Edele Lynch: ‘We had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for’

Edele Lynch in Treasure Island

Edele Lynch in Treasure Island

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She’s temporarily swapped girlband B*Witched for the role of an evil pirate in an Easter panto. Edele Lynch talked to Chris Broom ahead of her role at the Kings.

During the late ’90s Irish girlband B*Witched and their unrelentingly catchy pop songs such as C’est la Vie, Rollercoaster and Blame It On The Weatherman, were unavoidable.

Instantly identifiable in their double-denim, identical twins Edele and Keavy Lynch, along with Lindsay Armaou and Sinéad O’Carroll, scored four consecutive number one singles and a brace of platinum-selling albums.

The group split in 2002, and although they have since reformed, Edele is appearing in The Pirates of Treasure Island, the Easter panto at the Kings Theatre in Southsea.

As Captain Grace O’Malley, she’s joined by CBBC’s Sid Sloane in a swashbuckling adventure packed with treasure maps, one-legged pirates, parrots, mutiny and the dreaded black spot.

And she’s looking forward to swinging her cutlass: ‘I’m an entertainer anyway, I’ve never been in a panto before, but this kind of scenario with the singing and the dancing and a bit of acting thrown in, I did this kind of thing before B*Witched.’

When Edele spoke to The Guide during a visit to The Kings, rehearsals were yet to start on the show, which hits 10 theatres across England in nine weeks.

But is she worried about her acting skills being rusty?

‘It’s crossed my mind a little,’ she laughs, ‘This one is more from a performance point of view and the singing is secondary, whereas I’m used to the singing being first. It’s interesting to switch the roles around. ‘And I’m an evil pirate in this, which I’m really excited about. If I was being “good” that would be easy – this will be more fun.’

And she will be bringing her kids, aged three, four and seven, over from her home in Ireland for a week to see her in the show.

‘It’s really good because they come and see me in B*Witched but I think it kind of goes over their heads. This show is all about them.

‘They prefer the live stuff, when I’m on telly they couldn’t care less. They look up for a second, go “Uh”, and then wander off.’

While the four women had kept busy after the band’s split, things changed when they agreed to take part in ITV2’s Big Reunion, alongside their peers Five, 911, Atomic Kitten, and Blue.

The show’s success, and subsequent tour in 2013, took many by surprise.

When I’m on telly my kids couldn’t care less. They look up for a second, go “Uh”, and then wander off

Edele Lynch

‘We only ever did TV for promotion when we were in B*Witched,’ she says, ‘but coming back into the industry, it’s all TV-driven now.

‘It wasn’t so much about your personality back then, now the music industry is run on all of these reality shows so they see more of you. We had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for.

‘We genuinely hadn’t got together before our first meeting on camera, but we found out later that the others had, and we were like, “Oh, we didn’t get that memo”, so ours was a bit more intense. It was very awkward. Everyone else had already gotten over that awkwardness and we were the only ones who did it blind.’

It had taken Edele several months to agree to be involved with the show, and she has mixed feelings about the experience. Picking her words carefully, she says: ‘I’m not necessarily happy with how I came across, I think I came across a bit bolder than I am.

‘The story didn’t play out as I thought it would. I was on the edge of my seat watching at home wondering what was going to happen next – and I was in the room – but they have so much footage.

‘When you zone in on that one minute of something, it‘s entirely different to what happened on the five minutes either side of it.

B*Witched

B*Witched

‘I found myself watching a different story from the one I experienced.

‘As it panned out on screen it looked like Lindsay and I had had issues forever, but we never did, and we don’t now. The only three minutes of awkwardness we’ve ever had were caught on camera.’

But her relationship with Sinead had hit the rocks.

‘Sinead and I had fallen out in 2006/7 ,so it had been years. We did get in touch when we had babies, to congratulate each other and to have coffee, but that was it. It worked out fine in the end. I just needed time with them.’

However, her sister Keavy has been a constant: ‘She’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given, and I think a lot of identical twins would say that. She really is my other half, and I’m not the same without her. We’ve worked together most of our lives and when we looked back on when B*Witched split and we went our separate ways for the first time, that was like our first day at school. I missed her.’

Since then, the four have released an EP Champagne or Guinness, and been back on the road, with more touring planned. But as Edele says: ‘Where we’re not a band full-time any more it’s quite hard to work out a schedule – Keavy’s got her own practice, she’s a therapist, a counsellor, Lindsay acts, and Sinead’s got her school, so everyone’s really busy.’

Despite her experiences of the Big Reunion, Edele also re-entered the reality TV fray, appearing on Celebrity Big Brother last year with the likes of boxer Audley Harrison, Benefit Street’s White Dee and eventual winner, Hollywood actor Gary Busey.

‘I didn’t watch the show back, so I’m not fully aware of what went on for me on screen, but there are three different shows in Big Brother – there’s the one that the press writes, there’s the one that the viewers see, and then there’s an entirely different one actually in the house.

‘There are things that I thought would obviously be played out on TV that were apparently never even shown and that’s so weird.’

Edele on...

Fellow Dubliners, The Script...

Mark and Danny are friends of ours from when we were growing up. Mark used to be mine, Keavy and Danny’s dance teacher and we all started a troupe together and we danced for Sony and Coca Cola and all that.

B*Witched’s double denim...

The moment the record company saw that, it was like “ding!” In a sad, sad way, it’s going to make me sound naff, it was kind of handy – it was like a uniform, so we didn’t have to think about our styling.

Gary Busey in Celebrity Big Brother...

Gary was difficult, but I had some really nice moments with him, and I think that’s why I ended up getting cross with him towards the end.

Where & when...

The Pirates of Treasure Island is at The Kings Theatre in Southsea tomorrow at 7pm and on Sunday at 1pm and 5pm. Tickets from £13 for children, £15 for adults. Go to kingsportsmouth.co.uk

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