Beverley Knight thought she'd end up with a "big, strapping Idris Elba type" before being swept off her feet by her "lean" Irish husband.

The 50-year-old singer has been married to production technician James O’Keefe, 47, since 2012, but she admits he wasn't her type physically.

She told Best UK magazine: "I was so sure I'd end up with a big, strapping Idris Elba type, instead I married a lean, white man of Irish decent!"

Despite James not being her usual type, it was love at first sight.

She added: "'I could feel something happening straight away. Within a week I phoned my mum and said, 'I think this is the one, you and Dad need to meet him?'"

Meanwhile, the West End star recently opened up about spending years being unhappy with what she saw in the mirror.

The 'Shoulda Woulda Coulda' singer admitted that it’s only recently that she has learned to embrace her “faults” and not give a damn.

During an interview with Hello! magazine, she confessed: "I feel as though I'm at an age now where I'll say what the hell I want, and that's liberating.

"I've shed the kind of neurosis that we have in our 20s and 30s and sometimes into our 40s. While I have always had supreme confidence in my abilities as a musician, I didn’t always like what I saw in the mirror.

"I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin and I would find fault. Now, the faults are still there but I'm like: 'Whatever.'"

Beverley also voiced her anger at the societal assumptions ageing women are faced with, adding: "When women turn 50, it can be a difficult time because society often tells them that they're done, but my answer to that is that I'm only just beginning."

She continued: "I had no fear of reaching 50. I wanted to celebrate the time in life where women really come into their power. And that for me is right now."