How does it feel to be the only judge to have done every series of Britain’s Got Talent?

I’m always pleased to be back and extremely grateful. When you get a phone call to tie you into a show like this you think five years is good, so to be here with my zimmer frame 12 years later is an amazing feeling for me.

Can you ever predict a winner?

I’d never have predicted Tokio. He was so cool and so diverse that I wouldn’t have thought he was typical for our audience. So I just don’t think you can predict what the mood of the public is.

What can you reveal about your golden buzzer this year?

I pressed it on the first day in Blackpool and that’s not something I would have predicted. I thought I would have played a longer game. I thought I’d be paranoid that I would miss out on so much more.

But you have to go with the feeling in your tummy and I got that feeling. I had to press my golden buzzer. For me he was in absolutely the right time, the right moment, the right person. 

Has the success you’ve had in your career lived up what you thought it would be when you were starting out?

When I first started out I just wanted to be an actress who worked. Now I’ve been in the industry for 25 years. I worked and got an agent straight from drama school which was a feat in itself.

I would say my career has taken a completely different path to where I thought it was going to go, in a huge way. I never thought this would happen to me, it’s like winning the lottery. Everything changes.

For my lifestyle to the education my children are having, the fact I can do what I want when I want and can treat my family - it’s amazing. I’m really grateful for it.

I will never forget standing on stage looking out to a dark auditorium, with a piece of paper in my hands shaking - I’ll never forget that feeling of auditioning. It’s brilliant and it’s horrible and it’s fabulous, all in one go. When it’s over it’s the biggest relief and then the biggest euphoria when you get the call to say you’ve got the job.

Which famous person would you like to be for a day?

If I could be someone famous for the day I’d be Dolly Parton. I love her, she’s so talented. I went to see her live at Wembley. She’s brilliant, very funny. I’d just love to get inside her mind for the day.

What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?

I couldn’t possibly tell you that! One of the weirdest things I’ve ever done was when my husband confessed to me years ago that he wanted to meet Paddington Bear. This was before the movies.

So on his birthday I hired a Paddington Bear costume, went out the house and came back in it. I burst through the door and danced to YMCA. He had no idea who I was! That was the most surreal thing I have ever done.

If you had a superpower what would it be? 

I want to be able to have a bionic ear and hear what everyone’s saying. I’d spy on everyone. I’d be in Simon’s office, my agent’s office, I’d be at 10 Downing Street and I’d be in Jeremy Hunt’s office. I’d be everywhere, a fly with a big ear.

Britain's Got Talent returns Saturday 21 April at 7pm on TVNZ 1.