Cheryl's life through a lens - the ups and downs of Newcastle's darling
From Popstars: The Rivals to X Factor, Joyce Fegan traces Cheryl's career as she bows out of X Factor
Published 06/04/2016 | 07:51
Cheryl, as we know her, was born and bred on reality TV. She had her first taste of stardom, and success as a contestant on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.
For the next six years she was one fifth of Girls Aloud, but in 2008 she became a household name when she began judging on The X Factor.
The following eight years saw her star rise and rise and fall only to rise again, and all done through the cameras of reality TV.
It was on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals that the world first met Cheryl. Cheryl Tweedy (19) from Newcastle sang S Club 7's 'Have You Ever' for judges Louis Walsh, Geri Halliwell and Pete Waterman. She was told she was going to London and into the next round.
"I don't want to do anything else with my life," answered Cheryl when Louis Walsh warned her about the grueling life of a popstar.
From September to December, with average ratings of around seven million viewers, we saw Cheryl sing Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U', 'You're Still The One' and 'Now That I've Found You'.
Popstars: The Rivals helped Cheryl become accustomed to riding the wave of public opinion, going from being declared "safe" to being in the bottom four to being in the bottom two before qualifying in the final round. In November 2002, Girls Aloud was formed, 'Sound Of The Underground' was performed and by December Cheryl and her band mates had bagged themselves a Christmas number one.
In the summer of 2008 and at the height of her Girls Aloud success, Cheryl was given just five days to accept an offer to replace Sharon Osbourne on The X Factor and become a judge for its fifth series.
She consulted with her band members and they all agreed she should sign up. "I had no idea I would be in people's living rooms," Cheryl said afterwards.
In her first series, she mentored female contestants between the ages of 16 and 25, with Alexandra Burke taking the crown that December. She returned to the show in 2009, mentoring the boys and again had a winner with Joe McElderry.
In July 2009, Girls Aloud announced a year-long break which became a permanent split. At the same time, Cheryl's career soared and she began working on her solo career, with her album being released in October 2009. She even had her own TV show in December 2009, Cheryl Cole's Night In on ITV. She judged The X Factor again in 2010 but was outshone by Dannii Minogue.
After a three-year high it took just three short weeks for Cheryl's reality TV career to come to an abrupt and sudden halt.
Following months of speculation, in May 2011, Cheryl was unveiled as a judge on the The X Factor in the USA. She was to judge alongside Paula Abdul, LA Reid and Simon Cowell. She covered the auditions in Chicago and Los Angeles before getting the bullet.
The gossip columns began to fill up with various stories about her departure. Simon said he'd offered her The X Factor UK judging role, saying she'd be more comfortable there.
Other stories said it was her accent that got in the way of her gelling with the US audience. She never took up the UK role and in 2012, told Graham Norton she had left the US show of her own accord and subsequently turned down the UK role.
Having learned that you can both live and die by the reality TV show sword, Cheryl sued the producers of the American X Factor. In 2013 the producers and Cheryl reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum.
Just when we thought Cheryl was gone from our screens for good she appeared, just briefly, on the silver screen.
She had earned herself a cameo role in the US movie What To Expect When You're Expecting during her Stateside jaunt a year previously.
In May 2012, the film was released and we saw Cheryl starring alongside Hollywood heavyweights Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez as a TV talent show judge.
She might have been done with The X Factor but she wasn't quite done with ITV. Cheryl went back to her reality TV roots and her old bandmates.
In November 2012 Girls Aloud reformed and in December 2012 their documentary Girls Aloud: Ten Years At The Top was aired.
The documentary brought in 2.3 million viewers and saw the girls go on a three-month tour. They announced their permanent split in March 2013.
In March of the following year, just when we thought Cheryl had enough of the showbiz life, it was announced that she was to return to The X Factor for its 11th series.
She signed a contract for €1.8m and would join Louis, Simon and Mel B on the judging panel.
In June 2015 another announcement came informing the world that Cheryl would judge the 12th X Factor series.
She seemed to have lost her Midas touch because in both 2014 and 2015 her acts made it only as far as the semi-final and runner-up ranks.
Her acts' final results were probably the last thing on her mind as in December 2015 rumours began to circulate about the state of her 18 month marriage to French restaurateur Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini.
In January she announced she was divorcing him and in February she confirmed her relationship with another reality TV show product, One Direction's Liam Payne.
Then, finally, after a 14-year cycle of crying, mentoring and enduring the public's vote, Cheryl called it a day with The X Factor.
"I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I've missed making music and am excited to be recording again," she said yesterday.
"I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon, who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best," she added.
Her decision to quit the show, that has earned her millions of pounds annually is said to have come about because of her relationship with Liam Payne. The two are currently loving life in LA and this is where she will record her new music from.
Who's to say she won't be back again?