AS one of this country’s most successful Noughties pop groups, Girls Aloud had been planning a reunion to mark their 20th anniversary next year.
Kimberley Walsh has revealed that Girls Aloud members Cheryl, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle shelved talks of a reunion while they come to terms with the loss of Sarah HardingCredit: Getty
Sarah Harding died last month, aged 39, following her diagnosis in 2020 with advanced breast cancer
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, band member Kimberley Walsh reveals the group, also including Cheryl, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle, have now shelved the talks while they come to terms with their loss.
She says: “It’s not really something we’re even thinking about obviously, with the situation as it is. No one is even in that headspace right now.”
Although Sarah’s death on September 5 is still fresh in everyone’s minds, the singer previously said one positive thing to have come out of her journey had been that the band met up again.
After she made her diagnosis public in August last year, she revealed the band had shared an emotional get-together in the Cotswolds.
They called time on Girls Aloud in 2013 after 21 UK top ten singles and four No1 hits but Kimberley, 39, says she is now closer than ever to her bandmates — including Nadine, who, not long before Sarah’s diagnosis, became a near neighbour.
Kimberley, who has also branched out into acting on stage, adds: “She’s back in London now, and lives really close to me. It’s nice that I’ve seen her a lot more over the past couple of years.”
The band will meet again next month, when Kimberley celebrates her 40th birthday.
After difficult times with the pandemic, that will also be cherished time with family and close friends.
Kimberley, who has three children with husband Justin Scott, 39, also a singer, says: “I feel so grateful to be in the position I am and have my three boys and Justin. Life is good and I’m grateful for that.
“I’m thankful I’m turning 40. I’m planning a big party, I’m going to go into my forties in style.
“You’ve just got to cherish every moment. I don’t know what my forties will bring but going into a new decade is quite a big thing.”
Kimberley’s looks belie her age. She is as fresh-faced as when she first found fame as part of Girls Aloud on ITV talent show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.
Unlike many in the entertainment industry, she has shunned cosmetic surgery and says her youthful look is down to good genes.
She says: “My mum’s got great skin. All the girls in our family have inherited small pores, we’re lucky.
‘I’VE NOT HAD ANY WORK DONE – THIS IS ME’
“I’ve not had any work done. This is me. I don’t feel strongly against it, it’s just I’ve not hit that point yet. It’s nice to age gracefully but times change, you can never say never.
“Being an actress, I’m limited to what I can do without it changing my facial expressions. It doesn’t work if people can’t read my expressions. But who knows, give it a few more years and I might say something different.”
Kimberley welcomed her third son, Nate, in May, and the tot has slotted into family life with her boys Bobby, six, and four-year-old Cole.
Previously Kimberley had said she dreamed of having a big family, but since Nate’s arrival she has changed her mind.
After signing up to BT’s Big Sofa Summit campaign — to increase awareness about how small lifestyle changes and smart tech at home can help save the planet — Kimberley has also been thinking about her own family’s carbon footprint.
She says of children: “To be honest, I always wanted more than two children and when I was younger I would have said I would love four kids easily, because I’m one of four.
“But now that I’m at the age I’m at, I feel I’m very lucky to have three healthy boys and I just want to move forward to the next stage of life.
“The baby stage kind of delays being able to travel with them, so that’s why it’s the right time for me to move on. It’s all fun, busy and eventful now. The older two are so helpful with Nate. They just love having a little brother.
“They’re like little nannies, trying to help me all the time. So at the minute it’s amazing because they haven’t lost interest at all and they’re always on hand. I’ll go to feed Nate and Bobby will grab me a muslin before I’ve time to even fetch one myself.
“They’re really good. I was worried about going back to the sleepless nights because my boys slept well once they got out of the baby phase.
“But it’s amazing how your body adapts, and because I’m breast-feeding, those hormones help.
“Nate was my best sleeper to date but he’s just got the four-month regression and it’s all gone a bit wrong.
‘I DON’T WANT TO WISH THIS TIME AWAY’
“I’ve been here before and once it’s third time round you know there is an end to it, so I don’t want to wish this time away. As much as it’s tiring, sometimes when I’m sat cuddling him in the night I think this will be gone soon, so I’m not too worried.”
Having children has also bonded Kim-berley even closer with Cheryl, who has son Bear, four, from her relationship with former One Direction star Liam Payne.
The pair’s children enjoy play dates to-gether — along with those of Kimberley’s older sister Sally.
Kimberley says: “My sister has four boys. And my best friend’s little girl is a similar age. So we’ve got a crew of little ones, this friendship group just made up of us and our children. It’s nice to see them grow up together.”
Kimberley built on her Girls Aloud fame with a host of TV and acting work, as well as brand endorsements.
She was a panellist on Let’s Dance For Sport Relief in 2010 and that year fronted Baftas coverage for MTV as well as Sky documentary Kimberley Walsh: Girl In The Blue Jeans.
She was a judge on ITV talent show Born To Shine the following year and appeared in Horrid Henry: The Movie as Prissy Polly.
She was also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. She made her West End debut as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical in 2011, and has been in stage versions of films such as Elf, in 2015, then in 2019 Big and Sleepless In Seattle.
She has fronted campaigns for clothes brand New Look, in 2009, and sports giant Puma two years later.
‘I WOULD LOVE BE A JUDGE ON STRICTLY’
But while now enjoying her maternity leave with Nate, Kimberley says there is one dream telly job she would never turn down — a judging role on Strictly.
She was joint runner-up alongside Denise van Outen when she contested the BBC1 show with Russian pro dancer Pasha Kovalev.
And if judge Bruno Tonioli does not return to his seat on the panel for next year’s series, Kimberley would be more than willing to stand in, as Anton du Beke is doing for the current series.
She says: “I’d love to do that. I’m like a judge watching it from the sofa, anyway. Anything to do with Strictly, I’d be there because I’ve got such a passion for it. When you’ve done it and enjoyed it so much, you watch it with a different eye.
“My older two boys are quite into it, bless them. They’re getting into it because they know how much I love it. They are genuinely enjoying watching it this year for the first time.
“Cole said he’s going to learn to dance like that so we can dance like that together when he’s older. It’s so cute.
“Strictly is such a feelgood, warm family show and it’s the highlight of my weekends at the moment.”
- Additional reporting: Julie-Ann Trainor
- To find out more about the BT Big Sofa Summit and to see how you can host your own event, go to bt.com/BigSofaSummit
Girls Aloud split in 2013 after 21 UK top ten singles and four No1 hitsCredit: Rex
Girls Aloud will meet again next month when Kimberley celebrates her 40th birthdayCredit: Getty
Kimberley has three children with her husband Justin Scott, 39Credit: Rex
Kimberley welcomed her third son, Nate, in MayCredit: Eroteme
Kimberley has shunned cosmetic surgery and says her youthful look is down to good genesCredit: Getty
Kimberley says she is now very conscious of her own family’s carbon footprintCredit: Rex
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