Kimberley Walsh ends Nadine Coyle feud after reflecting during lockdown and opens up on friendship with Cheryl

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It’s no wonder Kimberley Walsh and Jay McGuiness have formed such a firm friendship as their lives have crossed many of the same paths, from being part of a five-piece pop group to competing on Strictly Come Dancing. And that’s without mentioning their mutual love of live musicals.

After first starring opposite each other in last year’s Big The Musical, the pair are back together again for Sleepless: A Musical Romance. It’s based on the 1993 classic film Sleepless In Seattle, and former Girls Aloud singer Kimberley stars as Meg Ryan’s character Annie, while former The Wanted star Jay takes on Tom Hanks’ Sam.

If all goes to plan, the show will open on 25 August at the Troubador Wembley Park Theatre in London with social distancing guidelines. So with their fingers crossed, Jay, 29, and Kimberley, 38 – who is mum to Bobby, five, and Cole, three, with her husband Justin Scott – tell OK! why the show must go on…

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Have either of you learnt anything about yourselves in lockdown?

Kimberley: At the start, I panicked because I like to be busy, but I’ve realised I’m good at doing nothing. I’ve just redecorated my dining room and it’s looking good. If there are no jobs after this show, I’ll go into decorating!

Jay: I’m definitely relaxed under pressure, but I’m also a completely useless waste of space [laughs]! I was in lockdown with my newborn nephew, which was amazing because kids just have no idea what’s going on.

How did you find homeschooling, Kimberley?

That wasn’t fun, I’m not going to lie. I gave up a few weeks ago. I was like, “I can’t do this any more!” It’s far too stressful so I decided to get some caterpillars because he was meant to be studying The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The boys think it’s brilliant that they have all our attention.

Have you been in touch with the Girls Aloud lot during this time?

Yes. I speak to Cheryl [Tweedy] and Nicola [Roberts] all the time anyway, but I have been in touch with Nadine [Coyle] and Sarah [Harding], too. Lockdown has been a time for reflection. Nadine and I were chatting the other day and we’re going to get the kids together as they haven’t met yet. I went round to Cheryl’s as soon as lockdown lifted. Everyone asks about us reuniting but there are no plans in place at the moment.

What did you and Cheryl get up to?

I went round with the kids and my sister brought her kids. We sat and had a cup of tea in the garden – the kids were running wild. I was glad it was Cheryl’s garden and not mine! We hadn’t seen each other for months but within two minutes it’s like you’ve had no time apart. Bear and Cole were so excited to see each other, which was cute.

It’s rumoured that Cheryl will be a new judge for Strictly. Do you think she’d be good?

Kimberley: She hasn’t told me anything but of course she’d be good at it. Cheryl is good at everything she does. But I’m biased, I’m her best friend!

Have you been in touch with any of The Wanted boys, Jay?

We’ve been in touch more than we would’ve been because of lockdown. I’ve always been good at communicating, though! We’ve said we’re not going to get back together at the moment, so at least we know that’s the case.

Have the two of you become close?

Kimberley: We’re really good friends. Jay has seen me at my worst. He’ll tell me when he thinks something is rubbish.

Jay: We’re quite blunt with each other! But I also know when Kimberley is feeling sensitive. I think that comes from our pop careers and working in a group because we’re just used to saying, “That wasn’t right.” We work really well together.

Tell us all about Sleepless: A Musical Romance…

Kimberley: It follows the plot of the film and they don’t meet until the final scene, which will be the same in the musical. I absolutely love the film. I didn’t need to rewatch it as I’ve seen it so many times.

Jay: I watched the film on a plane because I wanted the part. I think the altitude makes you more emotional because I was a mess. I loved the story.

How will the show work in terms of social distancing?

Kimberley: The theatre is modern so seats can be moved out so everyone can sit in their groups and feel safe. There will be temperature checks, hand sanitiser and the audience will wear masks.

Jay: We’re praying the show can go ahead because it’s been such a hard time for the theatre industry. I think people think those who work in theatre live these showbiz lifestyles, but it’s not the case. It’s been so hard for our crew who haven’t been able to work.

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Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh star in Sleepless, A Musical Romance, opening at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, London on 25 August. For more information, visit

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