The X Factor: Celebrity contestant Martin Bashir has said he honed his vocal chops by singing Will Smith’s rap song Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It in the car – much to his children’s irritation.
The veteran BBC journalist is one of 15 celebrities competing to win a record deal on the new edition of the hit ITV show.
Bashir, who is currently the broadcaster’s religion editor, said he is aiming to launch a second career as a singer, despite never having sung in public before.
He said: “Some years back, whenever we were driving long distances, I would put a song by Will Smith called Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It on to the CD player and start singing.
“And they’d say ‘Please, Mum, tell him to shut up’. I think they found it embarrassing.”
On whether he was ready to embarrass his children on national television, the 56-year-old said: “Well, it depends on how embarrassing the performance is.
“If it’s an absolute disaster and I go out in the first round, they will probably say something like ‘You’re stupid. You should never have done it’.”
Bashir also admitted he had under-estimated how difficult singing in public was, saying that it has been “an education”.
He said: “I’ve never sung before and it’s not as easy as you think. It’s hard. I’d never recognised how extraordinarily skilled singers are. I had no idea. I love music.
“I’d go to classical concerts, jazz, pop, whatever. But this has been like an education because I had no idea.
“The other thing about it is that singing is not just a vocal process. The performance involves movement, expression and the ability to sell a song. So it’s been an education.”
Bashir began working as a journalist in 1986 but made headlines around the world in 1995 for his BBC interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, for Panorama.
The X Factor: Celebrity will debut on ITV on October 12.