CONSIDERING I was interviewing an ex-Pussycat Doll, I didn’t expect to be competing with a dog.

The canine in question, Cooper, belonged to the American singer Ashley Roberts and clearly had a problem with me.

From the off, I couldn’t help be smitten by Ashley’s upbeat personality and didn’t Cooper the dog know it. Especially as Ashley and I were getting along so famously before her headline slot at Wave 105 Live! at the BIC.

“It’s exciting. It’s me branching out on my own and getting to perform again. I love being amongst the people with the live performance stuff, enthused Ashley, 32.

Then the barking began, “Cooper, chill out. Oh my God, he’s eating from the trash can.” Of course he is.

It was clear this was going to be man versus beast. I resume questioning the delectable Ashley about her new solo career outside of The Pussycat Dolls.

“I’m feeling everything I should be feeling right now. I’m excited and nervous. You know it’s different without the girls to rely on and back you up. I miss them 100 per cent, but it’s an exciting new chapter and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to go out on my own and have a platform to do so,” added Ashley.

This week sees the singer release her first official single, Clockwork, and marks the start of a new direction since parting with The Pussycat Dolls in 2010.

“In the Dolls we were a product of a brand. It was amazing, but to be a creative artist you want to have a voice. I’ve loved the whole process of co-writing on the new album and getting to choose the songs I want to sing.

“I also get to creatively come up with the images and the fashion. I love all that stuff.”

Cooper has heard enough and unleashes a sudden burst of shrill barking, “He does this. It’s two hours before his dinner, but he likes to whinge...”

Outside of music, Ashley Roberts has recently become a familiar face on British television. A runner up on I’m A Celebrity...Get Me out Of Here in 2012, her popularity has seen her become a judge on Dancing on Ice and now co-host of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

A confirmed Anglophile, Ashley has even made London her home.

“I love it to be honest. At first I came over and it was a big culture shock to me. I’ve toured throughout the world, but never really lived in a city.

“The weather was tough, but now I’ve been here a good year and a half. I’ve just fallen in love with it. I feel more creative and inspired over here.”

Cue louder barking and an apology of sorts, “he’s not coming to Bournemouth.”

After the interview, I’d like to think Cooper jumped on Ashley’s lap and basked in seeing off another journalist. Lucky boy.

n You can see Ashley Roberts and other artists such as Paloma Faith, Pixie Lott and Peter Andre at Wave 105 Live! at the BIC tomorrow night.