Tim Campbell marks his 10th year on Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight – are you excited yet?

This is number 10 for me, so I'm heading my way towards Denis Walter Syndrome, but it is good – honestly, it is one of the best gigs to end the year on, because when you're on TV sometimes, people just can't wait for the wrap time, but on this, even when it comes to the orchestra and the choir and the crew, they're all loving it too. Everyone's there for the right reasons and it's a lot of fun. And a singer, you don't often get the budget to have a choir and a full orchestra play behind you. I can't wait.

Tim Campbell: “It sounds like I want to join Hi-5 … “Credit:Glenn Hunt

After 10 years, you're not bored?

No, God no! Not at all. It's a really good one for us, because Anth [Callea] and I, we can bring a few guests – this is our kind of Christmas celebration; Christmas Day actually ends up being a bit of a hangover because Christmas Eve is our celebration. It's Anth's 15th year and he's not bored either – he's even closer to the Walter Syndrome. Honestly, I'm not even trying to sell you something, I love it.

How competitive are you and Anthony when it comes to the carols? Do you try to outdo each other?

Oh God no. I get people up and dancing with the candles and he sings the big notes – we certainly know what our position is in the show and we're happy to keep to that. The only competition really is to check the schedule and see how early you're on in the night because the first one gets to pop the champagne bottle backstage. It's me this year – I'm in segment two, he has to wait until segment six.

Do you two do a lot of singing around the house?

God no – apart from the odd rehearsal it's like, I didn't buy tickets to your show. Does a plumber come home and enjoy plumbing at home? Does an accountant come home and enjoy counting?

I kind of pictured your home life as being like Glee, always settling disputes through song.

No … we're very lucky, we love our profession, but like any profession, it's nice to clock off as well.

When you were little, did you dream of singing at Carols By Candlelight?

I did later … I was a late bloomer to performing, I was into sports at school – but when I started singing, absolutely. Because Carols by Candlelight to me, growing up – I always watched it, and when I started singing in late high school and then in my early twenties, absolutely. It is a bit of an ultimate for an Aussie singer to get on the Carols and then when they do, they rock up and say, this is incredible. Because it is. I've ticked that box 10 times now, which is pretty cool.

Do you have a standing invitation to the Carols, or every year do you still have to wait for the call?

No, you've still got to wait for the call. I guess with people like Anthony and myself, Marina [Prior] and Silvie [Paladino] and David [Hobson] and Denis, we kind of feel like we are the stalwarts, but it's television – you never know anything. And then when you do get the call, you hope you're early enough to get the song that you want, because that's the other behind the scenes competition – who gets your favourite song?

Did you get to choose your song this year?

I did … I'm not going to lie, but Casey Donovan stole one of them that I wanted – I'll have a quiet chat to her.

I'm fascinated by Denis Walter. Are you friends with Denis, or is he that kind of "you can't make eye contact with the star" sort of thing?

He's not like that at all, he's a lovely guy. And a very humble guy as well. But he is the king – you're not going to dethrone the king of Carols. So don't even try.

Do you have a favourite carol or Christmas song?

I like doing the rocking ones and getting people up, so things like Rocking Around the Christmas Tree and Jingle Bell Rock – and obviously people know Santa Claus is Coming to Town – it sounds like I want to join Hi-5 but I love doing that one and getting people up, holding their candles up and having a sing. But I'm not doing that one this year because maybe someone stole it from me, so that's OK, I'm not bitter at all.

Carols By Candlelight is on Nine, Monday, 8pm.

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