Written by Christine Smith
As one of the judges on Britain’s Got Talent, Alesha Dixon has one of the most sought after TV jobs, but she admits she never takes anything for granted.
The 37-year-old star, who is back on our screens in the Saturday night entertainment show with Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and David Walliams, says that a day doesn’t go by when she doesn’t appreciate how lucky she is.
“This year I decided to change things a bit,” she says. “I wanted to be more ballsy. I think it is good to step out of your comfort zone. As much as I am a confident person, there are some things that I hold back on and this year, I decided to really go for things. It energises you and it gives you the motivation to keep going. Yes, I get tired but I get through it all.”
Alesha says that as she has got older she has learned to accept that things don’t always go right. She explains: “People ask what my most embarrassing TV moment is and I would always say that you never know what is going to come out of your mouth on a live show and you wonder why you said it! But one thing I have learned is to be yourself, be in the moment and sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. You have to roll with the punches.”
She’s certainly rolling with the punches on this year’s Britain’s Got Talent as the popular series celebrates its tenth anniversary. As the competing acts are whittled down to 40 semi-finalists over the coming weeks, Alesha admits she always goes with her gut instinct when it comes to choosing whether a contestant should go through or not.
She says: “You always want to set the bar high so you don’t want to say ‘yes’ too quickly, but essentially logic has to go out of the window when you have got someone in front of you and you make that connection. You are assessing their talent. You can’t be methodical about it. You have to go with what feels right.”
She believes the panel of judges has got the right mix of variety on this year’s series and it will be a close call as to who will walk away with first prize.
There have been too many favourite moments to pinpoint one, but she says: “I love that moment when the audience falls in love with someone. Look at Ashleigh and Pudsey or when Diversity and Flawless came out and completely blew us away with street dance. Or look at Paul Potts and Susan Boyle. Without the contestants, we are nothing. They really make the show.”
When asked what Simon is like to work with, Alesha roars with laughter. “Out of all of us, he likes playing pranks the most,” she replies. “He is always stealing my phone. I haven’t done the same to him even though he has told me I can!
“Simon and David are always trying to outdo each other so Amanda and I have to keep them in line!
“I love working on the show. It’s a blessing to work on something where there is so much laughter and so much energy.
“Working with Simon, David and Amanda is like that reunion you have on the first day of school. The excitement, too. The four of us have a natural bond. This is our fifth series together so we have a natural rapport. We laugh a lot. We are fortunate that we work on a fun show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Alesha, who lives in London with her partner, Azuka, confides it’s a constant juggling act with her life as mum to two-year-old Azura. Being the bubbly multi-tasker that she is, the singer turned judge wouldn’t have it any other way. “I am really happy,” she says. “I am lucky I have got a job I love and I get to do brilliant things.”
Already signed up for next year’s series of the talent show, Alesha is also working on an abundance of other projects. These include a new clothing line, a fragrance, more music, and a goal to try and get an acting job and work abroad.
She is, without a shadow of doubt, a consummate entrepreneur. “I am a businesswoman,” Alesha declares. “It’s about balancing what you are interested in with smart moves.
“I am lucky to be in a position to do these things and make great business choices. I like new. It makes life interesting.”
And with that parting shot, Alesha has to dash off to spin yet more plates.
- Britain’s Got Talent is on ITV on Saturday evenings
- There's more star chat in every issue of Yours
Did you know...?
- Alesha found fame in the all-female R&B band Mis-Teeq
- She won Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 and in 2009 became a judge on the show alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood
- In 2008 she released her second solo album including the hit song The Boy Does Nothing
- In 2009, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for Comic Relief with Girls Aloud members Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh, Ben Shephard, Ronan Keating, Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen, Chris Moyles and Gary Barlow
- Alesha Anjanette Dixon was born in Welwyn Garden City to a Jamaican father, Melvin, and English mother, Beverly Harris
- Her and her partner, former backing dancer Azuka Ononye, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Azura Sienna, in October 2013
- She is involved in various animal rights organisations and is also a vegetarian. She is Vice-President of the League Against Cruel Sports, a charity which works to end cruelty to animals in the name of sport and featured in a charity appeal due to concerns that the Hunting Act 2004 could be repealed