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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Going to Church for the answers
By Christopher Sleight
BBC Wales news website

Charlotte Church
Church says she loves singing soulful songs
Last week we asked you to send in your questions for Charlotte Church and hundreds of you dutifully fired off your e-mails.

It's not often you get the opportunity to ask Charlotte Church for tips on a good night out in Cardiff.

And if the press is to be believed she is the woman in the know.

As I am a newcomer to Cardiff, the singer's advice to me was to start at Tantra and then follow up with a visit to the Soda Bar.

A good venue because the DJ "always plays the tracks you ask for", says Church.

Whether the Soda DJ is as keen to play my choices as a 19-year-old millionairess with a liking for hot pants remains to be seen.

But does Church really lead the classic tabloid lifestyle? Is it all late night binges, heavy smoking and bust-ups with boyfriend Gavin Henson?

We put as many of your questions to Church as we could. I'm sorry to say that all readers who e-mailed in proposals - marriage or otherwise - have been turned down.

You can read part two of this feature on Tuesday.

Are pop songs as satisfying to sing? Do you think that you will become bored very quickly due to the repetition of pop songs? Lorraine, Essex
It's easy to get bored singing any song, but I wouldn't say it's boring singing pop songs, because Crazy Chick was a hell of a song to sing. It was really hard. Some of the classical ones are hard obviously, but no, I don't think I'll get bored.

You've sung in quite a few varying musical genres to date. Which was your favourite and why? Lawrence Taylor, Birmingham
I like singing the soulful ones like Show A Little Faith on my album and quite a bluesy song called Fool No More, which is basically a scorned woman going crazy. And I quite like singing rocky ones as well.

Why on earth would you forsake such operatic talent for the mediocrity of raunchy, trashy sex-infused pop music? Tara Wheat, Santa Rosa, USA
I've definitely not forsaken classical music forever - never say never. You never know. I can still sing that way and I'll keep practising so I can sing that way.

Who is your role model and why? Roger, Cardiff, Wales
I wouldn't really say there was one person who was my role model. I think there's a lot of amazing people. In terms of all-round role model I don't really have one. I love Gloria Estefan, though - she is cool.

Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan: True to her Latin roots

It's always just been about the music with her and they've been really good fun pop songs and really great ballads. And she's still going strong. She's quite classy and true to her Latin roots.

What is it like going out with a rugby player like Gavin? Sarah Day, Bridgend, South Wales
It's wonderful. Every girl should have one. He's a lovely boy, a proper gentle giant. And it's really cool. I love watching him playing games, I feel really proud.

He hasn't been playing for a while because he had a groin injury, but that should be sorted now. He's going to start training and so hopefully he'll start playing again soon.

So you'll be watching the Six Nations then?
I told Sony I don't care where I am in the world, you'll fly me back from every game.

Do you think that the media coverage of yourself is fair? Ingrid Fantham, Cardiff
No, I don't. I don't think I'm any where near as bad as they make out. I'm no wild child. I'm actually quite sensible in every way, shape and form.

I think I'm quite kind to people around me. I just think I'm a nice person and I don't really know why I get so much hassle from the press.

They just want to sensationalise everything. If they really wrote what I was doing, [which is] I've had a few drinks too many, but I was actually home at 2am and then up for work at 10am.

They just want to make out I'm going off the rails - it's just ridiculous.

But it must be difficult having every twist and turn in your relationship picked over by the tabloids?
It would probably be difficult if it was true. But seeing as it's absolute crap, no.

I keep reading that I'm splitting up with Gavin. I hope not! I really like him, I think he's lovely. I'm getting on with him really well, we haven't been having any major arguments.

Gavin Henson and Charlotte Church
Church says her relationship with Henson is not under question

We went to Antigua in the summer. I burnt so I went under the shade. Gavin of course just doesn't burn, because he 's really dark, so he stayed out in the sun

We were eight foot apart - so the papers said we were eight foot apart having a massive row. It's quite funny.

Do you feel you were pushed into the media spotlight ahead of time? Harry Hayfield, Ffosyffin, Wales
Not really, um, well yeah. But I wasn't pushed into it. The media created it all. It has been quite difficult, especially when I was 14.

It's hard enough being a teenager anyway - you're just constantly confused - never mind being a teenager when people are slagging you off all the time.

How do you cope with that sort of strain?
I read it because I need to know in case people ask me about it. I want to know what people are saying about me.

But it's all crap, you've got to take it all with a pinch of salt. Sometimes I hear about stories and I just ring my family [and say] don't buy the papers they've written crap about me again.

What do you do when your feeling down? Brian Love, Chicago, USA
Gavin. That sounds quite bad actually. Being in Gavin's company usually makes me feel much happier. And just listening to my favourite songs - in a car.

I don't know why but I just seem to feel quite happy and relaxed when I'm in a car listening to songs.

Any favourite driving tracks?
Broken Wings, Mr Mister.

Charlotte Church meeting the Pope
I think even Courtney Love would tame down if she was seeing the Pope
Charlotte Church

A lot of readers from the US and Canada asked if you had any plans to tour in North America soon?
Not as yet. I'm probably going to take the album over there next year, but I haven't even made plans to tour in the UK yet, so it'll probably come after the UK.

What happened to the shy young girl, who met the Pope? Michael, Edinburgh
I was never shy. My nan just told me I had to be ridiculously respectful. Which of course I was, because I was brought up a Catholic. So it was an absolute honour to meet him.

It's not like I'm going to be lary and loud in front of the Pope. I think even Courtney Love would tame down if she was seeing the Pope. I've never really been shy.

Charlotte Church's hometown show
11 Jul 05 |  South East Wales
Charlotte and her millions
22 Feb 04 |  Wales


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