Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has opened up about her past, in a rare and candid televised interview for ITV.
The pop icon has revealed how her life could have been very different, as she spoke with Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly for the documentary, When Ant and Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years of The Prince’s Trust.
Cheryl is a celebrity ambassador for the charity, which was founded by Prince Charles and works to improve the lives of young people who are unemployed or struggling at school.
The X Factor judge opened up about her belief that she could have easily turned to a life of crime, or an addiction to drugs, had she not attended her dance academy as a young girl.
Having seen those around her stray down different paths, the chart topper said that it was her passion for dance and music that gave her the drive to reach success.
Opening up to the hosts, she explained: ‘If I didn’t have this [my dancing], and I wasn’t lucky enough to come to dance classes or had that discipline instilled in me, I could have gone any route.
‘I could have been a drug addict, I could have ended up in prison. Any route could have happened had I not had this opportunity.’
Speaking of how she started dancing at the age of ‘three or four’, she told Ant, ‘It’s so important that when you’re younger and you have something that you’re disciplined in, something that you enjoy, it sets you up for the rest of your life.’
Cheryl has been open about her younger years, writing honestly about her experiences growing up on a council estate in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in her book Cheryl: My Story, and always speaking proudly of her roots.
Wanting to help those in similar situations, Cheryl has set up The Cheryl Cole Foundation, which aims to support The Prince’s Trust in the North East.
She has also created Cheryl’s Trust, with the aim to raise £2 million to build a centre to support young people.
Great work, Chezza.