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Amanda Holden: 'I never set out to be famous'

“I just wanted to work,” the Britain’s Got Talent judge said.

Amanda Holden has described the entertainment industry as a “horrendous business” and admitted she originally did not aspire to be famous.

The actress and TV presenter, who returns to screens on Saturday as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, said coming from a family of mainly women has led her to strive for success.

Ahead of the ITV talent show’s return, she told of the obstacles she has had to overcome in her career to succeed in such a “backstabbing, competitive” arena.

Amanda said: “Show business, and this is going to sound like a cliche, is a horrendous business.

“It’s really difficult, it’s backstabbing, it’s competitive, I think only three per cent of the industry are working at any one time, so of course I have come across so many obstacles.

“It’s Becher’s Brook at the Grand National – if you can’t jump over it then you have to find a ladder and climb over it. You just have to find a way.

“I’ve always said that being told no, for me, is the first step on the road to yes. I just don’t take no for an answer, I’m very annoying like that.

“Weirdly, I never set out to be famous. I just wanted to work.

“My favourite quote about the best thing about being famous is from Steve Martin. He said, ‘The best thing about being famous is getting a table at a restaurant when there isn’t one available. The worst thing is being videoed while you eat’.”

Amanda, who has been a part of the popular programme since it began in 2007, along with fellow long-running judge and the show’s creator Simon Cowell, said she is motivated by coming from a female-dominated family and also from growing up having “no money”.

“I think my motivation comes from the fact I’m from a very matriarchal family, it’s all women in my family,” said Amanda, a TV regular since the 1990s.

“I still have my grandmother, Ethel, who’s 96. She’s very determined, she’s still well enough to live by herself, so I think it’s that kind of work ethic that’s in me.

“Having good role models who have all worked very hard.

“Also, we had absolutely no money, nothing, so you really strive a lot harder for the stuff that you want when you’ve come from absolutely nowhere.”

Britain’s Got Talent returns on Saturday April 15 at 8pm on ITV.

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