September 26, 2020
Amanda Holden’s laugh should be prescribed on the NHS. 
Ive Enjoyed The Madness Of It: Amanda Holden On Making Music And Memories In A Year Wed All Rather Forget
Her filthy cackle peppers our chat on an otherwise dreary Thursday lunchtime, and suddenly it feels like it’s 2019 again and all is well in the world.
It’s not, of course, but try telling Amanda that. Her giddiness ahead of the release of her debut album is palpable. 
“I’m nervous and I’m excited,” she screams, although it sounds like it’s definitely more of the latter.
“Next Saturday I’m singing live on Britain’s Got Talent so that’ll be when I really pull on my brown trousers,” she laughs. “It’s a big old week, let’s say that.”
It certainly is, even by Amanda’s standards.
While a large proportion of us have spent the last six months struggling to do much more than watch endless boxsets, Amanda has been co-presenting the Heart Breakfast Show every day, filming Britain’s Got Talent and providing us with plenty of lockdown laughs after discovering TikTok.  View this post on InstagramWell..., what else is there to do in a power cut in the rain??! 🇬🇧🌧☔️A post shared by Amanda Holden (@noholdenback) on Aug 25, 2020 at 9:08am PDT“I’ve been one of the lucky ones because I’ve worked throughout it, so I’ve had a reason to get up in the morning and put on a lash and my lipgloss,” she says. 
“I’ve enjoyed TikTok and the madness of 2020 and trying to keep everyone’s peckers up. I’ve enjoyed the silly aspect of it. I mowed my lawn in a wedding dress and put the bins out in a ball gown and I’ve got a hot tub! I’ve actually got two hot tubs. I’m like John Prescott! It’s the two-metre thing. There’s the Covid one and mine,” she cackles. 
She’s also managed to record her first album, which has already had the seal of approval from her fellow Britain’s Got Talent judges.
“Simon was hugely flattering and unnervingly nice,” Amanda tells me. “As was David, bless his heart. Again when David gave his opinion I was waiting for the joke and it didn’t come. And Alesha was brilliantly encouraging and wonderfully complimentary.”
Songs From The Heart is just that, a collection of 13 musical theatre classics, including I Dreamed A Dream and Somewhere Over The Rainbow, all chosen by Amanda herself.
“Throughout my life they’ve always been prominent and personal and have inspired me or I’ve kind of related to the lyrics. So there’s a story behind every single song,” she says. “It makes me look back rather than forward.”We’re all feeling pretty nostalgic at the moment, but when I suggest her next album should follow the current disco resurgence led by the likes of Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Jessie Ware, she’s already one step ahead of me.
“I actually said, fucking hell, if we go into another lockdown I think everyone needs disco,” she says. “I think what I’ll do is talk to my BFF Kylie and we’ll do one together. Can you imagine?”
I can, but warn her that the world would probably combust into glitter, which might not be a bad thing.
She adds: “I’ll never forget when I took [daughters] Hollie and Lexie to go and see Kylie’s Christmas show and she was like, ‘mummy, there are so many men with beards here!’”
She’s howling again.
Her delightfully unfiltered personality is rare to find in a celebrity as well known as Amanda.
“I’m always the person who falls over in dog poo,” she says. “And I’m always the person who gets shat on by a seagull.
“How I measure my partner’s love for me is ‘will he wash out my pooey pants?’ If they say no, that’s it, it’s not true love. Thankfully my husband said he would do that - and I think he probably has!”
Her lack of filter is also one of the reasons why she’s still a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, 13 years after taking a seat next to the notoriously fickle Simon Cowell on the very first series back in 2007.This year, ITV’s light entertainment show didn’t feel quite as light for a time after Diversity’s powerful performance resulted in over 20,000 people complaining to Ofcom.
The TV regulator has since dismissed the complaints, but what would she say to those viewers who were offended?
“I would say that we mustn’t forget that it was a performance that reflected the entire year, not just the tragedy in America of George Floyd,” she says. “It was celebrating the NHS and our sense of community, which is ironic after we received those complaints.
“I think ITV did a great Job of standing by it and helping people see that TV isn’t just there to comfort and entertain, it is there to educate and shock and make people think and start conversations. And family shows can be used like that.
“The younger we get people talking about this kind of thing, the more unlikely this conversation will even be a thing in hopefully five or six years or less. I don’t even want to have this conversation in five years because I want it to be a given. It annoyed me that so much focus was on the negativity when we were overwhelmed by amazing, positive responses. And I felt honoured to be one of the first people to see it."“I think when it comes to TV, it has to not just be on screen, it has to be behind the scenes too. It’s very important that the people in the jobs in casting or who are running the networks are diverse and not just the hosts because that isn’t the necessary answer to this either. It’s been a very powerful end to the year.” 
More recently, Alesha Dixon also found herself at the centre of Ofcom complaints because of the ‘BLM’ (Black Lives Matter) necklace she wore on one of the shows – not that Amanda noticed it at the time.
“I didn’t even realise she was wearing it!” she laughs. “I was sat right next to her and was like ‘oh, that’s lovely! And she went ‘look at it babe’ and I went ‘oh, yes’. It took me ages… it’s me eyes you see – I’m sat a couple of metres away!”
Amanda admits she feels incredibly protective of her fellow judge, but insists Alesha can “fight her own corner”.
“She doesn’t need me but she’s got me right there if she does… I’ve got a mouthguard and a hot towel ready,” she laughs.
Amanda’s love for all of her BGT colleagues is obvious. She even thinks there could be a joint musical venture between them all.
“I actually said to Alesha the other week that me and her would be the perfect Roxie and Velma in Chicago,” she says. “I would never do a takeover though darling, but I would do a proper… you know if they started again fresh and made a big fuss about it then I’d do it [laughs]. David could be Mr Cellophane and Simon could be Billy Flynn, the lawyer. We’re perfectly cast for Chicago!” View this post on InstagramMa famille ❤️🇫🇷 #photo @davidcoulthardf1A post shared by Amanda Holden (@noholdenback) on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:17pm PDTWith TV, radio, film, theatre and now music plastered all over her CV, I wonder what’s left for the mum-of-two to tick off her to-do list? Would she do Strictly?
“It’s too much like hard work,” she admits. “Also, I think Simon… no. Even though we all love it and watch it, including Simon, it’s our biggest rival show. I would 100 percent do the Christmas special and would 100 percent go and sing on there, but I love watching it.”
She then adds: “I’d love to learn to fly. I want to fly a plane. I’m very jealous of Carol Vorderman. But you do have to be really clever, so I don’t know. I might just have to stick to a simulator. And I’d really like to be in a Bollywood movie.”
As our interview draws to a close I ask her what’s the one thing people might be surprised to know about her. 
“I love cleaning!” she says. “My mum used to have a B&B in Bournemouth and for extra money when I was a drama student, she’d save all the bathrooms for me, especially the toilets. 
“I do love a toilet. And people forget about the limescale under the rim. I love cleaning under a rim.”
And then she’s off, her cackle ringing in my ears once more.
Amanda Holden’s debut album Songs From My Heart is out 2 October, visit www.officialamandaholden.comREAD MORE: Feuds, Farts And Fractures – Why 2019 Belonged To Amanda Holden 34 Times Amanda Holden Was Nothing Less Than Fabulous Amanda Holden Won't Let A Storm Get In The Way Of Her Hilarious TikTok Videos
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