Katherine Jenkins in Steppin' Out With Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins takes centre stage in an evening of glitz and glamour. The Welsh mezzo-soprano is singing, but she’s also dancing, after coming second on Dancing With The Stars (America’s answer to Strictly Come Dancing) earlier this year. She tells TV Choice more about the entertainment extravaganza…

How did Steppin' Out With Katherine Jenkins come about?
ITV1 approached me. I think since Dancing With The Stars, ITV had a similar idea of wanting to do something that harks back to the golden era of Hollywood – like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It’s kind of like the old-fashioned entertainment shows of music and dancing. And special guests. That’s something I really enjoy.

Katherine Jenkins in Steppin' Out With Katherine JenkinsYou’re performing a waltz, an Argentine tango, a tap routine and a tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But which of those is the most challenging?
I think probably the Argentine tango is the toughest. It’s so technical and you have to be really strong. It’s the most intense. But I was lucky because I had one of my dance partners from America, Tristan MacManus, over, so I did the tango with him.

The guests include girl band Stooshe, vocal group The Overtones and classical singers Il Divo. Do you interview them?
No, basically it’s not really like a show that I host. It’s sort of like a dream, in that I have this idea of putting on this song and dance show – and then it comes to life. So the show is full of entertainment. There are not many pauses for talking much. We have a master of ceremonies, Mark Benton. He’s amazing, and he’s like a comedy character. But really, apart from that, it’s song after song – and dance.

Katherine Jenkins in Steppin' Out With Katherine JenkinsYou’ve performed many duets over the last few years, but is there anyone left you’d still like to sing with?
Oh, I’ve been so lucky that I’ve sung with so many of the classical people that I’ve looked up to. I’ve been lucky to sing with Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli – so I think I’d pick someone completely outside of my genre. Somebody like Michael Bublé or Adele. Two amazing voices there. And it’s always nice to fit different styles together.

Katherine Jenkins in Steppin' Out With Katherine JenkinsYou’ve also met many famous people, but who has made you feel star-struck?
Kylie Minogue – when I sang with her on The X Factor – because I grew up listening to Kylie. And sometimes, when I’m getting ready to go on stage, I play Kyle Minogue to get me in the mood. Then, more recently, when I was in America I met Tom Hanks and he told me he was voting for me on Dancing With The Stars and I was a bit overwhelmed with that, because he’s my all-time favourite actor.

You made your acting debut in a Doctor Who Christmas episode in 2010. Do you have any more plans to act?
I was nervous about that, but I actually ended up loving it, and it’s definitely given me more of an open mind about acting. I have been asked to do other things since, but I’ve said no because what was lovely about the character of Abigail was that it was a singing part as well. I can’t wait to tell the grandchildren how I saved the world by singing into a screwdriver!

Given your success on Dancing With The Stars, what advice would you offer to the stars taking part in Strictly Come Dancing?
I have to say I’m watching it with a new-found respect and understanding of what they’re going through. I wasn’t prepared for how mentally challenging and emotionally difficult it would be. I think it’s about keeping a cool and calm head, and keeping things in perspective. You see people unravelling behind the scenes, and it’s really strange, because ultimately it’s just a dancing competition.

ITV1, Sunday

David Collins