Sarah Harding’s devastated Girls Aloud bandmates have rallied round her after the singer revealed she’s been diagnosed with ‘advanced’ breast cancer.
The singer and former wild child, 38, shared her shocking diagnosis with fans on Instagram on Wednesday, leading to an outpouring of support from an array of stars, including former bandmates Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts.
It came after Sarah disappeared from the public eye two years ago after achieving notoriety through her wild antics, explosive love affairs and a rehab stint in 2011.
After Sarah announced her diagnosis, pop stars Cheryl, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Nadine Coyle – who enjoyed more than decade of chart-topping success with Sarah in Girls Aloud – reached out to their former bandmate.
Posting on Twitter, Cheryl, 37, shared a single broken heart emoji, while Nadine, 35, insisted she will continue to support her old friend during the crisis.
She wrote: ‘I love you!! You have always been able to achieve miracles when needed!! I am here for the all ways & always will be!!!’
Clearly shocked by Sarah’s diagnosis, Nicola tweeted: ‘It goes without saying that this is blindsiding. @SarahNHarding you’re so loved and supported.’
Kimberley, 38, also sent her love to her former bandmate, writing: ‘My heart is broken. You are so strong and brave and we are with you every step of the way.’
Girls Aloud – formed of Sarah, Cheryl, Nadine, Nicola and Kimberley – split in 2013, but were dogged by rumours of secret feuds within the band, with Cheryl, Nicola and Kimberley forming a notably closer bond.
Sarah announced her shocking diagnosis on Wednesday along with a snap taken from her hospital bed, as she explained she’d been undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions, but the cancer has spread to ‘other parts of her body.’
She wrote: ‘Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these uncertain times.
‘I’ve not posted on here for so long, thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on me, it really does mean a lot.
‘I feel now is the right time to share what’s been going on. There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes.
‘Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body.’
Sarah continued: ‘I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can. I understand this might be shocking to read on social media and that really isn’t my intention.
‘But last week it was mentioned online that I had been seen in hospital, so I feel now is the time to let people know what’s going on and this is the best way I can think of to do so.
‘My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes.
‘I am doing my very best to keep positive and will keep you updated here with how I’m getting on. In the meantime I hope you’ll all understand and respect my request for privacy during this difficult time. Sending you all so much love….xx.’
Sarah’s post also sparked a outpouring of support messages from stars, including Steps’ Ian ‘H’ Watkins who wrote: ‘Sending HUGE ❤️❤️❤️ Stay Strong xx We’re all behind you xx.’
TOWIE’s Jess Wright also responded with a flurry of heart emojis, while singer Michelle Gayle wrote: ‘Love you honey. xxx’
Bob Geldof’s daughter Fifi wrote: ‘Oh my angel… I’m so sorry to hear this awful news!!! Fight hard and look after yourself – please shout if I can help at all. Much love to you.’
Choreographer Arthur Gourounlian – who is married to Big Brother star Brian Dowling – commented: ‘Je suit désolé. This is breaking my heart. Sending you all my love and here for you always, stay strong and stay positive ma cherie.’
Great British Bake Off star Candice Brown added: ‘Sending so much love to you.’
Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna also wrote: ‘Sending you lots of love Sarah,’ along with a love heart emoji.
Elsewhere X Factor star and Sarah’s Celebrity Big Brother housemate Amelia Lily paid tribute to the Girls Aloud star on Twitter, writing: ‘Hope you’re OK Sarah, keep fighting thinking of you and sending you lots of love.’
For years Sarah was known for her hard-partying ways, and was dubbed ‘Hardcore Harding’ by her band mates and referred to as the ‘caner’ of the group, as she was often seen swigging from whisky bottles and stumbling out of nightclubs
She checked into rehab in 2011 after ‘hitting rock bottom’ following her split from fiancé Tom Crane for ‘depression and alcohol addiction.’
The Sun reported at the time that she turned to alcohol to help her through the painful period.
A source told the publication: ‘She’s been through a traumatic time in her personal life and had to honour her work commitments on top. She needs some time out to clear her head.’
‘Some of her closest friends had suggested she seek help over the last few months, but she refused,’ a source told the Sun.
‘Splitting from Tom has played a huge part in her decision to seek help. She just needs to get herself back on track emotionally. She had hit rock bottom.’
As the singer announced her breast cancer battle on Wednesday, MailOnline takes a look at the singer’s life throughout the years, which has seen her top the music charts, become known for her party girl image, win Celebrity Big Brother, and battle depression and alcohol addiction.
