Natalie Anderson – aka Emmerdale’s Alicia Metcalfe – undergoes a pop star transformation for ITV’s new Saturday night celebrity talent show, Your Face Sounds Familiar…
What made you want to take part in the show?
“I’ve always loved singing and some people may remember I appeared on the first series of Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young. I really liked that Your Face Sounds Familiar was a different take on a singing show – it’s more about the transformation and the performance. There’s no real competitive element either – it’s just good Saturday night family entertainment.”
Viewers will liken this show to classic ITV show Stars in their Eyes. Were you a fan back in the day?
“Massively! I was devastated when it ended. I really wanted to appear on the children’s version – I had my act all ready, was all set to enter… and then they axed it! I thought: ‘Oh, there goes my chance now!'”
Each week, the artists that you and five other celebrities will perform as, will be selected by a ‘Randomiser, so you could be impersonating someone younger, older – or male! Are you scared about this?
“I am and I’m not. There’s no point doing a show like this unless you’re really going to go for it – so the crazier the better, I say!”
If you could impersonate anyone, who would it be?
“It’d be cool to imitate a male singer. I’d love to do someone like Prince or maybe Psy and do a bit of Gangnam Style – or I could be Leo Sayer!”
Emma Bunton and Julian Clary will be judging, alongside one rotating guest judge. How will you feel about hearing their critique?
“I reckon Julian will say exactly what he thinks and, if there was a good cop/bad cop, I think Julian would naturally take on the mean judge role. But, then, I’ve been judged by Simon Cowell – and he can’t be any worse than that!”
What do your Emmerdale co-stars think about you doing the show?
“Some thought I was crazy, but most of them know this is right up my street and have been really supportive, especially Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David. As he won Dancing on Ice last year, he’s been giving me lots of advice on how to fit rehearsals in around Emmerdale. He’s been very reassuring.”
Ultimately, Your Face Sounds Familiar is about raising money for charity. How important is that to you?
“It’s massively important to me because the charity I’m raising money for is Bliss, which helps premature babies and families who’ve lost little ones. I’ve been working with them for a while now and, as a mum myself, I realise just how lucky I am to have a healthy baby when I visit hospitals and see how much care these tiny babies need.”
That certainly puts wearing a few wacky wigs and bizarre costumes into perspective, doesn’t it?
“Yeah, exactly! I’m really looking forward to wearing silly costumes, getting into character and having a laugh on this show. But there is a serious reason for doing it as well.”