Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden talks about Fantasy Lives – her new show where she becomes a showgirl, country and western singer and stuntwoman.
So how did this series come about?
“Being on Britain’s Got Talent has opened all kinds of doors for me. The show’s lifted my profile so much – and as Simon (Cowell) says it’s all down to him! He’s fully responsible for my career success, he keeps telling me that anyway.”
what was it like becoming a stuntwoman?
“Great! I threw myself off buildings, had fights, did police car chases, crashed into bins, did 180-degree handbrake spins and set fire to myself! Fantastic and any drama that I get involved in now, I’ll be like, ‘I’m not doing it unless I can do my own stunts so get me insured!'”
No broken bones?
“I broke a nail and got a bruise on my arm. They were the only injuries, which is quite impressive considering it took nine weeks to film the series!”
And what about the country and western singing?
“I love singing and did Thoroughly Modern Millie in the West End, but country singing is completely different because it is so intimate. I’m used to being on stage and making, literally, a massive song and dance about everything and wearing costumes with sparkly bits on, but this is telling stories in a relaxed way. One minute I’m talking to you, the next I’m singing to you and there’s hardly a join. I had to learn to make everything more subtle and smaller, which obviously was a stretch for me!”
How was it joining the legendary Bluebell Girls cabaret troupe in Paris?
“It’s full of beautiful people in fabulous costumes so it’s a visual feast, and you get to see me making loads of mistakes as the shortest girl in showgirl history! It was the worst one for me because as a personal challenge, it was the hardest.”
Will your new skills benefit you in the next series of Britain’s Got Talent?
“I think so. I also learnt circus skills for Big Top so there’s not a lot I haven’t covered [last year]. So next time someone gets on stage and says, ‘You don’t know anything about knife throwing’, I can say, ‘You know what, I do!’ Putting myself out there is important as a judge because I always say I’m the only performer on the BGT panel and I only earn that position by continuing to perform. I’ve got to be prepared to be judged myself, which is fine – I can take the good with the bad.”
*Amanda Holden’s Fantasy Lives screens on Tuesday on ITV1 at 9pm.