| 12.1°C Dublin

From GI Jane to red carpet glam - cheryl comes out fighting

It's the picture that's bound to make Simon Cowell just a little nervous.

His former protegee, Cheryl Cole, unceremoniously booted out of his newly-launched X Factor show in America, has gone all GI Jane.

Gun-toting, fatigues-clad Cheryl, looked quite at home as she joined British troops in Afghanistan -- appearing quite comfortable in her desert uniform -- petite cut, of course.

Last night was a different story, however, as she was back to her usual glamorous self at the Pride of Britain Awards.

The Girls Aloud singer was photographed being taught how to fire weapons on her trip to present one of the awards, commemorating a decade of British operations in the country.

Describing what Cole was taught on the morale-boosting visit, a UK Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Royal Marines from 42 Commando and the Brigade Reconnaissance Force taught the star to fire state-of-the-art weapons systems and to drive the new Jackal vehicle.

"Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles gave her an insight into a shura and taught her how to make a safe entrance into compounds using ladders and specialist equipment to avoid improvised explosive devices."

Cheryl also had time to take a short helicopter sortie above Camp Bastion in a Royal Navy Sea King.

Now, if only she had done all this before her cruelly-curtailed US adventure, things might have turned out differently...