Tributes have been pouring in after it was announced yesterday that Sarah Harding had passed away at the age of 39.
The former Girls Aloud singer and actress had been battling breast cancer, having disclosed her diagnosis back in August 2020, and had revealed that the cancer had spread to other parts of her body.
Her family shared the news of her passing in a statement on social media.
On Instagram, her mother Marie wrote: “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.
“Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day. She slipped away peacefully this morning. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
“I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead.”
Earlier this year, Harding said doctors had told her she would not see another Christmas.
In an extract from her memoir published in The Times, Harding wrote: “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last.”
She said she didn’t want an exact prognosis, just “comfort” and to be “pain-free”.
Harding also said in her autobiography, Hear Me Out, about how she initially put off getting medical advice when she first found lumps under her arm in December 2019. She eventually saw a doctor who advised her to schedule an MRI scan – but then “coronavirus hit and everything either went into slow motion or stopped altogether”, she wrote.
“I was aware that I needed to get this health issue sorted, but with everything that was going on, it was tough.”
She added: “One day I woke up realising that I’d been in denial about the whole thing. Yes, there was a lockdown, yes, there was a pandemic, but it was almost as if I’d been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong.”
Harding said she had decided to go public about her illness to potentially help others who might be worried about seeing a doctor, explaining that: “Maybe if I spoke out, as a public figure, a celebrity, it could help get the message across how important it is to get checked out if you have concerns.”
Social media has been flooded with worthy tributes since the news of Harding’s passing was announced yesterday.
Her Girls Aloud bandmates Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle led the tributes on social media.
Roberts, who shared photos of them together, posted: “I can’t accept that this day has come. My heart is aching and all day everything we went through together has raced round my mind… a part of me or us isn’t here anymore and it’s unthinkable and painful and utterly cruel.”
She added: “Electric girl, you made us. You gave it everything and still with a smile.”
Coyle also wrote on Instagram: “I am absolutely devastated. I can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl and what she means to me.”
Geri Horner, Calum Best, Davina McCall, Martin Kemp, Fearne Cotton, Katie Price, Louis Walsh, Ian “H” Watkins, and a whole host of other North West stars have publicly expressed their condolences – including Vernon Kay, Kym Marsh, and Keith Duffy.
Sarah Harding had a successful career – and she also had a special relationship with Greater Manchester.
She may have been born in Ascot, but she was raised in Greater Manchester after her family moved to Stockport when she was 14-years-old.
Before finding fame on talent show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, the former Hazel Grove High School pupil studied hair and beauty at Stockport College and she worked on the promotions team for two nightclubs in The Grand Central Leisure Park in Stockport, as well as waitressing at Pizza Hut.
She shot to fame when she won a place in Girls Aloud with bandmates Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts on the ITV singing contest to create a boy band and a girl group.
The bands then competed against each other for the 2002 Christmas number one and Girls Aloud’s debut Sound Of The Underground won.
Guinness World Records listed Girls Aloud as Most Successful Reality TV Group, Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a female group, and they were also named the UK’s biggest selling girl group of the 21st century – with over 4.3 million singles sales and four million albums sold in the UK alone.
The band split in 2013, following a string of hits including Love Machine, Biology, The Promise and more.
Following the band’s split, Harding ventured into acting and television, with credits including roles in the St Trinian’s films, and BBC drama Freefall opposite Dominic Cooper – but her relationship with Greater Manchester continued as she returned to her roots in 2015 by joining the iconic cobbles of Coronation Street, where she made a guest appearance in four episodes as the wife of Tracy Barlow’s ex husband Robert Preston.
Strutting onto the cobbles, her feisty character Joni Preston announced herself by slapped Tracy in the face for sleeping with her man.
In 2016, she swapped the cobbles for the ski slopes on the winter sports show The Jump, and the following year won the hearts of viewers on the popular reality competition show Celebrity Big Brother, where her highly entertaining antics saw her crowned the winner.
Sarah Harding’s glittering career ensures she will be remembered as “a bright shining star.”
Featured Image – ITV
Award-winning Northern Quarter restaurant announces shock closure with most heartbreaking statement yet
One of the Northern Quarter’s best restaurants and bars has announced its shock closure, adding to a tidal wave of hospitality casualties.
