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Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh has revealed how she and The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness are helping each other deal with the tragic loss of their bandmates.
Kimberley was heartbroken when Sarah Harding died from breast cancer in September, while Jay, 31, has been left reeling from the death of Tom Parker from a brain tumour in March.
The pair are close pals after starring in two stage shows together.
And Kimberley says: “Jay is a really good friend of mine and we’ve both suffered the same loss so we have got each other to help each other through it.
“Jay and Tom were really close so it’s very hard.
“It’s nice that we’ve got each other in that respect.”
Last week Kimberley and the rest of the group – Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts – revealed they have teamed up with Cancer Research UK for the Race For Life For Sarah.
The 5K run will take place in London’s Hyde Park on July 24 and while Kimberley can’t be there in person, she will still take part remotely.
She says: “I’m away with my family for my mum’s 70th birthday and I didn’t know what date the race would be at the point of organising her birthday celebrations.
“But I will definitely be running where I am and FaceTiming the girls.
“The fans will – like us – have felt quite helpless and this is a way they can really get involved.
“It’s going to be a chance for people to come together and contribute towards raising as much money as possible for Cancer Research, which I know is really all Sarah wanted. It will be really special. We do have a few other things planned and it’s all part of a bigger picture of trying to raise as much money for particular research that Sarah wanted.
“That’s going to be our main aim for this year.”
Turning 40 shortly after Sarah’s death has also made Kimberley, who is married to singer Justin Scott, 39, and has three sons, really value life.
“It’s about feeling so grateful to have your health and be living this life and having the three boys,” she says.
“With what’s happened over the last year, you just feel grateful for every day and just never underestimate how important your health and looking after yourself is.”
It’s been 20 years since Girls Aloud shot to fame on Popstars: The Rivals.
And former Strictly star Kimberley reckons she would still go down that same route if she was starting out now.
She says: “When we did Popstars: The Rivals we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into, which was quite nice.
“I’d been singing and acting from the age of five but that gave me that next level of opportunity to jump into a proper professional career.
“If that was my only option, I guess I would do it again but I think it’s a lot different now with the social media aspect.
“I wouldn’t have liked to have that alongside what we were going through. I would have taken things to heart way too much.”
But she would draw the line at Love Island, adding: “I like watching it but it would have been my idea of hell.”
Meanwhile, BBC Morning Live host Kimberley has teamed up with home improvement store Wickes to launch a competition to fix up a community space, with a prize of £10,000.
She says: “There’s so many of these areas that need a bit of TLC.
“A village hall, for example, is used for so many different things – playgroups, coffee mornings – and just sprucing up the kitchen area or getting some new tables and chairs could make a massive difference.
“For me, it’s about taking the kids to outdoor spaces.
“I never appreciated those community spaces more than having toddlers that need entertaining all day, every day.
“We can’t underestimate what they bring to the community.”
● Kimberley has joined forces with Wickes to launch the Wickes Community Programme Competition, offering a community organisation the chance to win £10,000. Enter at wickes.co.uk/community-programme.
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- Girls Aloud
- Sarah Harding
- Tom Parker
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