Kimberley Jane Walsh (born 20 November 1981) is an English singer-songwriter, model, television presenter and actress. She rose to fame in late 2002 when she auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals on ITV. The programme announced that Walsh had won a place as a member of the girl group Girls Aloud. The group has achieved massive success, having twenty consecutive top ten singles (including four number ones) in the UK, six studio albums have all been certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), two of which went to number one in the UK, and accumulating a total of five BRIT Award nominations. In 2009, Girls Aloud won "Best Single" with their song "The Promise".
During the group's hiatus Walsh embarked mainly on acting and presenting, In July 2010, Walsh became a presenter on music talk-show, Suck my pop and presented coverage for the BAFTA Awards. In 2011, Walsh starred in Horrid Henry: The Movie as Prissy Polly. Musically, Walsh has featured on Aggro Santos's "Like U Like". In 2012 Walsh made her West End theatre debut, playing Princess Fiona in the London production of Shrek the Musical. Walsh fronted the 2009 Autumn/Winter collection for the fashion chain New Look and, in January 2011, Walsh was revealed as the new face of Puma AG. In 2012, Walsh took part in Strictly Come Dancing, where she finished as one of the runners-up. Walsh's net worth was estimated at £6 million in April 2012.
Walsh was born in Bradford to John and Diane Walsh. She grew up with elder sister Sally, younger brother Adam and younger sister Amy in the suburb of Allerton. Sally appeared on the soap opera, Emmerdale, between 1997 and 2000, playing the role of Lyn Hutchinson.
Walsh attended Sandy Lane Primary School, Stoney Lee Middle School and Beckfoot Grammar School, and had her first taste of fame appearing in an advert as a child along with sister Sally in a George for ASDA advert. She starred as Young Cosette in a regional production of Les Misérables and starred in ITV's The Book Tower. Walsh also attended the Bradford based theatre school Stage 84 for many years and was also, briefly, a teacher there.
Walsh auditioned for the reality television show Popstars The Rivals in 2002 with the song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go". Several thousand applicants attended auditions across the UK in hope of being selected. Ten girls and ten boys were chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. Walsh did not initially make it into the group of ten female contestants who were to appear on the show. However, when another contestant was disqualified on a technicality, she found herself on the show. These finalists then took to the stage participating in weekly Saturday night live performances which alternated weekly between the girls and boys. Each week, the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the groups emerged. Walsh joined Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts, and Cheryl Cole to comprise the new girl group Girls Aloud, formed through the show by a public vote on 30 November 2002.
The group's debut single "Sound of the Underground" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one. Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between formation and reaching number one. The group released their debut album Sound of the Underground in May 2003, which entered the charts at number two and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) later the same year. Since 2003, Girls Aloud have released twenty additional singles, with all but one charting within the top ten, and fifteen reaching top five positions. Their singles "I'll Stand by You", "Walk This Way", and "The Promise" have charted at number one. Two of their albums have reached the top of the UK Albums Chart: their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and 2008's Out of Control, both of which entered the chart at number one, with over one million copies of the former being sold. All five of their studio albums have been certified platinum by the BPI. They have been nominated for five Brit Awards, and in 2009 won "Best British Single" at that year's Brit Awards for "The Promise". The group has sold ten million records worldwide. Girls Aloud have become one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, and had amassed a fortune of £25 million by May 2009. The 2007 edition of Guinness World Records listed them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group", while they also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition. In 2012 Girls Aloud have been named the biggest selling girl group of the 21st century by the "Official Charts Company".
In July 2009, Girls Aloud announced they would take a year-long hiatus to pursue solo projects. In August 2010, bandmate Nicola Roberts revealed that she was not anticipating a reunion of the band until 2012. Kimberley Walsh had revealed that she does not think it is possible Girls Aloud will ever "officially break up". She explained that they are planning to tour again and will probably take breaks from time to time, doing solo projects but they will never permanently go their separate ways.
After Girls Aloud's three years of hiatus, the group reunited for their 10th anniversary. The group released their new single, "Something New" on 18 November 2012. The music video for the song was filmed in October 2012, and premiered on YouTube on 19 October 2012. The song is also the official charity single for Children in Need. The group will also release their second greatest hits compilation, Ten on 26 November 2012. In 2013, the group embarked on Ten - The Hits Tour 2013. They announced their split soon after the tour ended.
It was first rumoured that Walsh was about to make a record deal with her band's record label, Fascination Records, although nothing has been confirmed. Soon after the rumour, Walsh confirmed on Suck My Pop, a programme that she co-hosts on the digital TV station Viva, that she will feature on English rapper Aggro Santos' upcoming single, "Like U Like". The track will be her first step away from Girls Aloud as a singer. Walsh was asked for OK! Magazine: "Kimberley, there are rumours, that you will be releasing a solo album..." and Walsh said: "Gosh! I haven't got any plan to do that. Gary Barlow signed Aggro Santos and he asked me to sing Like U Like, and I've done a song for the Horrid Henry film that I'm in titled "Everybody Dance". I'm not sure about doing anything big on my own just yet." In 2012 she made her West End theatre debut, playing Princess Fiona in the London production of Shrek the Musical. The announcement came after Amanda Holden announced her pregnancy in August 2011. Walsh teamed up with Alfie Boe to record a version of Queen's "One Vision" as the Official Olympic Team Great Britain Single. Walsh has also performed with several artists including Neyo with "Hate That I Love You", Ronan Keating's "No Matter What" and James Cullum with "Rainy Days and Mondays". In August 2012 it was announced that Walsh is in discussions with Gary Barlow to release a solo album for a 2013 release.