Sarah Harding shot to fame as one fifth of uber-successful girl group, Girls Aloud, formed on 2002 reality show, Popstars: The Rivals.
She was raised with her two half brothers in Ascot, Berkshire and following in her musician dad John Hardman’s footsteps by striking up an interest in performing from an early age.
Sarah Harding revealed she is battling advanced breast cancer in a social media post on Wednesday and MailOnline takes a look at the Britain’s most glamorous hell-raiser’s life over the years.
Girls Aloud’s ‘Hardcore Harding’ became famous for wild-partying, explosive love affairs and stints in rehab – but now faces her toughest battle yet.
The singer first shot to fame as one fifth of uber-successful girl group, Girls Aloud, formed on 2002 reality show, Popstars: The Rivals, where she was a hit among fans.
Sarah, who hails from Ascot, followed in her musician dad John Hardman’s footsteps by striking up an interest in performing from an early age.
She studied hair and beauty at Stockport College and worked many jobs before finding her feet as an artist.
Previous jobs include being a nightclub promoter, a Pizza Hut waitress, a van driver, a debt collector and even a BT telephone operator.
The blonde bombshell finally pursued her musical passion in her early 20s when she auditioned for both Fame Academy and Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, before getting her shot at stardom on the ITV show.
Winning a place in the band as a fresh-faced 21-year-old alongside Cheryl Tweedy, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Nadine Coyle, she was catapulted into the limelight when they scooped the Christmas number one single with Sound Of The Underground.
The musician toured the nation as part of the UK’s biggest girl bands from 2002 until 2013 and quickly became known for her party girl image as well her her hits.
Fan favourite: She also became a favourite pin-up girl for the lads’ mags, appearing in a racy editorials for FHM and Arena Magazines, alongside bandmate Cheryl
She also became a favourite pin-up girl for the lads’ mags, appearing in racy editorials for FHM and Arena Magazines, alongside bandmate Cheryl.
Dubbed ‘Hardcore Harding’ by her band mates and referred to as the ‘caner’ of the group the star was often photographed swigging from whisky bottles and stumbling out of nightclubs.
Fun-loving Sarah became a tabloid favourite after living in Primrose Hill, where other celebrity residents included the ultimate party girl Kate Moss.
In 2007 she was photographed swigging from a bottle of scotch whisky after the NME Awards in London and, at a separate event that year, appeared a little worse for wear as she stumbled around on the phone while holding a champagne glass.
When she wasn’t hitting up the capital’s A-list haunts like Mahiki and Gilgamesh or attending London Fashion Week, Sarah was partying in Ibiza with her then DJ boyfriend Tom Crane and friends.
Known for her rollercoaster love life, the blonde beauty also enjoyed steamy flings with Calum Best in 2005 and Hollywood actor Stephen Dorff and presenter Steve Jones in 2006.
Back in 2014, Calum opened up about his steamy romance with Sarah – which occurred twelve years ago.
The Celebrity Big Brother star, who has also dated the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Elizabeth Jagger, claimed their love was ‘eight months of madness.’
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday newspaper, he revealed: ‘I was crazy, she was crazy and that’s why we hit it off from the start.’
He continued: ‘Goddamn, we were going out every night, we were going nuts. She was always so adventurous and it was one mad night after another.
‘It was a whirlwind, an intense, full-on, fiery relationship. But it was a good fire.’
After splitting with fiance Tom in September 2011, Sarah described herself as hitting ‘rock bottom’.
This concerned her band mates Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts who recommended she seek professional help.
Describing herself as ‘such a mess’, from October that year Sarah spent a stint in a US clinic to battle alcohol and sleeping pill addiction.
‘I’ve been told by those close to me that was when I hit my worst,’ she said.
‘I was crying hysterically. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, terrified – my emotions were all over the place.’
In July 2009, Girls Aloud took a hiatus to pursue other projects, which lasted until 2012.
Popstar party: Fun-loving Sarah became a tabloid favourite after living in Primrose Hill, where other celebrity residents included the ultimate party girl Kate Moss (pictured 2006)
Throughout their 10 year reign in the charts, Girls Aloud were dogged by rumours of secret feuds within the band, with Cheryl, Nicola and Kimberley forming a notably closer bond.
Nadine has previously claimed their split was due to the friction between them because she was given more lines to sing – although she has since ended her feud with Kimberley.
Kimberley has also said to MailOnline in November 2019: ‘Cheryl, Nicola and I… we were just very close. I just don’t click with the other girls.
