You and Patrick Kielty hosted The Prince’s Trust Rock Gala – which acts did you enjoy most?
Cerys Matthews was amazing – she did a version of Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire, which was effortlessly cool – and Boy George did Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? Then, everyone came on at the end for a rendition of David Bowie’s Heroes, which was really moving.
What is your favourite genre of music?
I have gone through a journey with music. I grew up with my mum and dad listening to musicals like Oliver and West Side Story, and my dad was into The Beatles, Sinatra and Buddy Holly. I went through a stage of being into pop music too, which I still enjoy, but my heart is with indie.
Which band is your guilty pleasure?
I probably shouldn’t share openly the amount of times that I play Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You at this time of year. For me, it is a holiday switch – listening to that and watching Elf, starring Will Ferrell, is Christmas!
What was your first gig?
I went to see Rod Stewart with my mum and I was slightly traumatised by the end at her over-enthusiasm for him. The first gig I went to without my parents was The Beautiful South. It was before they had a girl in the group; it was just Paul Heaton, in a dingy little club. I loved the atmosphere and from then on, I was hooked.
Which musician you’ve interviewed has been the biggest let down?
I loved A-Ha but my childhood admiration of them was blown to smithereens when they came on the radio show. They had been around and knew the game but it was obvious they all hated each other by that point, and Morten Harket said “fuck” at three o’clock in the afternoon, when all the kids were getting picked up from school.
Which celebrity you’ve met has surprised you the most?
Ben Affleck. I went in believing everything I had read so I had made my mind up about what he was going to be like, taking himself too seriously, but he was hilarious. He can do the best Borat impression! And Matt Damon was great, too – he can do a brilliant ‘Maaatt Daaamon’ from Team America.
Do you still get starstruck?
Of course, if the time comes that I don’t, then it is time to do something else. I love that I am still impressioned by it all. Meeting Julian Lennon at the Gala, it was like: “Fuckin’ hell, these are people from musical history!”
What was your biggest on-air blunder?
Once on the show, [former co-host] Colin [Murray] had been in Los Angeles so we did this ‘guess who he had spotted at LA airport’ game. When he got to the punchline, it seemed to be in slow motion as he said: “I saw a fucking Fratelli brother from The Goonies!” I’ve sworn on someone else’s show but never on my own. Although one time, Cee Lo Green came in to the studio when Forget You had just been released. We got clearance to play the original, unedited version because it was late at night. I couldn’t hold back my excitement, so, while the record played, I danced round the studio and sung the words in his face. It was fuckin’ hilarious.
When was the last time you cried at a gig?
The National are a band that really get to the heart of me. They have a lyric in one of their songs that goes, “I dreamed about you for 29 years, before I met you”. I was sat at the balcony at Manchester Academy just bawling.
What was the most nerve-wracking moment in your career?
The most terrifying was T In The Park. There is a film being made about the Stone Roses and they needed audience shots of the crowd singing along to I Am The Resurrection. They played the song before Coldplay went on and I had to go on and explain what was happening and sing the first few lines. I was shaking from head to foot.
Did Fame Academy give you a taste for singing on stage?
I used be in a band called Warp Factor when I was a teenager, singing and playing rhythm guitar. But Fame Academy reiterated to me that I don’t have what it takes to do that as a career. Performing in front of people just absolutely terrifies me!
What ambitions do you still have?
I’d love to have my own chat show. My first guests would be Leonardo DiCaprio and Colin Murray – they’d get on like a house on fire.
The Prince’s Trust Rock Gala 2011 will be broadcast at 9pm on Christmas Day, Sky 3D and Sky Arts 1. Edith also presents the weekend breakfast show on Radio One