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Delta Goodrem on playing her idol Olivia Newton-John, and why she almost quit

'It was a risk!'

Before she agreed to portray singer and actress Olivia Newton-John, Delta Goodrem sought approval from the Aussie legend herself.

The two are good friends – indeed, Olivia is Delta's long-time mentor.

So it was imperative that Delta had the OK from ONJ before signing on for the Channel Seven miniseries Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To You.

"First and foremost, I'm a loyal friend," Delta, 33, tells TV WEEK. "I'm also a loyal artist and respectful of other artists."

Ultimately, it was a decision she couldn't have made without Olivia's backing.

"I spoke in depth with her about it for weeks, and we decided together," Delta explains.

"She was the one saying, 'You can do this,' and I was like, 'OK.'

"I wouldn't have done it without Olivia really supporting me."

Delta (right) says she wouldn't have played Olivia without her permission.
Delta (right) says she wouldn't have played Olivia without her permission.

Olivia, 69, admitted she wasn't planning to watch the miniseries, which concludes this week. However, she did agree to sing with Delta on the official miniseries soundtrack. And that, for Delta, was a huge vote of confidence.

As viewers have already seen, Delta is a knockout as ONJ. There really is no-one else in Australia who could take on such a role.

Delta admits it was, at times, an out-of-body experience.

"Olivia is someone I've looked up to as a role model," she explains.

"So when this role came up, I couldn't imagine not doing it.

"I wanted to take care of this role, and nurture it the way Olivia has cared for me over the years."

Richard Brancantisano (left) stars as Matt Lattanzi, Olivia's husband.
Richard Brancantisano (left) stars as Matt Lattanzi, Olivia's husband.

Never one to sit still for long, Delta went straight from filming the miniseries to her regular role as a coach on Aussie reality talent show The Voice.

"It was really intense," she says of filming. "I'd gone from The Voice to my sold-out arena tour, then straight into filming [the Olivia miniseries] one week later, then back to filming The Voice after we'd finished.

"I definitely have variety in my life, that's for sure!"

Kelly Rowland, Delta's fellow coach on The Voice, recently told the audience she wanted to marry her friend off. Delta, who is thought to be single currently – and is very private about her personal life – laughed about it to TV WEEK.

"She's the most beautiful girlfriend, I couldn't love her more," Delta says of Kelly. "Yes, it's true – she's trying to marry me off!"

So, would she like to get married?

"It's a definite question," she admits. "But I'm like, 'You and the rest of Australia.' One day, one day!"

For more on Delta's role in Olivia Newton John: Hopelessly Devoted To You, her health battle and career, pick up this week's issue of TV WEEK, on sale now.

This week's issue of TV WEEK stars Delta Goodrem, with a special flip cover starring Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
This week's issue of TV WEEK stars Delta Goodrem, with a special flip cover starring Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

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