‘There is honestly no rift, we just didn’t click in the same way with Nadine and Sarah that we’d want to see each other every week. It was more that we were work friends.’
After reuniting in 2012, Girls Aloud announced their split following a successful final tour in 2013.
Following on from her bandmate Cheryl’s much-lauded solo career, Sarah dropped her debut EP Threads in August 2015, but she wasn’t set for the same level of commercial success.
Threads failed to earn a spot on the main UK music charts but managed to score the number two position on the UK Physical Chart.
Alongside her singing career with the band, Sarah pursued acting with appearances in the two St Trinian’s films in 2007 and 2009 and Run For Your Wife in 2011 alongside Danny Dyer – with whom it was reported she had a secret fling with.
Further acting success followed in 2015 when Sarah fulfilled a long-held ambition and landed a role on Coronation Street
Starring as Joni Preston, the wife of Robert Preston, Sarah made a number of guest appearances in the summer.
Sarah’s television career post Girls-Aloud also saw her venture into the world of reality – she competed on BBC gymnastics show Tumble in 2014 where she placed third before taking part in Celebrity MasterChef the following year.
The star took on her most gruelling physical challenge to date when she joined the line-up of Channel 4 series, The Jump, in 2016, but her hopes of winning the series came to a painful end when she tore a ligament in her knee during training.
This forced her to withdraw from the series.
The knock-on effects of Sarah’s injury also scuppered further work opportunities. She appeared in a UK tour of Ghost The Musical but was replaced midway through the run due to her injury.
Sarah made a triumphant return to screens on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, where she found love with US reality star Chad Johnson for just three months – which set tongues wagging as the singer had a boyfriend of four weeks at the time.
Confirming their split at the time, she said: ‘It is with sadness that I can now confirm my relationship with Chad is over.
‘The distance has proved too much of an obstacle even though we both tried to make it work.
‘I wish him all the best for the future and thank him for the memories we shared during a very interesting summer.’
During her stint, she broke down in the Diary Room when she was hit with accusations she was an ‘attention seeker’ and ‘unstable’.
After being reduced to tears by her housemates, it was claimed the socialite was being monitored by health experts while in the house.
Amelia Lily finished in second place, while Sam Thompson left in third place, joining Derek Acorah, Chad Johnson and Jemma Lucy, who left fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively.
The media personality has maintained a low profile in recent years and changed her Twitter bio to read ‘taking a timeout’ last year.
In April, her ex-boyfriend Chad, 33, said that he doesn’t know where she is and nobody has ‘really heard from her’ after it was reported last year she had ‘quit fame’ to go into hiding.
Sarah made her return to social media for the first time since July 2019 in May of this year, sparking a delighted reaction from fans, as she shared a series of tweets.
The artist’s first post showed a gif of a T-Rex reaching out his arms saying: ‘I miss you this much’.
Captioning the tweet, she penned: ‘Lmfao…[email protected]….#splatchat’ with several prayer hand emojis.
Following her initial dinosaur inspired post, the blonde beauty was met with comments from delighted fans who missed her during her ‘timeout.’
The songstress then replied to fans: ‘Fankooo lovelies. Missed you all…. Hope Ur all well and staying safe xxx’
And she was not done there, the Promise singer then celebrated by Star Wars Day by adding ‘#MayThe4thBeWithYou,’ before telling fans she was a ‘new found fan girl’ of the franchise.
Finally, Sarah retweeted a post from a Girls Aloud fan that said: ’15 years ago today #GirlsAloud opened up their amazing debut Tour ‘What Will The Neighbours Say?’. What’s your favourite track from the album?’
Addressing the issue on Wednesday’s edition of Loose Women, panelist Carol McGiffin drew parallels with her own cancer battle in 2014.
The 60-year old, who underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions after finding a lump on her breast, said: ‘I feel for Sarah, it is actually the hardest thing [revealing your diagnosis].
‘It’s hard enough getting the diagnosis, but when you get used to that it’s then having to tell other people.
‘It’s difficult, I only told my family and close friends but with every single one of them I had to make a real effort to think it through. ‘So for her having to do that and tell the world and put it on social media straight away I feel for her.’
Co-panellist Kaye Adams added: ‘I don’t want to be insensitive talking about someone’s experiences with cancer. When my grandma was diagnosed with cancer a long time ago she didn’t say the word, she called it the big C.
‘So while I feel bad bringing it up, Sarah has said she is receiving the best treatment and has paid tribute to the staff who are treating her.’
She added: ‘Sarah our thoughts are genuinely with you.’