The Lowdown on: Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole first stepped into the limelight on popular talent search Popstars: The Rivals in 2002. After six years at the top of the charts the former Miss Tweedy is returning to our screens as a judge on this year’s X Factor, replacing original battleaxe Sharon Osbourne. So what’s the lowdown on the feisty Geordie lass?
Cheryl Ann Tweedy was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 30th June 1983 into a family of five children. She was a natural performer from an early age, dancing in local recitals and television. The versatile youngster cut her showbiz teeth in ballroom dancing, ballet and modelling. Her good looks were recognised early. Her list of accolades include Boots bonniest baby, Mothercare Happy Faces Portrait competition, Best Looking Girl of Newcastle, The Evening Chronicle ‘Little Miss & Mister’ and Most Attractive Girl at the MetroCentre. This led to an appearance in several television commercials.
Tweedy was working as a waitress when she auditioned for the girl group in Popstars: The Rivals.
After storming her way through the live knock-out shows, Tweedy was eventually voted into Girls Aloud along with Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh, Sarah Harding and Nadine Coyle.
Shortly after Girls Aloud’s launch Cheryl was involved in a disagreement with nightclub toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa in a Guildford nightclub. She was charged with racially aggravated assault and actual bodily harm. Despite claiming that she had acted in self defence, Cheryl was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and was sentenced to 120 hours of community service. She had to pay Amogbokpa £500 in compensation, as well as £3000 court costs. She has always denied that the attack was racial.
The controversy didn’t stop Girls Aloud from scoring eighteen consecutive Top 10 hits and releasing four studio albums after their first single ‘Sound of the Underground’ stormed the charts.
When Cheryl got together with footballer Ashley Cole, it was a match made in tabloid heaven. The pair married at Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire on 15th July 2006. Cheryl wore a dress especially designed for her by Roberto Cavalli, reportedly worth £110,000. OK! Magazine paid £1 million to cover the wedding.
However, the fairytale wasn’t to last. Cheryl’s personal life was thrust into the public eye once again in January 2008 when allegations surfaced in the tabloid press that Ashley had been unfaithful. Two girls, including hairdresser Aimee Walton, claimed to have slept with the footballer. Aimee told the press that Ashley’s management had even offered to pay for her to have an abortion. Imaginably, Cheryl was devastated. She was pictured without her wedding ring on holiday with her band mates in Thailand, and Britain was poised for news of a divorce. But Cheryl decided to give her husband another chance. The pair reunited, with rumours of a sex ban imposed by Cheryl until wayward Ashley learned his lesson.
Despite this knock to her confidence Cheryl’s career went from strength to strength. She trained as a street dancer in ITV’s four part series The Passions of Girls Aloud which led to a part in Black Eyed Peas’ singer Will.i.am’s single ‘Heartbreaker’, and has recently accepted Sharon Osbourne’s job on the judging panel of this year’s X Factor.
A string of Top 10 records, a place in one of the UK’s most successful girl bands, and a blossoming TV career – life is looking good for the Newcastle lass.