Singing star Pixie Lott on The Voice Kids, painful culinary disasters during lockdown and her wedding plans
Singer and The Voice Kids judge Pixie Lott chats to Katie Wright about working on the junior version of the TV talent contest, her culinary ups and downs during lockdown and her wedding plans
A TALENTED singer and dancer she may be, but Pixie Lott is not, by her own admission, an expert when it comes to kitchen endeavours.
At the beginning of lockdown, the London-based pop star attempted to heat up a pot of shop-bought soup in the microwave ("The only thing I can really make apart from overnight oats,") and ended up with a badly burned hand when the scalding contents of the tub spilled out.
"It all ran down my hand – it was piping hot and all my skin went molten," she recalls. "It was really painful."
After Googling, Lott decided to wrap her hand in cling film to keep the burn clean and hoped this would do the trick: though it's always best to consult a doctor or pharmacist for advice on appropriate treatment and self-managing minor wounds and burns.
"It did start to heal and then a week later it got really, really bad and it got infected, so I did have to go to A&E. But they were amazing, and it's all healed now, so it's all good."
Looking on the bright side, Lott says the soup disaster has given her even more of an excuse to avoid cooking duties, which is not a problem in her household.
"Oliver, my fiancé, is a really, really good cook. So I'm very lucky on that front, because he makes such lovely dinners."
Lott has been dating model Oliver Cheshire since 2010 – the pair got engaged in 2016.
"We've been ordering loads of Deliveroo. And we've also ordered hampers where you can buy all the ingredients, and then you cook it [at home]. Oliver's been doing all the cooking; I've been ordering the deliveries."
The 29-year-old says having "loads of quality time" with her fiancé has been the best thing about lockdown, and the couple have been enjoying lots of al fresco dining at their East London home.
"We've got a little terrace area and for the first time we've actually been using it, because we haven't been at home together for this amount of time, ever.
"It's got hanging lights and a table and chairs, so we call it our little restaurant, we call it 'The Crab Shack'."
Usually at this time of year the singer – whose real name is Victoria; she goes by Pixie, the nickname her mum gave her as a baby – would be performing at festivals up and down the country.
"I had loads of gigs and festivals [planned], which I definitely am missing. I can't remember the last time I did a show now," she muses.
One project she was able to take part in, after lockdown restrictions were eased, was a photoshoot with Alpro (alpro.com/uk) where Lott was given a 'mOAT-tache' made from the brand's oat drink, a decade after she starred in the 'Make Mine Milk' campaign.
"I can't remember when I swapped over to Oat Drink," she says. "I'm not vegan, but I have a very plant-based diet and I don't have dairy.
"It's really good for you, it's good for the planet, and it's really good for your skin, I've found."
Apart from the photo shoot, Lott says she's been keeping busy during lockdown by getting creative and posting performances online for fans. "I've just been doing normal stuff like writing songs, and I've done a little 'shower series' of videos on my Instagram."
But as much as she's enjoyed the time off, Lott is looking forward to getting back on stage again.
"Singing is my favorite thing in the world to do, so I am definitely missing that, I can't wait for that to get back to normal.
"I don't know when it will be, or what the rules will be, or the restrictions – I guess we'll just have to wait and see."
The star can currently be seen on our screens every Saturday night on ITV1's The Voice Kids, where – along with will.i.am, Danny Jones and Paloma Faith – she has returned to her regular role as one of the celebrity coaches helping to guide young singing talent towards potential fame and fortune.
Presented by Emma Willis, this youth-orientated spin-off from hit series The Voice gives seven to 14-year-olds the opportunity to get up on stage and impress with their singing skills. It begins with blind auditions, in which the pint-sized contestants perform in front of the celebrity coaches sitting in their big red chairs.
Just like the adult version of The Voice, the stars press a button if they like what they hear, which swivels them round so they can see the face behind the voice. The successful auditionees then have battle rounds to make it through, before the semi-finals and final.
The prize at stake? A dream holiday for them and their family, plus a £30,000 bursary towards their musical education.
Teasing what we can expect from the young turns featured on this year's series, Lott says: "It's amazing. My team is so different this year. Different stories, different backgrounds, different styles.
"At the battles, they really fight it out, and you see that side of them you haven't seen before, so I get excited by that."
The Bromley-born singer has the benefit of experience on her side: not only has she picked the winner in two previous series of The Voice Kids, she herself was only 19 when she went straight to number one with her debut single Mama Do.
"I always just say, as advice to young people – even to myself now – just go for auditions and opportunities," she suggests.
"You never know where they might lead to, you never know who you might meet. You might meet one of your best friends, that you do things together with when you're older, work-wise."
And, as for her plans for her big day with fiance Oliver, it seems the London singing star will have plenty of company on her side of the aisle – she will be having a lot of bridesmaids:
"It's 18 and counting," reveals Lott.
"I just don't want to leave anyone out. It's my best friends from school, my cousins, Ollie's family and then my sister and then some little flower girls. It just all adds up."
:: The Voice Kids is on ITV1 on Saturdays at 7.25pm. Catch up with the first episode via ITV Player at ITV.com