Sophie Ellis-Bextor: ‘When a song becomes a hit it goes on its own journey’

Who I am on stage keeps evolving. In my 40s, I’ve found more confidence – I’m now far less self-conscious. Today, I dance on stage in nothing but leotards and epaulettes. I’d never have done that a decade ago.

I had a childhood of two halves. Mum and Dad separated when I was four. I was an only child until eight. I felt loved, but there was an adult backdrop. Then they met their new partners and had more kids, and everything changed. It’s why I’ve had so many children [five, all boys]: new babies are new beginnings.

In my teens, I pushed the boundaries. On school nights I’d channel Ferris Bueller, stuffing my bed to make it look as if I was sleeping before sneaking out until dawn. I even did it the night before an A-level. Proudly, I never got caught.

I’m scruffy around the edges. There are piles of stuff all over the house. I’m trying to get on top of it, but I’m fundamentally reassured by clutter. When you live with six people, however, being that way is not always popular.

Regret is an unhelpful emotion. It can eat away at you if you give it too much space.

I was sick while pregnant with my first baby with pre-eclampsia. A hundred years ago, my baby or I might not have survived. Thanks to the healthcare in this country, we both made it. I know I’m lucky to have lived to tell the tale.

This summer, I played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. It’s not lost on me how special that is for an artist like me at this stage in their career. I know this is it – there’s no next rung coming. I’m trying to seize every opportunity with both hands and enjoy every minute.

I used to devalue my work in front of my children. I’d say, “Oh, I’ve got to do this little thing, but I won’t be long and wish I didn’t have to.” It was guilt, I think. Now I explain to them what I’m doing. I realise it’s important to me. I’ve given myself permission to prioritise both family and career.

I once spent ages trying to give my son the fancy dress bald head he asked for: conditioner, clingfilm, masking tape painted like skin. When I showed him in the mirror, he looked at my reflection and said, “You always disappoint me.” Kids can cut you deep.

After supporting Elton John on tour in Estonia, he offered me a flight home in his private jet. I ditched my band, of course, and jumped on board. It was late and I fell asleep in my chair. I woke up bleary-eyed to a smiling Elton in a tracksuit. It was by far my most showbiz nap.

Always trust your instincts. When stuck in a dilemma, follow your first thought. That way you end up where you’re supposed to be.

When a song becomes a hit it goes on its own journey. They stop being yours and become something shared. I never understand why artists resent singing their classics. I love to perform Murder on the Dancefloor, knowing what it means to so many people. You like the new stuff, too? Well, that’s great.

Tickets for Sophie’s Christmas Kitchen Disco Tour are on sale now. Her new album, Hana, is out now