Bradley Walsh inspired Jenny Ryan to sign up for Celebrity X Factor

Jenny Ryan.

Jenny Ryan has told how Bradley Walsh encouraged her to sign up for Celebrity X Factor.

The Chase star is one of the contestants on The X Factor: Celebrity which begins on Saturday night.

Speaking ahead of the series, the quiz expert explained why she decided to sign up - and named The Chase host Bradley as one of the reasons.

"Bradley is very proud. From the time I joined The Chase he's always encouraged me to push myself and to explore whatever opportunities I am given," she said. "That's one of the reasons I accepted the invitation to audition in the first place.

"I've held myself back a lot for a lack of confidence. And that situation you push yourself forward to take the challenge. It’s a learning experience whatever happens."

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Brad has a record deal, he’s got albums out, he’s got Doctor Who, and he presents every other programme sometimes when you’re watching of a weekend.

"I’m sure he won’t mind me saying he’s got a couple of decades on me. I’m sure I’ve got the energy to keep that going."

Jenny also poured praise on friend Martin Taylor, who she describes as "the most famous man in Bolton."

"He is a pianist and used to play in one of the local pubs. He would sing everything from classical to rock to pop. He was amazing," Jenny said. "He encouraged me to get up and sing and actually my first song in the audition is the first one he made me get up and sing.

"It was one that people would put their pint glasses down in the pub to listen to me. And I think that was the moment I realised this was something a little bit different."

Meanwhile, Jenny thinks viewers will see a different side to her after years on The Chase.

She explained: "I think there are a lot of people at home who watch The Chase, and I think it kind of applies to a lot of people who are watching any TV show or anything the way they’re familiar with the people, they start not to see them as human beings. They sort of think of me as if I’m a quiz robot just churning out facts.

"It’s quite a visceral thing to perform music because you are not just singing a song that someone else wrote and feeling nothing about it. You are expressing your emotion, your interpretation of it. There’s got to be something in there.

"For me to appreciate a song, there’s got to be something in there that resonates with me whether it’s the lyrics, the story behind it. It’s a very emotional thing for me, music."

The X Factor: Celebrity begins this Saturday 12th October 8:35pm on ITV.

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