I'm currently slap bang in the middle of promoting my debut solo album, Centre Stage, which was released on Monday. Months in the planning, this week is absolutely crucial and where my schedule really heats up. This is when it really counts - argh!
Promo is a funny old game, you do feel slightly odd and awkward talking about yourself all the time - I guess that's just a British trait though! But you know you need to push your album so you sit there, answer the questions and try and keep the enthusiasm levels up! It's fun too and you get to meet and catch up with all the journalists who are, for the most part, really supportive.
The past week has been super busy though and I've been up and down the country doing promo. Here is just a little snapshot...
Started off the day doing phone interviews for online press. There's a lot to talk about at the moment - the new album, Girls Aloud tour and people I haven't spoken to for a while still want to hear about Strictly, which I love talking about! I do the phone interviews in the car going to rehearsals for my G-A-Y performance tomorrow, where I meet with a singing coach and choreographer. I'm so excited for this performance, G-A-Y is always such a great crowd and I get a real buzz performing there. Lastly, I have a fitting for my costume - lots of sparkle for this one!!
Back into town for G-A-Y rehearsals at Heaven from 11am - 1pm - this time it's a full dress run with dancers and backing vocals, making sure every little element is perfect. Grab a quick sandwich on the move as it's off to Girls Aloud rehearsals with all the girls and dancers for our Ten Tour. I can't wait for everyone to see the show, it's going to be incredible. I couldn't sleep after I saw all the plans I was so excited. Completely different experience from performing on my own - I love both in their own way but it's always really good to be back with the girls. Then we head off to my hotel for hair and make-up for G-A-Y. I'm usually in glam for a good two hours as Lisa works her magic. I've had some fun nails done especially for this performance with sparkles! We don't have to leave for the venue until 12.30am so this time I'm trying my hardest to stay awake until the car arrives! The room is full with my H&M lady Lisa, stylist Nisha, manager Hillary, PA Nikki, singing coach, sister, boyfriend etc. No matter how many times I do it, it's very surreal waiting and watching Jonathan Ross/Pride and Prejudice knowing that I had to go out and perform!
I always have butterflies before a performance but I'm really excited for this one! My stage time is at 1.30am and the room is packed. People filming and taking pics on their phones - and we're off! The show whizzes by but I love EVERY minute and the crowd seem to be loving it too, singing along and cheering. I perform six tracks from the album and even sneak in a dance move for the Strictly fans during One Day I'll Fly Away.
I head backstage after the show and take a few pictures for press. Then chill out with family and friends having a few drinks and taking it all in.
Only switched the light off at 3:45am, and then I had to be up at 7am for H&M for a TV appearance on Sunday Brunch. The bleary eyed team arrive to get me ready - it's not all glamour I can tell you...! Love doing Sunday Brunch as it feels like you're hanging out with friends. Spent far too much time chatting with Jason Donovan and we got caught on camera a couple of times when we were meant to be watching and concentrating on what Simon and Tim were doing. Lol - OOPS!
Finally a few hours off - whoop! I spent a lazy afternoon on the sofa trying to catch up on some rest and watching TV. Bliss.
Back into Girls Aloud rehearsals with the band and choreographer, and having fittings for our tour costumes. I can't believe how soon the tour has come around! Lots of preparing still to do before first night in Newcastle on 21 Feb - so exciting. When I'm done rehearsing with the girls, I travel to Manchester for BBC Breakfast in the morning. It was so lovely to see the two Strictly Lisa's - Lisa Armstrong and Lisa Davey (I clearly only let people called Lisa do my hair and make-up haha) who were booked to do my hair & make-up, so much so that we probably spent too long catching up!
Urgh! Another ridiculously early wake-up call and I'm out of bed at 6:15am to start getting ready for BBC Breakfast. Wow I think I might be getting used to these early mornings...
We're on air at the new Manchester BBC building from 9am and then it's off to do radio promo at Real Radio, then back in the car and on the motorway to Girls Aloud rehearsals and more fittings! Whirlwind.
Another day of fittings and GA rehearsals (it's going to be full on until show time now). Then I'm heading off to a fitting with my stylist for a Loose Women TV appearance tomorrow. Phew!
Loose Women today and a 10am start for H&M feels like a lie in now! Always fun hanging out with these ladies, we have such a laugh. Off to rehearsals again this afternoon, and then a Twitter chat at 7:15pm. I love doing chats on Twitter as that's when I can properly catch up with the fans that always support me - get a few cheeky questions, but luckily I can handle it, haha!
Then it's a relaxing dinner, bath and bed to prepare for more radio promo at Heart and Capital tomorrow for the album and then, yep, you guessed it more Girls Aloud rehearsals. It's lucky we love it, ey?!
Kimberley's debut album Centre Stage is out now, through Decca Records - click here to buy it on iTunes.
The Girls Aloud Ten Tour kicks off in Newcastle on 21 February, www.girlsaloud.com
Follow Kimberley Walsh on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kimberleyjwalsh