Girls Aloud Is Back On!
In an industry obsessed with stick-thin starlets, Kimberley Walsh is one heck of an ambassador for being confidently curvy and super successful with it.
One fifth of Girls Aloud, one of the most successful girl bands ever, the 29-year-old Yorkshire lass has not only sold over 10 million records worldwide in her role as a pop star, she’s proved herself to be a cracking TV presenter, charity campaigner, model and magazine columnist, along with honing her acting skills in the movie world. Making her second big screen appearance in the 3D animated kids flick, Horrid Henry this summer, the gorgeous Girls Aloud star and face of Puma’s TrainLite trainers is currently in the best shape of her life, and riding on the crest of a career wave – but it’s her newest project that has set her showbiz pulse racing even faster. Confirming a Girls Aloud reunion following a near three year hiatus, Kimberley is desperate to get back on stage with her band mates when their comeback tour kicks off in 2012 – and can’t wait to spend more time with her long-term celeb bestie, Cheryl Cole.
“I’d like to do more acting, but being in a band has surpassed everything I ever dreamed of,” spilled the stunning singer. “The girls will have been together ten years next year, and that’s definitely going to be celebrated with a tour. I am really looking forward to it.”
And whilst hanging out with fellow GA members Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle is sure to be a blast, Kimberley will be relishing the fact she’ll get to spend weeks on end with her best friend, Cheryl Cole. A steadfast shoulder to cry on through what have been the worst years of Cheryl’s life, loyal pal Kimberley has resolutely mopped up the tears of her closest friend, following her very public split from ex-husband Ashley Cole, a life-threatening battle with Malaria and most recently, her unceremonious dumping from the American version of X-Factor. Returning from a ‘girls only’ vacation in LA last month, where the two partied their way around Hollywood’s hottest hangouts, 29-year-old Kimberley is only too aware of how much her friend needs the support of those closest to her right now – and a long-overdue break away from the limelight before the band’s tour kicks off next year. “It was wonderful to go and chill out completely” said Kim. “The only thing missing was a bit of shopping. But it got to hard to organise because Cheryl is so hounded by the paparazzi. I got scared for her in all the madness. It was absolutely terrifying.”
But fighting off the unwanted media attention surrounding Cheryl’s private life is something firm friend Kimberley is more than used to. Publicly defending her pal when rumours of a reunion with ex-husband Ashley Cole surfaced in the wake of her X-Factor sacking, the straight-talking Horrid Henry star revealed exactly how she felt about the speculation surrounding Cheryl and her relationship. “I wish people would just leave her alone.” raged Kim. “It’s relentless and we’re all bored of it. It’s really frustrating to hear so many fabrications and complete lies written about her.’
Said to have ‘listened and advised Cheryl, but never judged her’ about the Ashley situation by sources close to the singers, Kimberley’s unwavering support is said to have got Cheryl through her darkest days – and whilst Chezza didn’t make it to the London premiere of her pal’s latest movie, Kimberley knows their friendship is more about keeping it real than red carpet appearances. Despite previous roles as a mentor and host on the British version of the X-Factor, Kimberly turned her back on a lucrative deal to host next season’s spin-off show, The Xtra Factor, just a week after Cheryl’s stateside axing, clearly demonstrating where her loyalties lay. “I won’t be helping out at the judge’s house this year” revealed Kim. ‘I only did it to support Cheryl.”
While the X-Factor gig may be a thing of the past, Kimberley has a variety of projects on the boil. Juggling a handful of TV presenting roles along with being the face of Shwarzkopf, Right Guard and Puma’s TrainLite trainers keeps the bubbly singing star perennially busy. But with a wedding to long term love Justin Scott on the not-too-distant horizon, the 29-year-old does allow herself a little time to keep her fabulous figure in check, and works out regularly. Feeling confident about her spectacular curves, however, was not always so easy.
‘I grew up thinking Kate Moss was the perfect woman, but that was a totally unachievable body shape for me” revealed Kimberley. “I had the biggest bottom out of about 50 girls in my class. So looking like Kate Moss was never going to happen.”
But it was the unapologetically bootilicious singing star Beyonce that helped Kimberley realise that her feminine curves were actually a blessing.
‘We were exactly the same age and she looked amazing, so I started to dress like her. Suddenly my shape made sense,’ explained Kim. ‘I’d think: “Beyonce’s wearing a figure-hugging dress and drawing attention to her tiny waist”, so I’d buy a new dress and a large belt, go out and pretend to be Beyoncé. She was a great alter ego for me.”
Like Beyonce, however, Kim has to work hard to keep her physique in knockout shape. “When you see yourself on TV and in the press, it keeps you motivated to exercise, but I don’t workout because of that. I do it for myself” says Kim. “Even before we formed Girls Aloud, I was always conscious of how I looked – and it’s always been important to me to be comfortable and happy. Like every woman, my confidence levels go up and down, but I feel better about myself when I’m exercising.”
Working out three times a week for 90 minutes at a time, Kim runs or power walks in her trusty Puma TrainLites for 30 minutes before hitting the weights and focusing on resistance work. And as far as staying motivated goes? Kimberley doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to. “You have to love the exercise you do and make it a lifestyle choice, rather than a chore” she reveals “If you can make it part of your daily routine, then you’ve got it sorted.”