On 7 September 2012, Walsh was announced as one of the 14 celebrities, competiting in tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing. Her professional partner is last year's runner-up Pasha Kovalev. She received 3 perfect 40s during the series, and she finished as one of the runners-up alongside presenter Denise Van Outen, behind the winner Olympian Louis Smith.
On 4 February 2013 Walsh released, through Decca Records, her debut album Centre Stage which features a series of popular musical tunes as well as two brand new tracks.
In July 2013 announced in the Daily Mail that she is also back in the studio recording her second studio album for 2014.
Walsh has written her own autobiography, called A Whole Lot of History. The book will be released on 26 September 2013. Walsh has also announced that book signings will be happening across the UK.
In March 2014, Walsh took part in recording England's 2014 World Cup song. She collaborated with the likes of fellow pop stars Melanie C, Eliza Doolittle, Emma Bunton, Conor Maynard, Katy B and Pixie Lott, on "Greatest Day", a track originally performed by British band, Take That. The track was produced by Gary Barlow and recorded at Sarm Studios in London. The track also featured past footballers such as Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Geoff Hurst, David Seaman, Peter Shilton, Glenn Hoddle and Dion Dublin on backing vocals.
Before Walsh became a member of Girls Aloud, she had worked in theatre and acting. In 2000 Walsh appeared in the television series This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper as Gillian Oldfield, and starred in a BBC Educational Schools programme called Focus. In the same year, Walsh applied for the role of Maria Sutherland in Coronation Street. However, she lost out to Samia Ghadie. In 2001, Walsh played Tracy in Dream Back. In 2007, alongside her bandmates she appeared in St. Trinian's playing a school band member. In 2008 she and bandmate Nicola Roberts had small parts in Britannia High, in which they played themselves. Walsh has recently stated that she would like to star in a musical in the future, playing a stage role. In late 2010, Walsh landed a role in the live-action 3D family comedy film Horrid Henry: The Movie as the titular character's overactive cousin Prissy Polly, with the film being released on 29 July 2011. Walsh also appeared in the 2013 movie All Stars, alongside Theo Stevenson once again, who she appeared with first in Horrid Henry: The Movie. She plays the minor role of his character's mother.
On 5 October 2011 through 21 May 2012 she made her West End theatre debut, playing Princess Fiona in the London production of Shrek the Musical. The announcement came after Amanda Holden announced her pregnancy in August 2011. Originally signed on until 27 February 2012, she extended her run to 21 May 2012.
Walsh appeared in Let's Dance for Sport Relief as a panellist and also fronted coverage of the BAFTA Awards for MTV on her own programme Kimberley Walsh at the BAFTAS in 2010 and in the summer of 2010 hosted sky 1 documentary "Girl in the Blue Jeans". She also presented coverage for The X Factor live from South Shields on the day of the final in 2009 for Joe McElderry.On 17 - 18 June 2010, Kimberley hosted Channel 4's The 5 O'Clock Show with Stephen Mulhern. Walsh appeared in her own documentary for Sky 1 named Kimberley Walsh: Blue Jean Girl which aired on Wednesday, 17 June 2010. On the same day, Kimberley appeared on This Morning to promote the show. Walsh later became a presenter of new music talk-show, titled Suck my pop, on Viva. Walsh also starred as a judge for ITV's entertainment show Born To Shine.
Walsh climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Comic Relief in March 2008. The climb, organised by Gary Barlow, was also undertaken by fellow Girls Aloud member Cheryl Cole, Alesha Dixon, Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen, Chris Moyles, Ben Shephard, Ronan Keating and Barlow himself. Between 3 February and 23 March 2009, Walsh, Tweedy, Barlow, Moyles and Cotton also raised money for Comic Relief by providing the voice for the BT Speaking Clock. As of 26 August 2009, Walsh is modelling for the clothing line New Look following in the footsteps of Lily Allen and Alexa Chung. Kimberley became OK! magazine's new weekly columnist in August 2010. The column is called "Kimberley Calls The Shots".
She was also named as the new face and hair of Schwarzkopf for a reported 6 figure deal. In March 2011, Walsh teamed up with Tess Daly and Joanna Page to work with Maltesers to promote Red Nose Day 2011. In January 2011, Walsh was revealed as the new face of Puma AG BodyTrain fitness toner wear. In May 2011, Kimberley Walsh was named as the face of Right Guard's Xtreme Dry Range.
In September 2012, Walsh was revealed to be one of the fourteen celebrities, competing in the tenth series of the BBC ballroom dance show, Strictly Come Dancing. Her professional partner was Pasha Kovalev. On 22 December 2012, Walsh and Kovalev became the joint runners-up in the final, along with Denise van Outen and losing to gymnast, Louis Smith.
Walsh is currently in a long-term relationship with Justin Scott, a former member of the British boyband Triple 8. The couple live in Barnet, North London. On 24 February 2014, Walsh and Scott announced that Walsh is pregnant with their first child.
On 8 June 2006, Walsh publicly apologised for smoking cannabis after being caught on camera smoking a spliff. She immediately owned up to it when questioned about the photo, which was taken on 31 December 2005, whilst she was attending a friend's party. She told The Sun newspaper that she had got caught up in the moment and was deeply sorry, and that she realised what she did was wrong, especially since she is in a position where young fans look up to her.
However, it was reported on 9 June 2006 that Walsh's father, John, denied that she had ever smoked cannabis, and that she was just holding a rolled up cigarette that was not even lit. He also claimed that Victoria Newton at The Sun pressured Walsh into apologising for something that she had not done, threatening that if she did not then Newton would make the story worse.
Despite this, Walsh admitted in an interview with The Times, on 20 October 2006, that she had taken a couple of puffs on the spliff, but claimed that "it hardly makes me Pete Doherty".