a dream of mine for my whole life. So if this is all I get to do, I want them there. They absolutely loved watching and my little girls sat through the whole thing and they honestly loved everyone's performance. They were so excited to be there. They just loved it. And Ella was like 'I might be on telly because the camera came our way'.
WHO WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR HARSHEST CRITIC?
My harshest critics are my daughters, genuinely, I'm not just saying that. They're very, very honest with me. If I'm singing around the house, I get told to shut up quite a lot. It's one of the things that they can watch; they love musicals and Disney just as much as me.
All Star Musicals returns to TV and ITV Hub on Sunday, April 3.