At twenty-four, pop star Pixie Lott has managed to be both sexy and wholesome. But, as she tells Nick Dent-Robinson, she is becoming more risqué, the older she gets.

There are many advantages of signing your first record deal at the tender age of fifteen. Pixie Lott may not be able to drive yet (“I was given a block of lessons, but never finished them because I had to go off to L.A. to record”), and she may still wear an invisible brace on her teeth, but in showbiz terms the girl from Bromley is already an old hand. Not only does Pixie have six Top Ten hits under her belt, including three No 1s, but she is dipping her toe into the acting world, has modelled and designed her own clothing line, plus last year she added dance skills to her CV when she signed up to do 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

This was a canny move, for it introduced Pixie to a prime-time audience, making her a household name even in homes without teenage girls (or boys – for the last two years she has been in the Top Twenty in 'FHM' magazine’s Sexiest Women poll). “I don’t think I actually appreciated how many people watch 'Strictly Come Dancing',” Pixie admits. “It has changed everything for me. Before I was only recognised by my fans, and my fan base was narrow. Now I get little old ladies coming up to me all the time. It is quite incredible!”

There was much controversy about Pixie’s exit from 'Strictly' and various conspiracy theories were mooted. What does Pixie think about that?

“I really don’t know anything about that,” she says, rather seriously. “I suppose my exit was a bit brutal, but I was far from upset. In fact I went out partying, as being on the show was one of the best experiences of my life and I just wanted to celebrate it.”

So, who is Pixie Lott? And how has she managed to cram so much into her short life?

Pixie’s real name is Victoria, but she pulls a face when I mention that and says, “The only people who call me Victoria are my sister and my mum, and that’s only when I’ve done something wrong. They called me Pixie because I was born seven weeks early, but I was never that tiny. I was 7lbs when I was born and, as you can see, I’m almost 5’9” tall. People always expect me to be very small, but I’m actually not, am I?”

Pixie’s father, Steve, is a stockbroker. Her older sister and brother followed him into that financial world but, with a name like Pixie, it was pretty unlikely Pixie would ever end up as an accountant, city trader or lawyer. From a young age she lobbied to go to stage school. Her dad was not keen on the idea, but eventually agreed, provided Pixie still passed all her GCSEs. This she did – getting straight As in every subject, despite the fact she was taking on a range of acting roles and jetting off regularly to Los Angeles to meet key players in the music industry.

“It was all a bit surreal,” Pixie recalls. “I’d responded to an advertisement in the press seeking talent and was supposed to sing one of my own songs, but my CD wouldn’t work at the audition, so the guy asked me which singers I liked. I said Mariah Carey and he said, ‘Oh, that’s a coincidence. I’m working with Mariah at the moment.’ He then put on one of her songs and I sang along, and that was it. The deal was done immediately. So, soon after my fifteenth birthday, I was travelling back and forth to the USA to record my first album. It was a mad time. My mum came with me, of course. We would go over for a few months and dad would come out for holidays. I suppose it did make me grow up quite fast. I was taking business meetings at fiteeen.”

Pixie is still friends with people from her stage school – the Italia Conti – yet there is quite a contrast between her life now and theirs. Only a few people managed to get acting jobs and it is very, very hard. Some have gone into PR or teaching.”

So what made Pixie so different? Talent? Determination? Lucky breaks? Pixie quickly adds ‘hard work’ to the list and points out that she is, and has always been, a grafter. She says that hard work and determination are key. But ability is important too - though many people have that. Although Pixie says she has been known to misbehave and get drunk like any other young twenty-somethings, she has absolutely avoided the debauched paths sometimes associated with rock music. “I don’t do drugs. I just don’t think that would suit me,” she says firmly.

Pixie’s image is a curious mix of the wholesome and the sexy. I wonder whether her parents were thrilled with some of her videos – especially the one for her hit 'Nasty', which shows her wearing skimpy knickers emblazoned with the word. Pixie laughs. “But that’s just acting. I know I have a responsibility to my younger fans, so I am aware of everything I do and everything I wear. At the same time, videos have to reflect the music. It is all about telling a story. And, obviously, as I get older, the stories are getting a little bit more raunchy. That’s inevitable, isn’t it? My parents are fine with it, though. They know I am simply playing a role. Mind you, I’m not sure my grandad has seen some of my videos!”

Pixie talks earnestly about the difficulty of writing songs when you have not experienced much angst. “I have suffered the loss of my two grandmothers, though – and both had dementia. That was hard to watch, but yes, it is true that I have not had too much to deal with at this stage. But the way I see it is that everyone has something, big or small, to draw upon. In my songs I just try to reflect that. Pixie still holidays with her family, which says much about how close she is to them. For the past two years she has been in a relationship with the Calvin Klein model, Oliver Cheshire, and he has joined the family holidays.

“Oliver is my first serious relationship,” Pixie admits. “Of course,I had some flings before, but I was never in love. Maybe I thought I was sometimes, but I’m sure now that I wasn’t. Oliver is definitely the real deal. I am very happy and it feels just right. Though it’s not always easy as we both travel a lot. Thankfully we both skype.”

Oliver has many virtues. Even when Pixie runs very late, he always waits for her. He also cooks. “Cooking is something I never learned,” Pixie confesses. “When we moved in together Oliver just did most of it and that is continuing, I am glad to say. Otherwise we have a fairly traditional attitude to life – including to relationships. As far as I am concerned, fidelity is everything. In fact, I can’t really imagine any woman not wanting that. One day I hope marriage and children might happen, though we are not thinking about it at the moment. I always wanted to get married. Even at nursery school I used to run in and go straight to the dressing up box and put on a wedding dress. You see, I come from such a strong family so, yes, I definitely want marriage and babies. That is what we are all on this earth for, isn’t it?”

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