Since the age of seven, when I saw the Sound of Music about six times in a row, I just knew show business was the job for me. Even now I still have a rebellious streak, I don’t feel like I’m a conformist at all. I think I’ve always bucked the trend. I was one of the first people to be singing and acting and have two completely separate careers. Now that’s bog standard. When I started thirty years ago celebrity didn’t exist the way it does now, today it’s big business. I’m not scared of celebrity but I never expected it to become a worldwide industry.

I like new challenges, if something is difficult I really like it. It means your breaking your own habits. There are times when thing are difficult. The hardest thing I have ever done is having to film on a busy street like Oxford Street in London. People always want to know what you’re doing and you can’t be left alone to get on with it. Every job has its own difficulties but I enjoy that. I’m still striving to achieve, for me once something is done its gone and forgotten. It’s history. In many ways I’m still trying to achieve the impossible dream.

I didn’t enjoy I’m a celebrity get me out of here, it was actually incredibly hard. They starve you, they play psychological games with you and no-one ever mentions that its freezing cold. You go out and think you are going to have a lovely time in the sunshine and the reality is horrible. Leeches are prolific in the jungle and they are attracted to body heat. When we were talking a clump of leaves would move towards us and it would be leeches. Really spooky. But despite being smelly and dirty I realised this is the nature of the beast and celebrity telly is part of what I do.

I believe firmly that everybody has a right to work, regardless of age. I came into the business never expecting to retire and I still feel the same way. Pure pigheadedness keeps me going, I think I’m going to fight ageism all the way. I have worked with brilliant people in their late seventies like Catherine Hepburn, the legendary Hollywood actress. It’s people like her that inspire me to keep going. I’m still enjoying myself and I feel I have a right to keep working until that changes.

The most successful things are the simplest things. If you told me last year I would be doing a 44 date tour wearing big teeth I would have gone mad! ‘Vampire’s Rock’ has been around for a couple of years and it’s building a huge following. The audience come along wanting to be part of the show, and it doesn’t disappoint. It has more pyrotechnics than the Olympic games! Its got humour, it’s fun and it has really great music. I initially said yes because I wanted to enjoy myself, but since then it’s taken on a life of its own and I really respect the fact it’s a high quality show. This is what theatre does, it’s about enjoyment, and this is no exception.

There is a lot of people out there who really romanticise about being vampires, and that’s what this is about. The audience can expect a rocky horror-esque atmosphere, and lots of comedy. The story is slightly sexist but it’s all tongue in cheek – or tooth in cheek! I think the audience needs to come along and enjoy the fetishism of being a vampire. I play the Devil Queen and will I be using a lot of my potential for wifely tantrums and seduction. I have definitely been typecast for the role and I’m not afraid to say it.

Interview by Tom Tainton.

Venue Magazine
August 2008