Sarah Harding was always the wild one of Girls Aloud, so it’s fitting that she’s performing at one of the craziest Prides in the UK: Leeds.
Having been making headlines since she auditioned for Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, the singer-songwriter, actress and thrillseeker revealed to Gay Star News her girl crush, how she’s recovering from rupturing a ligament in her leg on The Jump, and her first experiences of Pride.
Tell me about Leeds Pride, what are you going to be doing?
Leeds Pride, I did Manchester Pride last year. I just love doing it. I love doing the Pride events personally because I can be more flamboyant that normal and put on a really cool visual show. We’ve got such a massive gay cult following, it’s nice to see there’s still that support there even as an individual. I can get up there and perform a few Girls songs and a couple of my own songs and there’s still something there. I still enjoy performing, it’s my thing, I love it.
Do you remember your first experience of Pride? What was it like?
It was London Pride. We were performing No Good Advice with the girls and we had the tambourines. There was a lot of dodgy hair going on. It was really funny. I’m happy to do anything that raises awareness to the gay community.
Is there anyone in your life who is LGBT that influences you or has had an impact?
There’s a choreographer who I knew from Girls Aloud who is probably one of my best friends. He’s always been so kind and patient to me. I just always remember him being so understanding with me when I was struggling with dance routines and he’s gone through a lot in life himself. He’s been put down a lot for certain things. But he’s not been changed as a person and he’s still a lovely human being in spite of everything he’s gone through. I really admire him for that.
Was there a moment in Girls Aloud when you had a lot of gay fans?
When we did G-A-Y it just went off. It was crazy. It was the first time we realised how big it was. I think that’s when we were doing the Blondie version of Hanging On The Telephone. The curtain came down and we were in big red phone boxes dressed as schoolgirls. I think that’s where our campness and our loving for getting dressed up for these performances really came from, and we just decided to embrace it.
I don’t ever want to assume, considering the website I write for, and I know you’ve been in relationships with guys. But I should ask, how would you define your sexual orientation?
I’ve never been asked that before! I’m straight. I’m straight, but I’m very open-minded.
Open-minded in what way?
I can definitely appreciate the female form, definitely. Obviously I’m straight, I know I’m straight because I have a boyfriend, but there have definitely been times when I’ve said I’ve had enough of men!
Haven’t we all!
Yeah, and women know what women want!
Have you had a girl crush or have one at the moment?
Probably a little bit on Gaga because she’s an all rounder. She’s very androgynous at times and I love that. I’d like to think that there were times when I would dress up as quite androgynously. Even in St Trinians, I loved dressing up as a boy.
That was hot. I know plenty of lesbians who loved you for that.[Girls Aloud] did a photoshoot where we all dressed as guys. We sat on scaffolding with dungarees on and it was fun. I’m quite a tomboy and even though I’ve got blonde hair and wear dresses, I’d like to think I can pull off being androgynous.
How are you feeling after your injury on The Jump?
A photo posted by sarahnicoleharding (@sarahnicoleharding) on
Oh my god…I’ve literally taking a break off physio, I’m so bored of it. I’m actually on the last leg now. Not literally! I’m at the last hurdle, I’ve got about four more weeks, and I’m just going to take a week off and have a little holiday. I’m going to take a break and finish my physio which is just once a week and I’m walking normally now. I still get sore legs but that’s just muscle memory and it’ll come back. It’s such a frustrating injury to have and I need to ice my leg about four times a day. Physio is so boring. You just have to retrain your leg and the muscles. It’s quite tiring. I’ve got a hot Aussie instructor though.
That helps! Do you think the show should be off the air?
It’s not for me to say whether it should or shouldn’t be off the air. I don’t want to get myself into any hot water. It’s a dangerous sport and we all knew what we were getting ourselves into. But I’m adrenaline junkie, I did stuff like Tumble, so, I like anything with a little bit of danger attached.
If another show approached you, say around extreme water sports, would you try that out as well?
Probably, knowing me. I love diving. Honestly, I’m such a sports freak. I’m a cross between Scary Spice and Sporty Spice. That would be me, I was a mixture. I’m the lairy, scary, but sporty one.
Do you have a message to LGBT fans?
Thank you so very much for all the ongoing support throughout the years. Right up to today, as an individual and supporting my individual projects. If it wasn’t for [LGBT fans], we wouldn’t be here. I can’t thank them enough.
Sarah will headline Leeds Pride on Sunday 7 August. Go to the Leeds Pride Facebook page for more details about Sarah’s appearance and the overall weekend.