It might feel like a distant memory now, but as recently as a few years back, pop stars – and certainly rock stars – did and said whatsoever they pleased. No marginally off-key comments took on the epic proportions of a Twitter storm. No drunken behaviour in clubs was captured on a hundred smartphones and beamed around the world within seconds.
Sure, their antics were often well-documented. Some became the stuff of legend. But until the advent of social media and camera phones, the landscape was far more permissive.
That, at least, is how one pop star who was there at the time sees it (the time being any period before the current decade or so). Nicola Roberts, the self-described “quiet one” from Girls Aloud, is in reflective rather than quiet mode today. And she’s keen to stress that just because the band was a product of the reality television system, assembled by public vote on a precursor show to The X Factor called Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (remember that?), we should be under no illusions that the quintet’s behaviour was in any way tame.
“We were fortunate we didn’t have camera phones or social media,” she says. “We’d go out and have wild nights and not worry about anyone being like that” – she mimes someone taking a picture – “with their phone. Honestly, we got away with absolute murder. We’d go from the club to [breakfast] television. We were wild. Just young and free. [It was] great fun. [I have] great drunken memories. So don’t be fooled: just because it’s a pop band and not a rock band it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a goody two-shoes.”
No. But it might now. “I do think it’s harder for bands these days,” she says. “Everyone has to be so, you know, PC, and look great, because the scrutiny is there so much more than it was. Now you can’t move without someone being on their camera phone.”
I went up to Skipton in North Yorkshire for my friend’s wedding last week and left the boys with family. I considered taking the boys but it’s such a long way for them to travel for one day. It’s the first time I’ve ever left Cole at all and he’s nearly 11 months so it felt very strange. To be honest I was really anxious about it for the whole week leading up to it and was losing sleep over the idea of it. I just find it really hard to let go. I’m always the one who puts Cole to bed and he’s still so young I just can’t bear the thought that he would want me and I’m not there. We had to stay away two nights cos the wedding was early so we couldn’t risk travelling all that way on the day. It was my friend Simone’s wedding and we’ve know each other since school so I really wanted to be there and celebrate with her.
My mum and my little sister Amy had them the first night and then Justin’s family came down to have them the second night as we were going out to celebrate his mum’s 60th the same weekend. I knew the boys would be fine and probably love the excitement of having everyone staying especially Bobby but it didn’t stop me missing them terribly and thinking about them every second. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of a break is probably a good thing and it was really nice to spend some time with Justin on our own but we did spend a fair bit of the time looking at pictures of the boys and talking about them. It’s so funny how sometimes all you want is a break from them but after a few hours away you want them back. It was a beautiful wedding and lovely to catch up with some of my old school friends and reminisce. We all have families now and it’s lovely seeing how we’ve all grown. The boys were obviously fine while we were gone even if I wasn’t!
It’s Pride Of Britain again on Tuesday, I can’t believe how fast it’s come around. I was heavily pregnant with Cole when I attended last year and it honestly feels like yesterday. I’ve been enjoying looking for a dress to wear this year without having to worry about the bump and fitting in to my shoes! I’ve got a couple of dresses to choose from and I haven’t decided yet but they’re black. One is very simple and chic and the other has much more detail but I love them both, just depends what mood I’m in! Justin’s coming with me again this year, he really enjoyed it last year. It’s such an inspiring awards ceremony and so lovely seeing people out of the public eye being recognised for doing amazing things. They really get the chance to get the recognition they deserve and I love being a part of it.
It’s almost Halloween and Bobby’s pretty much been waiting all year for it. He got really into it last year and has been loving watching all the kids Halloween cartoons on YouTube for the whole past year and asking me constantly when he can get his costume. My friend Jenny threw an early Halloween party last weekend and in true three-year-old form this was the time Bobby decided he no longer liked Halloween and no longer wanted to wear the skeleton costume he had asked me to buy. Kids are so fickle at this age, it’s so funny. I finally managed to persuade him to wear his not so scary spider costume from last year and once we got to the party he was absolutely fine and had a ball playing pass the pumpkin and bobbing apples. We’re gonna do some pumpkin carving today, ready for tomorrow and then I’ll go over to my sisters on Halloween so he can go trick or treating with his cousins Billy and Alfie. Hopefully I’ll get both of the boys in their skeleton costumes then!
Simon Cowell and Cheryl Tweedy chat about working together once again for The X Factor Judges Houses, Simon reveals he almost named his son after himself, and just how did Cheryl snap back into shape so quickly after her pregnancy?