Nicola Roberts couldn't believe her childhood idol became her mentor.
The 37-year-old singer and songwriter shot to fame alongside Cheryl, 40, Nadine Coyle, 38, Kimberley Walsh, 41, and the late Sarah Harding - who tragically died of breast cancer in 2021 aged 39 - when they were created on and won the UK TV talent competition ‘Pop Stars: The Rivals’ in 2002.
She told The BRIT Awards with Mastercard's 'The Red Carpet Treatment' podcast: "Geri was so supportive. She really championed me which was crazy because I was a massive Spice Girls fan and she was my favourite. At 16, to be supported and championed by your childhood idol was, like, actually insane."
Nicola - who has gone on to pen songs for the likes of Rita Ora, Tinashe, Iggy Azalea, and her former bandmate Cheryl - admitted she doesn't know how she got through the madness that came with being in one of the biggest girl bands.
She said: "It’s pretty wild, really, when you look back and you think about the fact you did that and you went through that experience. You try and normalise everything to be able to deal with it."
Even now, Nicola finds it hard to believe it happened to "five normal girls" with "no musical background".
She said: "It just is weird. It’s quite far-fetched when you think about it. Five very normal girls, with no musical background, just somehow managed to go to the moon together."
The girls took home the BRIT Award for Best Single for 'The Promise' in 2009, something they didn't think was possible, as they'd already been nominated several times before but went home empty-handed.
Nicola shared: "It was very good. We performed and won. So it felt like it was a big night for us, and just for our team really, as well. That was seven years in, so although we'd been nominated before for best group or Pop Act it just felt like it was always not tangible. Then that night, it very much was. So it was like, Okay, finally, we have been recognised, somewhat, by this fantastic establishment."
Check out the full interview, available across platforms via pod.link/1652102418, or watch the video version on The BRITs YouTube channel.
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