Sophie Ellis-Bextor did Strictly because she wanted to 'shake things up'

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has said she decided to do Strictly Come Dancing because she wanted to 'shake things up a bit'.

The singer, 34, told Marie Claire magazine about her reason for joining the BBC One show, where she has made the final six.

"It was more about the desire to shake things up a bit," she said.

"I really had no idea what I'd be like [at dancing] so there's a bit of a risk element. It was petrifying - you get so nervous before the dance - but also a privilege. I want to push myself. It's too early to coast along."

Sophie also spoke about getting pregnant within weeks of meeting her husband, The Feeling's Richard Jones, when she was just 24.

The singer, the daughter of former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, who now has three children, said: "I don't think you could ever be confident that it would work out OK. But mum said to me, 'It might not be the right time, it might not be the right man, but it's the right baby.'"

Sophie has the word Family inside a red heart inked on her arm and said that despite some negative remarks about the tattoo, she didn't regret it.

"I had it done just after we had Sonny. There was a horrible reaction on Twitter," she told the magazine. "It's a bit perverse but I thought, 'Ha ha, fine, I didn't do it for you. I like the fact that it suggests you don't know everything about me, and contrasts with what you might think of me."

See the full interview in the the January issue of Marie Claire, out today (December 5).


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.