Louise Redknapp has been dubbed the favourite to win this year's Strictly Come Dancing. But the former pop star has admitted she is already feeling the pressure – and the worry of embarrassing her two sons – ahead of her Strictly debut this weekend.
"Oh the pressure! The pressure!" said Louise, who is fronting a tech-free Dolmio campaign to encourage families to reconnect over the dinner table.
She told HELLO! Online: "Honestly I think there are a few other favourites which is a good thing. There are some brilliant dancers. Claudia Fragapane is an Olympic gymnast. No matter how hard I try, I am never going to be able to the splits like she does. I mean it's just not going to happen! She's going to smash it without a shadow of a doubt."
"No matter how hard I try, I am never going to be able to the splits like Claudia!" said Louise
She added: "I've seen old Danny Mac, he's definitely got some moves. I think he's gonna really embrace it. There's Daisy and Laura, they're so sexy and beautiful and look great no matter what they do.
"Will is one of my all time favourite people in the world, I'm a Will Young fan anyway, so for me having him there is... Tameka, Ore, Melvin and of course Anastacia. I've bought her records, it's kind of weird. Ed Balls has an amazing personality and throws himself into everything."
"Will is one of my all time favourite people in the world," she said
"They all have something huge to give," she said. "I'm a bit gutted at how good they all are! There's definitely a lot of talent. Everyone seems to be taking it in their stride. No one seems to be hungrier for it than anyone else.
"But do you know what, I'm not an overly competitive person with other people. I do feel that I would love to do myself proud in this. I want to do okay and do my best."
The singer said she was looking forward to dancing again
Louise, who found fame as a member of girl group Eternal in the nineties, said she was "really looking forward to dancing again" but is also wary of making a return to the spotlight. She has been focusing on her family and raising the two sons she shares with her husband Jamie Redknapp – Charly, 12, and Beau, seven.
"It's been so long," said Louise. "I actually watched back a few of my old music videos, just to try and remind myself that I did used to dance because I can't imagine doing it again. It just feels like such a lifetime ago.
"I actually sat down with my youngest son last night and we watched some music videos, and he was like, 'Is that you mum? Is that you?' And I said, 'Yeah, believe it or not!'"
"Charly said, 'Don't embarrass me!! Don't be bad! Don't be bad!'" laughed Louise
Of the moment she told her sons she was joining Strictly, Louise revealed: "Charly said, 'Don't embarrass me!! Don't be bad! Don't be bad!' But Beau takes it a bit in his stride. He's like, 'Oh mum it's going to be great, whatever you do.'
"The older one is slightly more aware and I'm also aware that I have a 12-year-old, when I go out there I have to play it right because I have a family. It's not just about me anymore. It's about everybody else that is affected by me. So I am entering into it, maybe a bit safer than some of the other girls."
The former pop star with her husband Jamie Redknapp
While Louise has focused on her family life and her fashion blog, there is one thing that can stand in the way of her and her children – technology, which is why she is fronting Dolmio's tech-free campaign.
The mum-of-two has even threatened to whip out Dolmio's Pepper Hacker – an old-fashioned pepper mill that can temporarily disable mobile devices and Wi-Fi, encouraging families to reconnect over dinnertime.
"It's a genius idea," laughed Louise. "I have kids who are at that age where technology is a big thing. I mean it is for everybody, but it was just getting to the stage in my house where I was getting ignored frequently! It was about losing moments in the day that were really important.
Louise with the "genius" Dolmio Pepper Hacker
"The new rule in our house is you can have your technology but just not at the dinner table. It's a nice rule and it's not asking too much. It's quite an important message to them. We put our phones in a drawer in another room and if someone does go and check their phone, they have to clear the table and do all the washing up."
Perhaps not surprisingly Louise's husband Jamie, a retired Liverpool football captain, obeys. "The last thing he wants is getting lumbered with the washing up!" she said. "We've had many a joke about the Pepper Hacker. I said I'm going to take it on a night out when I'm going for dinner with him. I'll put it in the middle of the table and it'll cut out any sporting channel!"
Dolmio found that 82 per cent of families said that tech-free mealtimes are happier.
Louise has launched a campaign with Dolmio for tech free tables, for more information visit dolmio.co.uk.