"Getting our act off the ground was hard - we've coped with a lot"

Louise McClatchy & Jai Simeone Louise McClatchy, 25, from Melbourne, Australia, sang in bands before moving to London in 1997. Her risqué re-writes of songs found success when she and Jai Simeone performed for Madonna. She is writing a Supergirly sitcom for the BBC.   Jai Simeone, 24, also from Melbourne, trained as a dancer before moving to London with Louise McClatchy. In 1998 their duo was rebranded as the sell-out pop satire act "Supergirly", which is now on tour
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Louise McClatchy: When I first met Jai it was to audition her. I was looking for an actress and singer who could move, whereas Jai was a dancer who could sing a bit. So she wasn't right.

Later I got her involved in this other group called Fudge. It was mainly dancing and singing. I thought: "She's a dancer, that'll do" and remembered her number because it was one digit different from mine. Around the time of Fudge my sister went to England on holiday. She told me I'd love London and suggested I went back with her. When I told Jai it turned out she had always wanted to go. I said: "You can come if you want."

I'm a lot pushier than Jai. I've always done the business side of things. I do all the writing. And because I came up with the concept of "Supergirly" it's now become a little production company that I run, employing Jai. She's more energetic than me, I suppose because she's a dancer. She's more bubbly, too, although we're both good with people. And we can both switch on a happy mood for work when we have to. She's very professional. Always on time and organised, which I need because I'm the same.

Our backgrounds are quite different. I acted from quite a young age, whereas Jai came into entertainment later. She went to a private, Catholic school and I went to a mixed, state school.

Nevertheless, we have similar tastes in food and clothes, although my style is more girlie than Jai's. We agree automatically on what costumes would be right for each other on stage, so meetings with our designer are never problematic.

We drink at the same places and go to the movies together. But Jai's a bit more of a clubber. I prefer dinner at home with friends. The company we enjoy can be very different. Jai knows a lot of dance-school types. I've got my classical muso friends. Apart from work we mostly talk about boys. I like a Mediterranean, manly look, whereas Jai goes for boyish types. We've never fallen out over a bloke. We don't really argue.

I hope Jai could talk to me about anything. Our relationship works because we have trust and know how to give each other space. Getting our act off the ground was hard. We've had to cope with a lot together. I only know my sister and a few friends as well as I know Jai.

In terms of work our relationship has changed. I used to say: "Well, you sing this song, I'll sing that one," trying to be fair. Now I'll say: "Ability-wise you couldn't handle that," or "I can't do that step but you could." I handle most of the hecklers because I'm a smart-arse.

I think we are both talented. Neither of us gets star-struck at all, which is just as well. After our show at Elton John's, Fergie came over, grabbed my hand and said: "Duchess of York - fucking great!" Jai was like: "Did you hear what she said?" I guess I'm lucky to have a witness.

Jai Simeone: It was Valentine's Day 1995 when I met Lou. I didn't have a date and ended up auditioning for this act called Fuzz Burgers, an Eighties cover band with set characters. Lou was in charge and I remember finding her very professional. I'm a dancer and choreographer really, and this was my first singing audition. It was very nerve-racking and I didn't get it.

A month later a guy rang me up, quoting Lou. He was putting together another band she was in - Fudge. They needed dancers who could sing. Lou thought of me and remembered my number - destiny! During the eight months Fudge lasted I clicked with Lou. We're both ambitious - determined like you wouldn't believe.

We're both family-oriented too. If anything went wrong back home, we'd be there in a second. My family's Italian so it's huge. But my immediate family is just my parents and one sister - the same as Lou. I've read here that I'm more middle class than Lou, but I'm not sure what that means. In Australia you wouldn't say that.

Professionally we come from different places. Lou is foremost an actor and comedy writer. I'm a dancer. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Paula Abdul are my role models. Lou's biggest influences are French and Saunders.

After Fudge, Lou told me she planned to leave for the UK. I said: "Wait, I'll come too!" Before we left we did a duo and singing covers together to save money. We hadn't known each other long, so suddenly planning to emigrate together was bizarre.

The characters that we play - Lou being funny, me straight - aren't us. But they developed naturally because I had never done comedy before. I'm happy for her to write all the scripts and lyrics because it's been a winning formula. I don't need to seriously choreograph the show - that would take away from the comic aspect. So Lou has more work than me and can get quite stressed, although she's extremely capable.

We've shared amazing times. Performing at one of Elton John's parties was the best because we were treated like fellow artists. Elton John taking us out to dinner to thank us was special too - unexpected and a lovely night. Madonna was nice enough. But the people around her waited to see if she liked the act before they reacted to it. Lou and I both really appreciate honesty, although the people we like may be different.

Lou is a good friend - we have a real understanding of each other. But when we have a day off we usually spend it with different friends. We need some space. I lived with Lou for the first two years in London, but we've got our own places now.

Right now we want to take "Supergirly" as far as it will go, because we love doing it. We have some ideas for solo projects but our goals are the same in that we both want nothing less than dominating the entire world! *

Supergirly are on tour in the UK until 29 April. For a full schedule see www.supergirly.com. Supergirly can also be seen on BBC1's "Live and Kicking" every Saturday morning.

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