Exclusive: Andrea Begley on working with 'charming and attractive' Danny O'Donoghue

Andrea Begley has revealed that her girlfriends were jealous of her getting to work so closely with Danny O'Donoghue.
"A few of them tried to take a sneak peek at his mobile number or email address on my phone!" laughed Andrea. "I can imagine they thought I was one lucky person to be so closely working with him."
Ahead of the release of her debut album The Message, 26-year-old Andrea tells HELLO! Online what it's like to work with the 'very charming' Danny, how she felt being proposed to on Twitter, and why Kylie Minogue would be her dream coach.


Andrea won The Voice's second series


Danny was your coach on The Voice and he's now worked with you in the recording studio on your new album – do you have a good friendship outside of work?
We keep in touch, but mainly over email because he's out of the country quite a bit. He's over in America at the moment and very busy writing the new album for The Script, but we keep in contact as much as we can.
It was great to have him work alongside me in the studio on The Message, because we never really got a huge amount of time in that kind of environment before. It was nice, it was friendly, it was relaxed, and I think he felt he could be himself really. And I could be myself. It worked really well and we got lots of good takes from the song. He's very much a perfectionist when it comes to recording, so he definitely put me through my paces. I was really delighted to work with him and he's very supportive of me.
Were your girlfriends very jealous of you getting to work with him?
Yeah, a few of them were trying to take a sneak peak at his mobile number or email address on my phone! They were obviously very jealous, which I suppose is kind of self-explanatory; he is very charming and of course terribly attractive, so I can imagine they thought I was one lucky person to be so closely working with him.
Did Danny ever talk to you about his personal life, or did he keep that quite close to his chest?
Oh no, I think he's quite private about his personal life really. He never volunteered any information on that front and I never asked because obviously that's his business. So I don't know what the score is on that front, I'm not sure what his current status is!


The partially sighted singer beat runners-up Leah McFall and Mike Ward

 When you won The Voice over Leah McCall, Will.i.am was quite critical of the outcome on Twitter. How did you feel about that?
At the end of the day, Leah was his act and Will was always going to be 110% behind her. We spoke at the after-party, and he told me he just wanted to support his act the whole way. He said he didn't wish any ill towards me and that if I had been his act he would have been just as supportive of me. I don't hold any hard feeling whatsoever; Will's a great guy.
You've got a lot of Twitter followers; have you been asked out any dates through the site?
No dates, but I've had a few marriage proposals! That was at the beginning of The Voice, someone wanted me to marry him and move to Belgium. I think I might have had an approach from Peru, as well. So at least there are opportunities to travel!

Do you get time for a personal life yourself at the moment?
I do get some downtime, but obviously with so much going on with the album, the promo and everything, it's very busy and it's difficult to make time for myself. At the end of the day this is my concentration. I have been getting to go out with my friends and all that, so it's not all work, there's some play as well.



 The Voice has a new panel – if you were auditioning for this series, who would you want to be your coach?
That's a good question. I think I would quite like to work with Kylie, because she's a girl, and she's had so much experience in the industry. Being a female in the industry and having as long a career as she's had, I think she could offer a lot to any contestant. She's very glam, and she comes across as a really nice person as well, so I think it would be wonderful to work with her.
Why did you choose The Voice over The X Factor or Britain's Got Talent?
I've watched X Factor and Britain's Got Talent for years and really enjoyed them, but when The Voice came along I just thought it was something different. I liked the spinning chairs and who the judges were, and I particularly loved The Script's music. I thought Danny did a great job as a judge and mentor on the show.
For me, the ultimate goal was getting to the show and meeting the coaches. It would have been a highlight even if it hadn't gone any further, so I didn't set myself out any massive expectations, just to enjoy the show, give it a whirl and see where it goes.

Are you pleased with how your album has turned out?
I'm really happy with it. It's a real mixture, we've got songs on there that I did on the show that people liked, songs that I enjoy singing myself, and songs that I feel I can put my own slant on. There are also original tracks on there; Autumn, which is entirely my own, and The Message, the title track, which I wrote a few years ago and Danny produced. They are really close to my heart.



You've got a book coming out soon, too.
Yeah, it's coming out on the 4th October, and it's about the show and how I got on, and a few little anecdotes from behind the scenes. I've entitled it I Didn't See That Coming so it's a bit of a tongue in cheek one! The key is that anyone who reads it will realise just how limited my expectations were; I counted every stage that I got to and every week that I stayed in as a real bonus for me.

Hopefully people will find it interesting and maybe get the off laugh out of it as well.
Andrea is performing on Strictly Come Dancing: The Results on Sunday 20 October, BBC1 at 7:15pm.
Andrea Begley releases her debut album The Message on 21 October through Universal Music.

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