Sophie Ellis-Bextor says raising five children helped her prepare for her 24-hour Children In Need dance challenge.
The singer started her charity kitchen disco on Tuesday morning, and won’t rest her feet until Wednesday.
“I haven’t pulled an all-nighter for a long time,” she told BBC News, nine hours into the challenge.
“But because I have young children, there’s been plenty of days recently where I’ve ended up doing what I do with very little sleep.”
She added: “Maybe that’s why the sleep deprivation doesn’t bother me as much as it might have done – because I don’t get much sleep anyway.”
The star, a former runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing, has been receiving moral support from friends throughout the day, with Natalie Imbruglia, Tamsin Outhwaite, Gemma Collins and Michael Ball joining her at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London.
The danceathon is being streamed live on the BBC iPlayer. By the nine-hour mark, Ellis-Bextor had already raised £156,000, after shimmying along to tracks by Abba, Beyoncé, Take That and Bon Jovi.
“Nothing hurts so far,” she said. “But there’s still a long way to go. We’re not even half-way through.”
She said she had chosen the majority of the day’s music herself, to avoid a mid-performance slump.
“If I hear something that I don’t want to listen to then it’s like kryptonite and all my energy will drain into the floor.
“So, the music is my companion, my conscience, my friend.”
The star has also kept her spirits up with several costume changes, including three animal masks, and an unforgettable performance of Gangnam Style.
She’s also performed karaoke to several of the tracks, including her own hit single Get Over You, and a duet with Tony Christie on (Is This the Way to) Amarillo.
The challenge was inspired by Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco sessions – a series of live-streamed concerts from her house during the 2020 lockdown.
She was often joined by her children for the events, and they’re expected to help her sashay across the finish line on Wednesday morning.
“I’m trying to raise dancers, I get them to use their hips,” said the star, whose five sons age between two and 17 years old.
“I think it’s quite important with boys that they remember to actually use their hips when they dance. So yeah, we give it a good shimmy in our house.”
However, she told Radio 2’s Gary Davies, her younger children were confused by the concept of the charity danceathon.
“My six year old Jesse misunderstood and thought I was raising money for the family,” she said.
Ellis-Bextor said she had taken advice from fellow broadcasters Claudia Winkleman and Dermot O’Leary, who have both completed 24-hour dance events in the past.
After they advised that the midnight hours could be the hardest, she scheduled some special moments to help her through the slump, including an “interpretive dance” section, and a phone call with her idol Belinda Carlisle.
“And then hopefully as my circadian rhythm kicks in in the morning, I’ll get that last boost.”
But if all else fails, she has a secret weapon – alcohol.
“I have an emergency pocket negroni,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll need it but I think it’s quite nice to have in my bag.”
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