Nicola Roberts Biography
If Nicola Ward had not decided to quit the manufactured girl group "Girls Aloud", Nicola Roberts (Nicola Maria Roberts) might still be singing at local discotheques back home in Runcorn, Cheshire.
Roberts did a successful audition for "Popstars - the Rivals" in 2002, the franchise of "Popstars" and made it to the live shows. The aim was to create two groups - boys and girls - but Roberts did not make the final 10.
So she was surprised and excited to be invited to replace Nicola Ward and she joined Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding and Kimberly Walsh in "Girls Aloud". Their first single, "Song of the Underground" peaked at Number 1 in the UK and was the Christmas Number 1 in 2002. The group created a record by having a Number 1 hit in the shortest time since they were formed.
Their debut album, called the same as the single, entered the charts at number 2 and was certified Platinum in 2003.
Roberts soon rose to fame and became known for her red hair and fair skin but that caused her a tremendous personal problem. She struggled to accept her looks and used sunless tanning products every night, despite her band-mates concerns.
She thought she was the ugly one in the band and she would deal with her insecurity by running home to Runcorn at every opportunity and binge drinking with her old friends. It took her until 2008 to come to terms with her looks and she said she had "turned a corner".
She has created her own make up range called "Dainty Doll", which is designed for people with pale skin tones and she has a strong aversion to sun beds being used by minors.
She made a television documentary called "The Truth About Tanning" which highlighted the dangers of sun tanning and sunbed use. For her research she met dermatologists and cancer experts as well as visiting patients diagnosed with skin cancer. She also talked to families who had lost loved ones to melanoma.
Roberts has publicly advocated legislation that would outlaw unmanned sunbeds and ban their use by minors. The Private Members Bill was proposed by former Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan and also supported by the Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham.
She dated her childhood sweetheart Carl Egerton until they split up in 2006 and a year later she began dating businessman Carl Davies. They announced their engagement but they split up in May 2008. She was so upset she considered turning to drink and drugs. Then bandmate Sarah Harding introduced her to Dubai-born Charlie Fennell.
They now live together in Weybridge, Surrey with her two pugs Reggie and Ronnie, named after the Kray twins as they always cause trouble. She was given them as puppies for Christmas 2009 and took them everywhere with her, including to a New Year's Eve party at the swish Mayfair Hotel in London.
She says she is "completely in love and the happiest she has ever been."
In 2009 "Girls Aloud" decided to take a break so the girls could pursue their solo careers. In 2010 Nicola Roberts signed a record deal with Universal Records and is working on material to be released in 2011 for her first solo album.