As Girls Aloud announce their Out of Control Tour for 2009, Cheryl Cole comes under scrutiny in her first (not allowed) biography.
SHE’S the Newcastle-born pop star who is verging on becoming a national treasure in her current incarnation on TV’s X Factor.
Naturally enough, Cheryl Cole is now the subject of an unauthorised biography by freelance showbiz reporter Gerard Sanderson.
Written in the style of Jackie magazine, it’s a rags to riches tale which takes Cheryl from a council house in Newcastle’s ‘run-down Heaton district’ to a mansion in Surrey’s exclusive Oxshott.
Cheryl chose not to be involved with the book and the story is told through quotes extracted from magazines and national and regional newspapers. Don’t expect to learn anything which hasn’t already been reported in newspapers
The biography traces Cheryl’s story, using as its starting point her triumph at Journal sister paper the Evening Chronicle’s Star of the Future competition in 1990.
The Margaret Waite School of Dancing in Whitley Bay gets a mention as a formative influence on Cheryl, before she was given an opportunity to dance with the Royal Ballet’s Summer School.
As Sanderson writes, ‘London was certainly different to Newcastle’ and homesick Cheryl returned to Heaton, subsequently attending classes at the Newcastle Dance Centre. She went to school in Walker and Sanderson informs his reader that ‘living on a council estate in Heaton was hard for many of the youngsters. There was little money and even less for them to do’.
Sanderson also recalls Cheryl’s early romances and her friendship with John Courtney who died from a heroin overdose in 2005, revealing that she ‘experienced what could have happened if she’d made the wrong decisions’.
Cheryl’s break came with Popstars: The Rivals and anyone who wants to be reminded of the TV series can read the five chapter synopsis in this biography.
Girls Aloud was born and Cheryl instantly received bad press in 2003 after assaulting a female toilet attendant in Guildford.
Sanderson enlightens his reader as to her subsequent arrest: “Back at the cell, Cheryl felt scared.”
A year later she started dating footballer Ashley Cole and Sanderson makes a weak attempt at the inside story on their engagement. “When he bought the ring and put it away for safekeeping, he was flushed with excitement. He couldn’t wait to ask his girl to marry him.”
Cheryl’s relationship with Ashley raised her public status considerably higher than the other members of Girls Aloud, and during the 2006 World Cup the tabloids suggested Cheryl was a Posh-in-waiting.
Fortunately Sanderson can set the record straight. “Cheryl wasn’t trying to be like Victoria at all: she had her own style and her own mind. She merely admired Victoria for what she had achieved over the years and looked to her as a great example of someone who made things happen.”
In July 2006 Cheryl married Ashley in Hertfordshire on ‘a day they would never forget’.
But all was not well in WAG-world and Cheryl was devastated to read kiss-and-tell stories in the tabloids following her wedding. Once again Sanderson clarifies matters. “How could he have done this to her? How could he have put her through this? What could she believe any more?”
Like a Jackie comic strip, the book has a happy ending with Cheryl and Ashley reunited, a fifth album for Girls Aloud and a successful TV series. But let’s remember that talented Cheryl is only 25 and according to the ever-knowing Sanderson ‘there is lots more for the ambitious lass to achieve’.
Cheryl Cole, The Unauthorised Biography by Gerard Sanderson, publisher Michael O’Mara Books Ltd.