Girls Aloud singers Cheryl, Kimberly Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts reunited to join fans and supporters in Race For Life For Sarah, a 5k run to raise money and celebrate the life of their former bandmate Sarah Harding on Sunday.
Sarah died at the age of 39 in September last year after revealing she had breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.
Cheryl, Nadine and Nicola all donned pink T-shirts with Race for Life wording as they ran together in London’s Hyde Park, while Kimberley took part remotely as she was not able to join them in London.
Speaking at the charity race, the former girl group opened up about the shock of losing their friend, saying they no longer “feel like Girls Aloud” without Sarah.
Speaking of Sarah’s “electric” energy, Nicola said: “Obviously coming together now quite often to get things happening is strange because her energy was so electric that we’re kind of… the four of us have such a chill…
“Sarah’s energy was like a firework so I feel like that huge difference in energy when she’s not there.
“I think that for us right now, we don’t feel like Girls Aloud. We don’t feel like a band without Sarah. She was such a huge part of our energy that it doesn’t feel like that.”
When asked if a Girls Aloud reunion without Sarah could be a possibility, Cheryl said: “It hasn’t even been a year. It doesn’t feel like she’s gone at all.”
She added: “To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief.
“You know, I’ve lost grandparents when I was younger and I lost a friend when I was younger but nothing like this, the feeling of shock and disbelief and it still lingers now to be honest. I still can’t quite believe it’s real.
Nadine added that she was “in denial” about Sarah illness.
“This time last year we were actually hanging out,” she said. “We all met up last year. She was there and we were talking and she didn’t even seem that sick.
“I was in denial the entire time and was the friend that was ‘Oh, it’s gonna be all right’, you know, I was completely in denial right up until the day she passed.”
Her remark prompted Nicola to say: “Also we were concerned for your denial. Like I think for me, I felt like I’m worried for you that you’re not so present.”
The girl band was formed on TV show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and went on to have hit tracks including Sound Of The Underground, Biology, Call The Shots and The Promise. They disbanded in 2013 and have all had successful solo careers in music and TV.
Cheryl said it was great the surviving Girls Aloud members could be involved in Race For Life For Sarah, saying: “You feel so helpless, you’ve never felt hopelessness like it, it’s horrendous.
“So the fact that she had one request that we can fulfil is like great for us because it just feels like we’re doing something.
“We felt like there was nothing we could do for so long.”
The band’s fundraising efforts are to set to conclude with a large gala dinner later in the year.