EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Alesha Dixon talks Strictly Come Dancing, Lily Allen and taking on America

Posted by Dean Piper On March 20th, 2011

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Popstar and Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon is one busy lady. In the last year she’s critiqued the likes of Ann Widdecombe on the dancefloor and released her second album, The Entertainer. And this week, as an ambassador for the MOBOs, she announced that Glasgow is set to host the awards for the next three years.

Alesha was certain who she wants to see for an award this year so Natalie Edwards sat down to talk Jessie J, taking on America and why she would love Lily Allen on Strictly.

Who would you like to see up for a MOBO award come October?
There is only one person I can think of at the moment who I want to see up for a MOBO and that’s Jessie J. I’ve been a fan of hers probably for about a year now and I was aware of her way before she broke with her single and it was purely based on her Youtube videos. She doesn’t even pass a sweat and is incredible. I said to MOBO founder Kanya King that I hope Jessie is not only nominated for best newcomer but that she performs as well because she is an incredible talent to come out of the UK. I love her and I’ve never been so excited about a new artist.

Have you had the chance to meet Jessie yet?
Yeah I know her really well. The first time I met her was so funny because I was obviously a big fan from the Youtube videos. I was at RWD party and I was completely gushing at her. I went up and was like ‘Jessie J I’m a massive fan. You probably think I’m crazy but I just want to tell you that I think your voice is amazing’. I was like a proper fan and she probably thought ‘Who is this complete weirdo?’ The night she was performing we’d also been offered tickets to go and see Bruno Mars but I turned them down to see her before she was even known and that’s testament to her.

Would you ever consider doing similar stripped back performance videos on Youtube for fans?
I think it’s a new thing for artists and I’m from a different generation. Youtube is a new thing and when I was coming up with Mis-Teeq we didn’t have that. When you look at the like of Justin Bieber I think it’s a brilliant way for new artists to break through as you can empower yourself with the power of Youtube. It’s perfect for letting people know that you are out there without the support of a major label. I think more people probably watch videos on Youtube than on the music channels. I love watching the videos where the artists are stripped back with their guitar just jamming. It is a little bit more intimate and I actually prefer that when it comes to music.

Do you think you’ll be recommending Jessie J to the BBC producers for a performance slot on Strictly Come Dancing?
That would be wicked – I’ll be putting a word in no doubt. But then again I probably don’t need to as she’s doing it all herself! It’s all going to happen for her this year.

A lot of people have been talking about a Mis-Teeq reunion so what’s the truth?
I spoke to both of the girls and none of us know where the story came from. But since that story emerged obviously we have been talking and agree that it would be a really cool idea. But all of us agree that we’ve never said never but obviously we’re all doing different things at the moment. I wouldn’t rule it out at some point but because no-one knows where it came from it’s a bit of an odd one. Maybe a one-off show or something like that would be cool.

What are your upcoming plans – are you still looking to go to America?
I’m off to America at the weekend for a little bit of a holiday and then I’m going to Australia and then I was meant to be going to Japan as well. But in light of what’s happened we’ve had to put it back. We’ve managed to speak to our label out in Japan and make sure that everyone is ok. The plan was to do Australia and Japan at the same time but now we are not sure so we’ll have to see what happens there. Also at the moment I’m looking for co-management in America as I definitely want to put some time in over there which is exciting!

Definitely. What are the plans when it comes to America?

The first thing to do is get a co-manager as my manager is based in Scotland and we need someone working on the ground over there. So I’m going out there and will start having some meetings and a few labels have expressed an interest so that’s great. So we’ll see what happens! I’ve got The Alesha Show and The Entertainer so we can either put them together as a package or work on new tracks. It’s something I really want to dedicate time to and I think now is probably the best time. I’m definitely up for the challenge – fingers crossed!

Are there any plans to become a judge on the American version of Strictly – Dancing With The Stars?
I think the thing with that is that you have to be well known in America even to be asked to be a contestant on the show so I’d rule that out at this point. I’d have to go on and perform as a musical artist so I need to get Bruno and Len to put a good word in for me! I went over to America when Len and Bruno were working on the show and they invited me along and I met the producers who were all very lovely. Obviously they know that I’m a judge on the UK show and that I’m an artist so you know, I’ve had the introductions, and once we are ready to press the green button on the music out there it’s definitely something that we’re going to work towards. It’s one of the biggest shows so fingers crossed.

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How about joining Cheryl Cole on US X Factor? Would you prefer that to Dancing With The Stars?
Either one will do me! I’m not really fussed. They are two incredible shows with great audiences in America. It would be a fantastic platform for any artist so either one would be brilliant.

Have you signed up for a new series of Strictly this year?
They haven’t asked me yet but if they do I’ve been quite open about the fact that I enjoyed it last year and felt very much at home and had a great time. I’ve expressed a love to do it again but with any contract like that it’s only for a year so you have to wait until you get the phonecall which is usually in the summer so fingers crossed! If they ask me I’ll do it but if they don’t then I’ll graciously say ‘Ok, never mind’. I’d love to be back so I hope I get the phonecall.

Who would you love to see take part in this years Strictly?
I’ve always said that I’d love to see Lily Allen on there. I remember going on her show years ago and she told me she was a massive Strictly Come Dancing fan and would love to do the show. I asked her why she didn’t do it and she said she couldn’t as her label were pushing her to get the album out and music was her first priority. Now obviously she’s taken a step away from the music industry maybe it could be on her agenda again. She did definitely express an interest and she’s such a kooky character and really lovely girl. She doesn’t mince her words so I think she’d be a brilliant contestant. I’d also love to see Sharon Osbourne as she doesn’t mince her words either. I love people that are really straight talking, bold and full of personality! Sharon is a genius so I think she would be value for money and obviously Kelly did the show in the States. I’m sure she was in talks one year to do the show but it never come off.

What hunky men would you like to see flex their muscles on the dancefloor?
A girl can dream! Bradley Cooper would be good. Do you know what, anyone really. I just think it’s so funny to see people that can’t dance.

Would you like another Ann Widdecombe this series then?
We need another politician! Gordon Brown would be good. I met him and he was really lovely. I liked him as he was a real gentleman. He wouldn’t do it but I think him and Sarah would be great on the show.

Fans can register for tickets at www.mobo.com from now onwards. Tickets are priced at £29, £49, £59 and £100 (golden circle.) Gold and Platinum tables can also be secured. For more information and to register your interest visit: www.mobo.com

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