Arts Q&A: Katherine Jenkins on Sister Sledge, Tom Odell and Philippa Gregory

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins

Best-selling classical artist Katherine Jenkins will be performing at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Monday May 27

1. When did you think about a career as a singer and what were your first steps into it?

 started singing when I was four and was doing it purely for the love of it. I used to say I wanted to be a singer when I grew up but honestly I thought that was a distant dream. I became a chorister at our local church and started to win national competitions around age 11 and after this my mum finally agreed I could have singing lessons. When I got my record deal aged 23, my mum and I couldn’t believe it and didn’t tell anyone for six months. She kept saying "things like this don’t happen to people from Neath, Katherine".

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Hamilton on Broadway, Angels in America at the National Theatre and Prince at the O2, London.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Sister Sledge. We are Family is the Jenkins family anthem so I think that would go down pretty well.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

Tom Odell's Grow Old With Me. It was our first dance at our wedding so hopefully the good memories would keep me going.

5. And the book?

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I’m a Tudor geek so could read this again and again.

6. Top three films?

Amadeus, Forrest Gump and Frozen (I have a three year old).

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

Anything horror related. I hate being scared.

8. Favourite authors?

Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Rugby union – The Welsh rugby team and The Ospreys. I also love tennis, in particular Billie Jean King who is a dear friend of mine.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

The Maldives for some peace or South Africa for safari.

11. Pet hate?

Poachers, a lack of manners and people who don’t cover their mouths when coughing.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? A big veggie roast dinner.

Dessert? Dairy-free chocolate cake.

Drink? Champagne.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

Kristy Mellin. We met on the first day of school and have been best friends ever since. Even though she still lives in Wales and I am now in London, our friendship remains as strong as ever. We also both lost a parent in the last year of comprehensive school which I think has bonded us together.

14. Is there a God?

Yes. I believe so.

:: Katherine Jenkins porforms at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Monday May 27. Tickets from Her album Guiding Light is out now.

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