Myleene Klass: Why she's FirstKlass

The popstar, pianist and presenter is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music
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The Independent Online

As I interview Myleene Klass, the beautiful and talented young woman that you will know for her musical career, she's on her way to Stonehenge. To play piano, you ask? To sing in an outdoor concert? No: to cover the summer solstice for a BBC programme on astronomy.

This is a prime example of Klass's multi-faceted career, which comes from a commitment to working hard and learning new things that she's had from a very young age; she first picked up an instrument when she was four. As she says: "I'm passionate about all sorts of things: music, music theatre, astronomy and it's good because it keeps you on your toes."

If that's the case then Klass must walk around like a ballerina. Following the release of her solo classical album Moving On in 2003, she has another album release scheduled for next year. Then there is the aforementioned astronomy programme for the BBC, which will also include a trip to the Vatican observatory in Italy. Add this to the presenting she will be doing from the Proms later this year, her own radio show on Classic FM and a role in the Vagina Monologues and it's a wonder she finds time to sleep! "I never thought I'd be doing all the things I do now, and I am passionate about all of them because you never know how long they will carry on. I love learning about new things - if I sit still for more than five minutes I start to think there's something wrong!"

From learning the violin and piano as a little girl, Klass went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study in their junior department. This was at the same time as she was at school in her hometown in Norfolk, so she had to juggle the two. "There were times when I was sat on the train to London at 5am doing my homework and falling asleep on top of it," she says. "Not good!"

Klass studied voice and harp at Guildhall and managed to get straight A grades at A-level, including music. She even went on to teach music and enjoyed it so much that she would like to open her own music school one day.

After Guildhall, Klass went to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She didn't go down the usual route of applying; the tutors there trusted her musical ability so much that they gave her a postgraduate scholarship. "I loved it at the Academy. It was great to be in that environment and with like-minded people who I could talk to about the different instruments they were playing and the music in their different countries." After she graduated she worked as a session musician and singer for various artists, including Robbie Williams and Cliff Richard. She also made her stage debut in the West End show Miss Saigon, and it was not long afterwards that she entered Popstars. You know the rest.

To have achieved so much in such a short time hasn't been easy for Klass, but she credits the support of her parents and her will to succeed: "If you want to do something then you should just go for it - you've got to be determined. It can be a lot of hard work but it's worth it in the end.

"My friends would all be going off on nights out while I was working hard, so that was tough. But if I hadn't put in all that hard work then I wouldn't be here talking to you now!"

You can see Myleene presenting The Heaven and Earth Show on the BBC later this month and live from the BBC Proms in August