Lisa Stansfield is in a diet coke outside the television centre; a building that was practically your second home, the at the beginning of their career.
In the late 1980s and early 90s, she made almost weekly appearances in shows like Top of the Pops and Going Live, performing hits such as anywhere in The world, the Whole woman, and time To Me.
These days, the BBC’s former home was in a luxury apartment complex, in the centre of a range of fine-dining restaurants and the newly renovated TV Studio-where Stansfield has just filmed an appearance on ITV’s this Morning
“The changing rooms are a lot bigger,” she reveals. “You have changed, in a Shoe box.
“And on Top of the Pops was one of the longest days. You would not allow to leave you. Ever. They were so paranoid, they would be deprived, like a naughty child.
“So, the only place they could go, was the BBC canteen. But I like that, actually. You could EastEnders on-the-spot all the while you have dinner with your school.”
The star is a re-promote in the TVC, their eighth album, the elegant and funky Deep – co-written, as usual, with her husband Ian Devaney, the play they met in a school, at the age of 14 years.
One of the best reviewed records of their career, it is also a single brought up, Never ever, that charted in the Top 10 of the US club charts.
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“I never expected this,” she calls. “I am 52 years old and I’m still welcome in the homes of the people.
“I just think, if you still want me, then I’ll stay!”
Before her appearance on Radio 3’s Proms In The Park this weekend, the Rochdale-born singer sat down for a wide-ranging conversation about Bond, banana bread and Bake Off.
They play at Proms In The Park this weekend with one of your musical heroes, Gladys Knight. How does it feel?
I’m really looking forward to it. I met Gladys Knight once, years ago in New York. It is so funny, say Hello to someone who basically taught them to sing, you know what I mean?
Yes, there is no reasonable way to communicate how much they mean to you.
You just seem like a complete lunatic idiot! I was lucky enough to be Aretha Franklin, but I was so overwhelmed that I broke down and just be in tears. I did a complete tit of myself.
You have described the title track of their new album, Deeper than the “truest love song you have ever written”. In what way?
We have been together 30 years and married, 20, and, if you are with someone, you go a long time, through very difficult times and very good times. With all the experiences that changed love. So, what was frivolous, bubbly butterflies feeling is a lot more depth.
The relationship deepens. Love grows in fact, I think.
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Were you ever worried about mixing work and romance?
Yes, definitely. We thought we would ruin everything. But so far it’s fine.
In the past, you have written more about the lives of other people than themselves.
Yes, I am an observer. I have a good idea, so I can see somebody arguing about a Parking ticket and a divorce or something.
Is it true that their background singer, Andrea Grant, in the Strictly Come Dancing band?
Yeah! You has to Strictly for a long time now.
So what happens when you are on tour, while Strictly on air?
It’s funny, because Andrea and her best friend Lorraine dep[utise] for each other. They have been friends since school, so that you know that no one is going to steal your place. Lorraine will be with us in Hyde Park.
Have you tried it on the map?
Oh, no, I would never do that! I would sing, but I would never dance.
You are an accomplished Baker, so you could always do that instead of Bake Off.
This could be nice, actually. I make really good banana bread. And I’m making a chocolate cake with Fondant icing, bloody delicious.
You could be Paul Hollywood are criticizing your shortcake?
Oh, that doesn’t bother me. But if you do things at home it’s different, isn’t it? I would likely just produce a load of mush on the plate.
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I read in an old Smash Hits interview that you once filled their rubber boots with mud and Stand them for a car. True?
Yes, my sister made me do it. She was always doing things and so because I loved them so much, I have all these stupid things for your approval.
When we was back home, she would say, “mom, look what it has done to Lisa,” and I would be the one got problems.
You still play pranks?
Actually, we had a real laugh on my second tour. We look really similar, so Karen would dress as me and she had her hair cut with a curl – you know, like my hair? And some nights you had to stand at the top of the stage, he played. Then I would walk up to the stairs, gave her a kiss and she would take off. leave you start to sing me on stage. It was, as if to say, “This is the new me”.
So you were not a fan of the look?
It just went on for too long. It was a very stylized hair, and I’m sick of it. In fact, in the American video for This Is The Right time, I cut off the curl.
Well… One of the crew had the same hair as I do, so we just keep cutting his hair, and so it was mine. He had a bald head, by the time we finished!
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