Dawn French: I’ll be careful not to swear!

Dawn French joins the judging panel, as Superstar reaches the live show stage on Sunday with just 10 singers left…

Are you excited about your role as a judge in the live shows on Superstar?

“I’m far too over-excited. I’m counting the days to it, like you do at Christmas when you’re a child. I’ve never worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber before, but I have actually portrayed him when we did a parody on French and Saunders. I’ve met him a few times and he’s a tiptop gent.”

What will you be looking for from the final 10 performers?

“For someone who can blow yer socks off each night on stage. Plenty of people are very good on stage, very few are remarkable or beyond fantastic but I’m hoping we’ll find someone like that. I will be on the lookout for confidence, with dollops of humility. And, of course, a splendid voice and a 26-pack – if indeed there is such a thing! If there was, I reckon Jesus would have it.”

Will you be the new Simon Cowell?

“No! I will always look for the positive in performances but I do love Simon and I wish he was my boyfriend.”

What tips would you give the finalists before they go on stage?

“Wear your lucky (clean) pants; breath deep, slow and steady; try not to fall over; face the front; don’t be cocky; don’t wink; and remember, it’s only telly… live telly…”

As it’s live, you’ll have to be on your best behaviour too…

“Oh, I’m not averse to a bit of mischief. I’ll have to hold my tongue when it comes to bad language though. I’m a notoriously rampant at swearing and enjoy expletives enormously. I’m trying to use up all my foul language now so that I am severely depleted when it comes to the live telly.”

Do you have a favourite musical?

“My all-time favourite musical is Guys and Dolls but Jesus Christ Superstar is a close second. I can’t understand why I’ve never been asked to play Nancy in Oliver. It could it be that I can’t sing, but I don’t view that as an obstacle.”

Superstar goes live from Sunday July 15 at 8pm on ITV1