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Melanie Morris: I never thought I'd say this -- Cheryl, I'm bored of you

I know I'm going to be unpopular with my opinion on this one, but as X Factor returns to our screens this Saturday, I have to say that I'm suffering badly from Cheryl fatigue.

Yes, I know she won't feature in the auditions round, but that makes it even worse. Every paper we open, every website we surf, every celeb mag we flick through will be crammed with 'tributes' to The Nation's Sweetheart (TM) as the show must go on while she recovers from malaria.

Now, I know she was properly sick, and I wouldn't wish an illness like that on anyone, but the yards of column space devoted to her round up a year of media love and seemingly unconditional worship that is really beginning to grate on me.

My boredom with Cheryl has been festering for a while. Much longer than this latest -- and admittedly, quite dramatic -- loop in her life.

Because it seems that whether the result of some serious PR spinning, or just through a winning combination of dresses and dimples, Cheryl has managed to, very beautifully, charm us into blind adoration.

She's a fighter, we say. She's been dealt a lousy deck with that awful ex-husband of hers, who never supported her or showed her any respect. She works ever so hard, in spite of everything life throws her way. Her petite frame appears all vulnerable and makes us want to protect her. It's hard to remember that it wasn't so long ago the same cute-as-a-button popstrel was convicted for roughing-up a bathroom attendant in a Newcastle nightclub.

I think my Cheryl malaise started when X Factor was on last year. Dannii suddenly got quite fashion fabulous and started to steal the limelight.

We all wanted to cut our hair, wear statement jewellery and rock Dannii-esque frocks. The Nation's Sweetheart (TM) seemed to retaliate by playing the sympathy card, and got papped looking miserable, trailing behind her vile husband.

We all rushed to her side in support. Then she released a single that could have been a metaphor for her lousy marriage. Poor Cheryl.

Dannii then announces she's quit Botox, Cheryl wins the series (for a second year in a row) with Joe McElderry, Dannii gets pregnant, Cheryl gets a L'Oreal campaign, Dannii gets a Marks & Spencer line of clothes, Cheryl gets cheated on.

Phew. Even if it all wasn't deliberate, the column inches were growing and growing. Then Dannii bails out of the public eye to become a mum, and Cheryl goes and divorces Ashley, takes up with a Blacked Eyed Pea (or at least poses that way for the paps), then 'befriends' and holidays with one of her dancers, then gets sick.

Every week there seems to be a new chapter in her life. A new drama. New clothes, and last week, even new hair.


I can remember reading that Britney Spears used to change outfits multiple times a day so that photographers had a constant stream of pictures to sell -- from which she also profited. Now, am I being really cynical, or does it look like Cheryl is going down the same path of overexposure?

Of course, I understand Cheryl uses publicity like the rest of us need oxygen to survive but, after three years of blanket attention, and all the WAGy, and Girls Aloud stuff before then, I'm bored. And I'm beginning to think the African Masai tribe have it right in their belief that every time you have your picture taken, a little bit of your soul disappears.

If that's the case Cheryl, you need to take stock. Use your convalescence to find some perspective in life. Enough of the tragedy, girl, you're young, beautiful and at a crossroads in your life. Step back from the limelight a bit and breathe...