Stage star Kathryn getting ready for her walk-on part

Kathryn Harries, 56, is an international opera star and former BBC television presenter. On top of her successful singing career she has supported many charities – the latest of which is Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). Kathryn is embarking on a fundraising 32-mile walk from Hampton Court to Tower Hill on Saturday, July 7.

You live in deepest Surrey now, but you grew up in this area didn't you?

I was born in Hampton Court – where I am starting my charity walk – and then lived in between Kingston and Surbiton where my parents had a pharmacy. I lived there until I got married in 1998. Americans find it amusing that my passport says I was born in Hampton Court.

How did you become involved with Cry?

I was being interviewed by a young reporter for a local newspaper. I was talking about how young people were not very involved with charity work because they are working so hard with their own jobs. She then told me that she was part of Cry, which had helped her with her heart problem. I was so taken with the whole thing I decided to find our more about it.

What is your role within the charity?

I am the first female patron and was the first patron from the arts. (Little Britain star) David Walliams joined shortly after me. We went to a reception at Westminster the day after he returned from his English Channel swim. Over 100 cross-party MPs are also on board.

How are you preparing for the 32-mile walk?

It will be the farthest I have walked, so I am probably not doing as much training as I should. I have just come back from five days walking in the Lake District and living in Surrey helps because it is so hilly.

What are you rehearsing for at the moment?

I am doing Bridge of Dreams at the Almeida in Islington. My stage manager is calling for me as we speak.

Kathryn is also taking part in a group 8km London Bridges walk on Sunday, July 15. See or telephone 01737 363 222 to sponsor Kathryn or to find out more.