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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lisa McLoughlin

Nicola Roberts ‘still in denial’ over Sarah Harding’s death as she remembers late Girls Aloud star

Nicola Roberts has said she’s still in denial over the “harrowing” death of bandmate Sarah Harding two years on.

Roberts remembered the Girls Aloud star, who died in 2021 from breast cancer aged 39, during an appearance on Friday’s Good Morning Britain.

The 37-year-old was asked by host Ben Shepherd how she was coping following Harding’s passing: “I can’t believe it’s two years this month since we lost her and grief’s a funny thing, isn’t it?

“It hits you in waves and I bet there are moments where she pops up into your mind and you want to phone her up because something’s happened and you just want to have a laugh with her. How have you dealt with it?”

Looking emotional, Roberts replied: “I think that everybody deals with grief in different ways. Some people face it head on.

Roberts pictured with the late Sarah Harding in 2009 (Getty Images)

“I think, for me, it’s just still not really that real. I think a lot of the time I’m like, she’s in Thailand on a beach or she’s in Ibiza with her friends or she’s somewhere. Then I’m reminded that she’s not.”

Roberts branded Harding “authentic”, “vivacious” and “unpredictable” as she fondly remembered her former bandmate and their time together in Girls Aloud.

The Liverpudlian shared: “She was present in every moment. She brought herself to every moment. She never tried to be anyone else.

“You got Sarah in all her glory. So authentic. The vivaciousness. She was sparky and off-the-cuff. She was the unpredictability in our group. She’s just so missed.

“For her, for her mum at home, her family and friends, she’d already created a legacy in her performances, and her singing and songs,” she added.

“But then to add this scenario of such magnitude to her legacy - and we can take that baton for her - was so important for her, and it’s so important to us.”

Roberts appeared on the ITV morning stalwart to raise awareness about a new project, Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Young Women (BCAN-RAY), founded in Harding’s memory.

The project, which is the first of its kind, is being funded by the Sarah Harding Cancer Appeal in association with Cancer Research UK and was set up to find new ways to spot the signs of the disease in women aged 30 to 39.

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