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Sinitta: Back in the good old 80s, Louis Walsh was my chauffeur

Pop diva, Belfast bound with hit musical Chicago, pokes fun at her industry pal who introduced her to Guinness (with blackcurrant) during last NI gig

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Sinitta and Louis Walsh

Sinitta and Louis Walsh

Pepsi Lawrie Demacque, Sinitta and Paul Hipp during Hair rehearsals at the Old Vic in London

Pepsi Lawrie Demacque, Sinitta and Paul Hipp during Hair rehearsals at the Old Vic in London

PA

Sinitta on stage in Chicago

Sinitta on stage in Chicago

©Tristram Kenton

Sinitta on The X Factor

Sinitta on The X Factor

Sinitta and close friend Simon Cowell

Sinitta and close friend Simon Cowell

Sinitta arrives at a party to celebrate the launch of beauty health brand HydraFacial LDN's flagship store in west London

Sinitta arrives at a party to celebrate the launch of beauty health brand HydraFacial LDN's flagship store in west London

PA

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Sinitta and Louis Walsh

Pop icon Sinitta is on her way to Belfast, but she joked that this time she won’t have X Factor favourite Louis Walsh as her personal chauffeur.

That’s because her first memories of touring around Northern Ireland and the Republic are back in her 1980s heyday when she was belting out hits including So Macho and had the music mogul driving her to each gig — and plying her with Guinness.

“I have been to Belfast before,” she told Sunday Life. “I mean, I went to Belfast first when I was so young.

“And all I can remember is every time I went on a pop tour, Louis Walsh, back in those days, was my booker and my driver.

“So he would pick me and the dancers up and drive us all around to all the different clubs and pubs, and every place I went to they gave me a pint of Guinness with blackcurrant juice in it.

“And Louis said, ‘Whatever happens, if they offer it to you, make sure you take it.’ And I said, ‘But what if I hate it?’ Then he said, ‘It doesn’t matter. Just drink it and say you like it.’

“But, actually, it wasn’t too bad. I was quite surprised, because I don’t like Guinness. But when you put the blackcurrant in that’s a whole other story, isn’t it?

“Please (write) that Louis was my chauffeur back in the day, because that will really wind him up. He’ll kill us tomorrow.

“Oh, my God, he’s such a gossip, but he’s so hilarious. But do you know what? He’s the best fun when you’re working. That’s what you want, someone who keeps you laughing and everything.

“And he kept me laughing. He kept me in giggles and chocolate and Guinness.”

This time it’s not pop but a musical that is bringing Sinitta (58) to Belfast: she is starring as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton in Chicago, showing at the Grand Opera House from June 6-11.

She added: “We’re all still in touch and we’re all still good friends. They haven’t seen the show yet, but hopefully Louis will come and see me when I come to Belfast.”

Sinitta has been rotating the role with Sheila Ferguson and The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma Collins (‘The GC’).

She told us: “The tour has been going since September and I was supposed to do the first three months, but I ended up staying for six months because they invited me to, because it went really well.

“I left in January and the tour continued and now I’m just coming back for Belfast, Plymouth and Llandudno, so I will finish the last week of the tour as well, which is great fun, so I’m starting and finishing it.

“I went to the show in Wimbledon to see Sheila Ferguson, whose a good friend of my mother. In fact, my mother was in The Three Degrees with her when one of the other girls left, so I’ve known her since I was a child.

“And then I’m also going to travel to Oxford to see The GC — because I’ve got to see The GC! She has a lot of presence for sure, and we know she can sing, because she’s made records before.

“So I’m going all the way to Oxford because I thought, ‘I’ve got to see Miss Collins play Mama.’ She’s a reality show diva and I’d say that I’m a pop diva.”

Sinitta’s touring commitments mean she is likely to miss her pal Simon Cowell’s wedding to American socialite Lauren Silverman next month.

She joked that she’ll send him a “shamrock from Louis” but that she intends to make up for missing out by sampling the sights here instead.

Sinitta said: “Hopefully we’ll get the chance to see Belfast. We’ll be doing the shows at night, but hopefully during the day, when we don’t have matinees, we’ll have a potter about and look around the shops and things of interest. I’m looking forward to it.

“People should try to come and see the show, because they’ll be really surprised. It’s a very good production.

“I’ve had to reinvent my role, because, of course, I’m so different from the typical Mama casting. So, you know, that’s good, because you get to make it your own.”

Sinitta also revealed that she is set to bring out fresh songs this year, as well as a nostalgic TV documentary.

The singer added: “I’ve been in the studio recording some new music and I’m going to be performing at some of the Pride and music festivals around the country.

“I’m also working on a docuseries about growing up in the 1980s and it’s going to feature all of my music, so that’s going to be good fun. It’s sort of the soundtrack to our childhoods, isn’t it?”

For tickets to Chicago, visit www.goh.co.uk


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