Pop star Alesha Dixon has competed and judged on talent shows – but she is advising young performers to go their own way. Her remarks will likely land her in hot water with boss Simon Cowell.

Alesha, 36, who defected from judging Strictly Come Dancing to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, said aspiring stars should avoid the talent contest route and ­“protect themselves”.

The former Mis-Teeq star, chatting to a student television station in Nottingham, said:When I started out I was 17 and I didn’t sign my first record deal until I was 22.

“you have to protect yourself”

ALESHA DIXON

“You kind of have to learn as you go along, so I’d say to people don’t go down those routes, take your time, have a fall back plan.

“Remember you love music, but it’s also a business, so you have to protect yourself because I think a lot of artists are quite vulnerable, and if you don’t work with the right people you can be taken advantage of.”

Speaking to Trent TV, she told young ­singers what is important:

 

It’s not the first time Alesha, who won BBC’s Strictly in 2007, has been at the centre of ­controversy.

She was at the centre of a storm in 2009 when she replaced respected choreographer Arlene Phillips as a Strictly judge. The axing of Arlene, then 66, prompted claims of ageism against the BBC.

Cowell has already confirmed Alesha will return to BGT next year. But the singer, whose first album in five years is due out on her own label in October, hopes to tour in early 2016.

 She said: “I’ll be doing Britain’s Got Talent but I also hope I can be back on the road with my band, doing some shows and really putting on a spectacle, putting everything ­together I have learnt over the last 15 years.”

 

Alesha said launching her label Precious Stone meant music executive “dictators” could not ­control her ­output.

She said getting back on stage during the summer had been “­wonderful” and that the crowds had made her feel welcome. She added: “I’m supposed to be on that stage. It feels right.”

 

Here’s a clip from the interview, Alesha discusses her latest album Do It For Love.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge will release her fourth studio album on October 19.