Cocktail Beer Ramen and Bun – better known to most of us as CBRB – announced the news this evening with a frank and heartbreaking statement.
In it, the late-night Oldham Street business outlined the ‘massive financial strain’ it’s been facing, describing the obstacles that are ‘affecting everyone in the hospitality industry right now’.
CBRB stressed the staggering costs of goods and the doubling of energy bills as the ‘massive factors’ that have forced their hand.
They wrote: “It breaks our heart to have to make this decision and please know, it has not come lightly or without months of deliberation, meetings and rescue plans.
“Countless discussions about a way out of the sh*t that wouldn’t end up coming to this.”
CBRB, which specialises in huge steaming bowls of ramen, delicious small plates and award-winning cocktails, took the time to thank all the customers who have supported the hugely popular independent restaurant over the years.
They also urged people to get out and support their local favourites before it’s too late, writing: “We can guarantee they’ll need it. So many amazing ideas and talented businesses in our industry are struggling and closing almost every day now and they need your help.”
CBRB’s final day will be this Sunday, with bookings and walk-ins operating as normal.
CBRB’s statement in full
This is probably the hardest thing we’ve ever had to write. The worst news we’ve ever had to deliver.
This Sunday will be our last.
The last noodle pull. The last blue drink. The last dinner service.
We want to be as honest with you as possible. After all, it’s you lot that make this place what it is and it’s you who have kept us going as long as we have.
CBRB wouldn’t be where it is today without your amazing love + support over the last 4 years…
The business has been under massive financial strain, that we have unfortunately been unable to pull ourselves out of. The obstacles that have been affecting everyone in the hospitality industry right now. The cost of goods sky rocketing. Energy bills more than doubling. They’re all massive factors and they’ve all made it extremely difficult to continue doing what we love, without compromising on quality.
It breaks our heart to have to make this decision and please know, it has not come lightly or without months of deliberation, meetings and rescue plans. Countless discussions about a way out of the sh*t that wouldn’t end up coming to this.
So for now we just want to thank you. For making this tiny little kitchen and bar become something way bigger than we ever imagined. For making coming to work the last 4 years so much fun. For all the lovely messages, the constant support, for bringing your friends and sharing the love for the food we create.
Thank you for supporting your local Girl Gang. But for now, it’s over.
If we can leave anything behind it’s this. Go and support your local independent bar!
Eat out at your favourite family owned restaurants. Order that takeaway from your local small business. Because we can guarantee they’ll need it. So many amazing ideas and talented businesses in our industry are struggling and closing almost every day now and they need your help.
Bookings and walk ins will operate as normal this week and we’ll keep on slinging the noods and pouring the drinks until the second we have to leave.
2018 – 2023
This week will be a bittersweet one. Come see us for a drink.
Big love, Team CBRB x
Featured image: The Manc Group
Selfridges to open Louboutin bar with cocktails inspired by its iconic £700 shoes
A new bar inspired by Christian Louboutin’s infamous red-soled shoes is set to open in Selfridges, Manchester Trafford, this year.
Offering a spin on classic cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan alongside some bespoke creations, it will be located in the accessories hall on the lower level of the department store opposite the new Christian Louboutin boutique.
Running for a limited time only, Loubibar celebrates the arrival of the swanky boutique where the designer’s latest Spring collection of signature shoes and accessories are now on display.
At the cocktail bar, shoppers can enjoy bespoke cocktail creations including the Rouge Follies (a spin on the classic Cosmopolitan), the Loubifunk (mixing gin with aromatic notes of cherry and zesty limes) and the amusingly named Loubidoo (a ‘transportive’ cocktail laced with coconuts and lime).
The 360 bar itself is resplendent in Christian Louboutin’s signature red, with plush red stools and menus, and will serve bespoke red cocktails inspired by the French fashion house, which was first established in Paris over 30 years ago.
First launching in 1992 with a collection for women, swiftly followed by a men’s collection a few years later, its signature red lacquered sole makes the shoes instantly recognisable wherever they go.
2014 welcomed Christian Louboutin Beauté, while in, 2022 the House launched a new category dedicated to Kids and Pets: The LoubiFamily.
Favoured by the likes of the Kardashians and Cardi B, as well as Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, they’ve long been considered an iconic symbol of style and quality craftsmanship.