Congratulations on the new album, Hope. Tell us a bit about it.
Thank you. My album this year is actually themed on inspiration with a good mix of musical genres! I’ve included some great tracks on the album and I’m thrilled to be covering a Pink Floyd number. We’ve also got a little gospel number on there this year. I’m incredibly proud of this album.
Are you still having fun?
I’m having the time of my life – it’s brilliant! I really do have the best job in the world – but I can’t quite believe where the past five years have gone.
You recently toured America for the first time – how did that go?
It really was great. I had the most amazing reception. We did 21 shows around the US, travelled in the tour bus and saw some great cities and wonderful people. The American audiences are so supportive.
How does it feel when you think about how far you’ve come. Does Britain’s Got Talent seem a long time ago now?
In one respect, it seems like ages ago and, on the other hand, it feels like it was yesterday. I have achieved more in the past five years than I could ever have imagined.
Six albums in five years, travelled the world and ticked more off my bucket list than I could have thought possible. I’m so very lucky and I pinch myself everyday.
You came into the industry quite late, but did you always know you wanted to sing?
I think coming into the industry at my time of life was the best time. I broke the mould, so to speak. I’ve been singing since I was a young girl and I promised my mother before she died that I would make something of my life. So I auditioned for
Last year you announced you have Asperger’s Syndrome. Do you have to be an inspiration to others living with it?
I don’t see my Asperger’s as a disability – I see it as an opportunity for people to understand and stop pre-judging. I hope that the awareness created will help other people to see that just because you have a diagnosis, it doesn’t need to limit your opportunities in life.
You famously are one of the more grounded celebrities to come out of the UK, insisting you won’t sell the council house you grew up in. But what’s the most extravagant thing you’ve allowed yourself to splash out on?
My family home I bought, and I recently bought the house next door, as well as the “Posh House” which really isn’t that posh. I won’t ever move out of the area, why would I? I have great friends and family there and lovely neighbours and I’m part of the community that I grew up in.