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So famous that she’s known just by her first name...


Twenty-five years after leaving Neighbours, queen of pop Kylie Minogue is returning to British TV screens in an acting role. She chats to Kate Whiting about stage personas and the secret to her unending success.

She’s so famous that she’s known by just her first name, so it’s slightly surreal to hear Kylie’s dulcet tones on the other end of the telephone. It’s even stranger to hear her admit that, after 25 years as a hugely successful singer, she’s missing acting. The realisation came when she was filming the critically-acclaimed Franco- German fantasy movie Holy Motors last year.

“I found myself on set and I was totally thrilled and terrified by the experience. It just triggered the button again and I thought, actually I do miss acting,” she says. The role came about after a chance meeting in Paris. “It wasn’t something in me that drove me to go and get that part, it just happened and that has reignited my desire,” Kylie explains. “It’s a completely different challenge to the performance that I’ve been doing, mostly, for years. It’s ironic that I started out acting and was more comfortable acting than singing, and now I’m more comfortable singing than acting.”

Where it all began As almost everyone knows, the petite blonde with a mile-wide smile first found fame as feisty car mechanic Charlene Mitchell in Australian soap Neighbours. It was a role she played for three years, during which time Charlene got hitched to Jason Donovan’s character Scott Robinson, in one of the soap’s most iconic moments.

4 Life Begins

Then she left to pursue a singing career, and it turned out she was pretty good at it. Kylie, who now lives in London, has won multiple Brits and a Grammy and has sold more than 68 million records worldwide. She never entirely gave up acting - there were parts in films Street Fighter and Moulin Rouge! and a cameo in Doctor Who - but she says she’s not been actively “looking” for work, until now.

Kylie does comedy After Holy Motors, as is often the case, one thing led to another and it wasn’t long before a text dropped in from her good friend Mat Horne, who asked if she’d like to be involved in ‘Hey Diddly’. Part of the Playhouse Presents series, Hey Diddly Dee follows a group of actors rehearsing to put on a musical about the life of Andy Warhol.

In this black comedy Kylie plays an actress playing Warhol’s muse Edie Sedgwick, who plots with Mat Horne’s character against the musical’s

leading man, played by Peter Serafinowicz. Homeland star David Harewood also appears as

the show’s slightly camp director. “I think I know all of those characters, being a performer,” says Kylie, giggling. She almost turned the offer down at first, as she thought her schedule was too packed to fit it in, but she found the short script hilarious.

“It just worked out that, luckily, I had three or four days available, so we were able to make it work. It was a great opportunity to work with the cast, do some comedy and play a scheming b****!” she says, cackling with laughter. (Kylie swearing? Honestly!) As queen of the highly-polished stage show, the 44-year-

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