Don’t Stop Believing (Sunday, Five) judge Tamzin Outhwaite talks about motherhood, musicals and why there should be more singing and dancing on British TV…
How comes you are sporting a black eye?
“It’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I was dancing on stage two nights ago, (she is appearing in the musical Sweet Charity) swinging the baton really fast, and because it was so hot, it slipped out of my hand. Bang! At the time I thought I’d broken my cheekbone. There is one scene later where Charity is stuck up on a ferris wheel and she’s supposed to be scared – I was just crying for the whole scene. It swelled up an awful lot, but the show went on…”
When did you start performing?
“As a toddler at ballet school. When I say ballet, it was at nursery, running round in a circle, pretending you have seen a bird, picking it up, letting it go free. It was never something drummed into me, my parents weren’t particularly into it.”
Is your own daughter Florence following in your footsteps?
“Oh my God! She was two last week, and she got tap shoes and ballet shoes for her birthday. Florence is already obsessed with Gene Kelly. She basically watches Singing In The Rain all the time. She won’t watch Fred Astaire – she says: ‘Not Fred Astaire mummy, Gene Kelly!’ I’m very happy with that – she has quite sophisticated taste!”
Do you encourage her?
“It would feel hypocritical not to be encouraging my child to sing and dance when I do that for a living. I’m not going to be overly pushy, but I’m certainly not going to discourage it, because I think it‘s quite lovely. She gets such joy from running around the garden in tap shoes!”
How are you enjoying being a judge on new talent search Don’t Stop Believing?
“It is great. I probably would have had a go. I was in a youth theatre company called Stage Struck from the age of 12 until I was 16. I have just had a reunion with all the people – they came to see me in Sweet Charity. It was so weird, because everyone looked exactly the same. We used to enter all the competitions. I still remember the feeling of going to open auditions with a number on, being fearless and listening to everyone else sing before you go on. You get used to the rejection. But I think it’s a bug, musical theatre, and people get bitten by it.”
So you would quite like a guest role on Glee?
“Oh, it would be amazing! Wow. Oh my gosh! That’s hilarious. I’d want to do something with Sue Sylvester, because she is brilliant. Maybe I could come in as her British protege. I’d be just as nasty, wear the same tracksuit, maybe even get the same haircut – I would love that! I’ve always said there should be more singing and dancing on British TV. After I left Hotel Babylon, they asked me to come back and I said the only way I’d return would be for a musical episode. We don’t do that very often over here, and a lot of the stuff I have done has been quite gritty and raw. I still think there needs to be a Glee-style programme on British telly that goes from comedy into making you feel you are going to cry – and then everyone breaks into song. Why not?”