It's a big year for actor and singer Karen David, 31. She is currently starring in the BBC school soap Waterloo Road and is also preparing for the release of her new single Hypnotize. David, who was born in India and raised in Canada before she moved to England as a teenager, took some time out from her hectic schedule to tell Will Gore about her multi-faceted career and why she is happy to call Richmond home.

After a six month filming schedule you must be pleased to finally see Waterloo Road on our screens?

When you are filming for that long you are really in the moment and you wonder what the end result will look like, so it is really nice to see everyone on the screen but I find it difficult to watch myself, like most actors.

Tell us about your character, Francesca Montoya

She is the youngest and the newest addition to the staff room. She is very feisty and new age which raises eyebrows among the elder teachers but that is why she has brought in, beause she is larger than life and has fresh ideas. Cesca can burn the candle at both ends but she always manages to have perfect hair and make up, like Posh Spice or Cheryl Cole walking into school each day.

Have you drawn on your memories of school to play your part?

I remember all my teachers being so inspiring and supportive. Cesca is young and passionate about teaching and I wanted to inject some of the experience I had with my teachers into that.

Your single, Hypnotize, has just come out - how would you describe your music?

I call my music exotic pop because I want to infuse some of the sounds of my heritage and mix it up with my mainstream pop influences - I’ve got Chinese, Indian and a sliver of Jewish heritage and trying to encompass all of this can be quite crazy.

What inspired you to get into music and acting?

When I was a kid my sister sat me down and we watched Xanadu and I fell in love with Olivia Newton John and I had to be like her. I had to sing like her on records and act in movies and on TV. I also wanted to be blonde and blue-eyed like her but that was never going to happen.

How did you come to live in Richmond?

I came over to England in 1997 to study at the Guildford School of Acting at the age of 17 and three years later I was driving through Richmond and fell in love with the views so I moved here. I love it here and it reminds me of Canada - I love the sense of community and the fact that there are people of all ages here. I’m a surburban girl and I love the fact that there is lots do do here and you don’t have to go into central London all the time.

And where in Richmond do you like to unwind?

My favourite pub is The White Swan, near Richmond Green - it is so cosy and welcoming and you can bring the dog.

Karen David stars in BBC’s Waterloo Road and her new single Hypnotize is out now. For more information, visit