Top Of The Pops 1997

TOTP: Your first solo tour is nearly upon us. Will you be singing totally live?

Louise: Yes, I'll be singing live alongside my live nine-piece band! I'll have some backing vocalists too because some of the songs are difficult to sing at the same time as doing the dance routines. It'll be good to have some help during the big dance breaks, like in Naked.

TOTP: Will you be visiting a voice coach before the tour?

Louise: Yeah, a few weeks before. Usually I do my own vocal warm-ups or the producer I'm working with in studio will do them with me. But because this is my first full live tour on my own, I'll go and see a coach.

TOTP: The tour is sponsored by Soft & Gentle. Is that the deodorant you use?

Louise: Of course!

TOTP: Oh, come on!

Louise: You know what, If I'm really honest, I'm one of those people who just picks up any deodorant when I'm in the supermarket. But since Soft & Gentle came on board to sponsor the tour I look out for them when I'm shopping, and that's what I buy!

TOTP: It's not exactly the most, erm, trendy of products to be sponsored by, is it?

Louise: Well, no. But it wasn't about trend-setting, it was about keeping the ticket price to my shows as low as possible, and by having Soft & Gentle as my sponsor, I can do that. In return for me promoting their product they pay an amount of money, and we use that to make the tour good. If they hadn't paid it, the extra costs would have been added to the price of the tickets.

TOTP: So how much money did they have to pay for you to promote their product?

Louise: That I'm no sure, so it would be really wrong for me to guess at a figure without knowing exactly.

TOTP: Hmm. Will you be performing any cover versions during the show?

Louise: I'll be doing something by Earth Wind and Fire ('70s flare-wearers who sang the song Stretch 'n' Vern sampled on I'm Alive), so I'm expecting everyone to bring their dancing shoes and afro wigs!

TOTP: Will you be doing any Eternal songs?

Louise: There might be a little tribute to the girls in there, yes. My manager Oliver said he thought it would be a good idea to do an Eternal song and I was a concerned as to whether they'd mind. But he said they wouldn't! As for which song I'm doing, that's a secret!

TOTP: OK, so what was your favourite Eternal song when you were in the group?

Louise: (Smiles) Stay!

TOTP: When did you last speak to Vernie Eternal?

Louise: Um, quite a while ago. (Perks up) Actually, that's not quite true! I saw her about two months ago at the opening night of Beauty And The Beast. She brought her cousin Beverley. I'd be lying if I said we kept in regular contact, we don't. But we both have good intentions, we're just both really busy!

TOTP: Will you be on the cover of the forthcoming Eternal greatest hits album?

Louise: I doubt it. No, I shouldn't think so. I guess there will be songs on it from the first album, and I doubt they'd take my vocals off, but I don't think that warrants me being on the front. I chose to leave Eternal, I don't expect to reap the rewards years down the line!

TOTP: Now, brilliant as it is, your new single Arms Around The World sounds like Janet Jackson's Runaway. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

Louise: Arghhhh, I know the bit you mean, it's at the beginning, isn't it?! Oh, it's really aggrivating you know because all we've done is use the same instrument which has created the same sound. I hope people aren't going to penalise me for one little bit sounding the same. It wasn't done intentionally, it was only when the song was finished I noticed it, and because it led so nicely into the song I decided to keep it!

TOTP: But everyone knows you're a big Janet fan, you can't blame people if they draw the connection!

Louise: A few people have said it to me already. The next time someone says it I'm gonna say, "I know, don't tell me!"

TOTP: It's over a year since you took your top off for the cover of Sky magazine. It wasn't really very you, was it?

Louise: No, it wasn't was it? But I didn't go Naked remember. I wore a bra top and they covered it up with their headline to make me look Naked. I recently did photos for FHM magazine and I felt just as nervous. Did I take my top off? Ohmigod, nooo! I'd never do that and I don't think I'd be asked as people know what I'm like!

TOTP: Are you as sweet and innocent as you appear to be?

Louise: I'm sorry?!

TOTP: Are you, erm, as polite and kind as you appear to be?

Louise: My mum did her best!

TOTP: Well, it's just that it's hard to imagine you swearing when you stub your toe while you're doing the hoovering in your bra and knickers!

Louise: Everyone has two sides to them, and one of my sides is the side that swears when I stub my toe while I'm hoovering in my bra and knickers. I love a good swear. In fact, I know words I bet you didn't know existed!

TOTP: Were Shane and Ronan noisy upstairs neighbours?

Louise: Do you know what? They were never there, they were always away working. I never saw them!

TOTP: Do you receive dirty fan mail?

Louise: I don't, unless it's kept from me. Actually, I definitely don't because when I pick my fan mail up it's unopened. My letters are usually from teenagers.

TOTP: We've been told you don't want to talk about your relationship with Jamie Redknapp...

Louise: It's just a very personal thing for me. It's a private thing. I know some people would love to shout it from the nearest roof top, but that isn't me!

TOTP: But why did you deny you were seeing him?

Louise: At the time when everyone thought I was having a relationship with Jamie, I wasn't. We were honestly just good friends, for about two and a half years before we started having a relationship. We hit it off as friends from day one and now it's nice because the friendship existed first. It was never like an instant, "Cor, I fancy you." That just happened after a few years!

TOTP: So how long have you been together as a couple?

Louise: Not very long, but long enough. Is that a good enough answer?

TOTP: Yes! Have you met his mum?

Louise: Of course.

TOTP: Have you been to her house for tea?

Louise: Of course. Jamie has a lovely family.

TOTP: Did you decide to announce your engagement in The Sun newspaper?

Louise: No. I didn't want to tell anybody, but I can't be cross with The Sun because they wrote about it in a really kind way.

TOTP: Why aren't you wearing your engagement ring?

Louise: I never wear jewellery at a photoshoot because my look doesn't require jewellery. My jewellery goes on when I go home!

TOTP: Could we run a competition where we offer 50 people the chance to come to your wedding?

Louise: Are you serious?

TOTP: No.

Louise: Oh phew. Is that the last question?