Natalie Imbruglia tells Chris Evans about her International Women's Day special on Virgin Radio UK

Virgin Radio

8 Mar 2023, 11:40

Chris Evans and Natalie Imbruglia at Virgin Radio UK.

Natalie Imbruglia joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch to talk about presenting an International Women's Day special on Virgin Radio UK tonight.

At 7pm this evening (8th March), the singer and actor is presenting a special show to celebrate International Women’s Day. In the special, she will be chatting about and playing songs from a host of female musicians. She told Chris: “I picked people that I’ve got funny anecdotal stories [about], who have influenced either my music, or just me as a person. People that I might have got to meet, or run into, in my youth, like Tori Amos, who I once met in a bathroom before her show, and I was like ‘Do I say hello in a bathroom?’"

The former Neighbours star explained that the meeting came about after she chanced upon her tour manager in a club in Melbourne. “He stupidly said to an Aussie, ‘If ever you're in the UK, call me’. So I did, ‘Can I come stay?’ And he's like, ‘I could have been a serial killer’. I said, ‘Yeah, but you're not, because you're Tori Amos’ tour manager’. And he played me music for the first time, took me to the show.

"I'm a bit of a hippie, same as Tori... I had a rose quartz crystal to give to her. And I'm in the loo and I'm like, ‘Do I give her the crystal?’”

She added: “She was so lovely. We had a chat in the loo. Not in the loo.” 

In tonight's special, The Masked Singer winner will also recall her dad buying her albums as birthday presents when she was young… mostly because he wanted the album himself! Remembering getting a Mama Cass LP, she said: “I was really, really young, and my dad gave it to me and got me all excited, he was getting me this present. It was actually for him! I was probably four, and I’m like ‘What is this, daddy?’ 

“But it's really nice, because I wasn't listening to nursery rhymes. I was listening to The Mamas and the Papas, I was listening to The Carpenters, The Beatles, when I was really young. So, I'm kind of grateful that he was selfish with my birthday presents!”

Speaking about another artist that features on the International Women's Day special, Joni Mitchell, Natalie said: “I talk about the first time you're introduced to an artist. You can't ever get that back. Think about some of your favourite artists, the first time you heard them when you're young and impressionable.

“I actually once left one of her songs on a guy's answering machine, that I liked. It's called Help Me. The lyric is ‘Help me, I think I'm falling in love.’ I played her song down the thingy and then hung up!"

When asked if the phone call achieved what she hoped it would, she joked: “No, because he probably didn't know who it was!”

Other artists featured on Natalie’s show tonight include Alanis Morrissette (“I was into that whole baggy pants, as we know, the androgynous thing.”), and Whitney Houston. “I used to do shows for my family when I was a kid… and try to be Whitney. I thought I was doing a really good job. I don’t think I was nailing it,” she revealed.

The Torn singer also spoke to Chris about Madonna, explaining that Bono took her to the Queen of Pop's Grammys afterparty one year. “I was like, ‘I'm talking to Madonna! This is Madonna!’ So you're kind of trying to concentrate but you're like, ‘It’s Madonna!!!’” she said.

Last night, Natalie joined KT Tunstall on stage at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. “She's just an incredible artist and live performer, and someone I've huge respect for,” she enthused.

Speaking about being a woman in the music industry, Natalie said: “You cop a lot of slack. And there was a misogyny when I was kind of coming up through the ranks that you have to endure.

She continued: “It's changed. But I also do think that younger women in this industry get a harder time. I used to get interviewed and sometimes it felt like a battle, and I don't get that anymore. But is that just because I'm old?

“Things have changed and progressed. There's still a long way to go in some areas, but from what I'm observing, you know, it's nicer for women coming up through the ranks, which is great.” 

Listen to the International Women’s Day special with Natalie Imbruglia tonight (8th March) at 7pm on Virgin Radio UK on DAB, online, Sky TV, smart speakers or via the Virgin Radio UK app.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.