What can you tell us about your character in Hustle?
“Well, Carol’s an old friend of the gang, who goes to lend them a helping hand. But then she suffers a heart attack and this is how they come to meet John Barrowman’s character. He plays Dr Dean Deville, the man responsible for a dodgy diet plan that Carol’s been following.”
Did you have any scenes with John, who judged you on I’d Do Anything in 2008?
“We never crossed paths on Hustle but, afterwards, I supported him on tour. John’s been so supportive since I won the competition. I can’t thank him enough.”
So, back to the story. Is Carol in a really bad way?
“Carol really goes through it, bless her, and ends up in hospital. Fortunately, I’ve never had a heart attack, so I did have to act. But we filmed those scenes in a working hospital, so I did worry at first that someone would think I was really sick.”
A certain someone from the gang comes to see Carol while she’s recovering…
“Carol really appreciates barman Eddie being there after her heart attack. It’s a really sweet relationship and there’s certainly a bit of a budding romance there.”
Although Hustle is a fairly light-hearted show, this episode does highlight the serious issue of rogue diets, doesn’t it?
“Yes! In fact, there’s a website that’s using my before and after pictures to promote a diet pill – and I’ve never heard of it in my life. I never promote any diet tablets; some of them can have terrible effects on your body.”
As winner of The Biggest Loser in 2006, what advice would you give those trying to lose weight?
“The only way to lose weight is to eat healthy and do lots of exercise. As hard as it is, the old-fashioned way is the only way. I went for my first run for ages recently – my trainers had a layer of dust on, so I thought I’d better start again!”
Did you enjoy filming Hustle?
“All of the cast and crew on Hustle were brilliant. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming and we all had a really good laugh. To come in from being on a reality show to working with this standard of people is just amazing.”
What else are you up to at the moment?
“There are a few things on the horizon. They’re all up in the air at the moment, but all very exciting.”
Oh, go on, tell us, is it TV? Theatre?
“It’s actually a bit of both! Bet that’s got you guessing…”