She’s the American-born singer who secured the United Kingdom its last Eurovision victory back in 1997.
And in August Katrina Leskanich proved that she’s still got her winning fire when she performed at Manchester Pride as part of the Big Weekend.
The 57-year-old, who fronted Katrina & The Waves, reprised some of her greatest hits including “Walking on Sunshine” and her ESC track “Love Shine A Light.”
Speaking to wiwiblogger Deban ahead of her set, Katrina sounded off on all things Eurovision, including the UK’s most recent contestant Lucie Jones.
“She did a great job,” she said. “She’s a great girl and I thought she was brilliant.”
“It’s very, very difficult for the UK to do well. They’ve got to try a different tactic.”
What does she make of her own victory?
“We just got lucky. We had the right song at the right time and people seemed to like it. 1997 was a year for change — it was just time to win.”
“I suppose you didn’t really see it coming that this American from Topeka, Kansas would have any part in Eurovision. But I’m very proud to have done so.”
And she’s confident that the UK can win again — but only if they dream big and call upon their biggest stars.
“You need to get Simon Cowell or somebody like that involved, and get somebody like Adele or Chris Martin from Coldplay to do it to win it. It’s very competitive now. These Eastern European countries — they are all over it boy.”
“You need somebody with a huge international name. Andrew Lloyd Webber did really well with [Eurovision 2009 singer] Jade [Ewen]. They got 5th, which was incredible, and I thought it was a great song.”
Of course, the following year the United Kingdom came last with Josh Dubovie and songwriter Peter Waterman.
Katrina doesn’t hold back in assessing what went wrong there.
“The song wasn’t strong enough and the singer wasn’t either. It’s as simple as that. Other countries put forward their very best. If we put forward our very best then we wouldn’t have a problem winning it.”
Outside of music, Katrina is also an accomplished author, who released “Peggy Lee Loves London: My London Guide” back in 2013.
“I have a series of books called Metro Poodle,” she explains. “The first one is my London guide and these are fronted by my little poodle Peggy Lee.”
“It’s all my favourite places in London. Some are off the beaten track. Cafes, bars, coffee shops, parks — all the best stuff.”
She’s currently rebranding the series “Metro Poodle” and will release books on Cornwall and Ireland in the near future.
Are you still loving “Love Shine A Light”? Do you think that Katrina is right to say the UK needs Simon Cowell and Adele? Let us know in the comments box below!