Sugababes are currently working hard on their new album – the follow-up to last year’s Sweet 7 – and I caught up with one third of the gorgeous trio, Amelle Berrabah, to find out how the girls are getting on.The star has teamed up with www.showyourstyle.co.uk to raise awareness of cervical cancer. We had a natter about keeping fit and that rumoured romance with Alex Reid…
What’s your involvement with the Fight Cervical Cancer in Style campaign?
I learnt so much from the campaign last year and some of the facts were genuinely shocking. I want to help raise awareness to get women and girls out there to go to screenings and lower the risks of them getting cervical cancer. It’s trying to get people to take action now and take five minutes out of their day to go and get a screening. It’s the most common cancer in women aged between 20 and 29 – eight women a day get diagnosed and three women a day actually die. I think that’s quite shocking. It’s not the nicest thing to go through but for the sake of five minutes it can save your life.
Do you have a personal involvement with the campaign?
My sister had an abnormal scan four years ago and that was the first time I’d even heard about cervical cancer to be honest. They had to monitor her closely and she had the abnormal cells lasered off in the end. Luckily she’s is fine now but it’s just the thought of what might have been if she hadn’t gone for a screening. Over a third of girls haven’t even heard of the HPV virus and I find that really interesting. It’s not about spreading fear but it’s really trying to get people informed with the right information. It was only with Jade Goody dying, bless her soul, that people started to think ‘Oh this is dangerous’.
Do you make an effort to keep yourself fit and healthy?
I enjoying going to the gym but it’s more because you feel better about yourself. It’s good to have a nice balance – I try to eat healthy but if I want to have something that isn’t healthy then I’m going to eat it. I’m not obsessed and it’s about being happy with yourself. It’s a strange thing as being in the limelight means a slight change is noticed straight away.
I can’t wait for your new album! How are you getting on with it?
We’re in the studio and are really excited about it. It’s still early days and we haven’t got a particular sound – whatever we love, we record. Hopefully it will take about two-three months to get ready but we really want to take our time on it and make this the best album we’ve ever done. We want to work with some really cool producers and new ones too as it’s really important because then they give you the ideas that haven’t been snatched yet.
Will there be any collaborations on the album?
Tinie Tempah would be amazing and he’s very talented and quirky. He doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. I’m a massive fan of his.
Have you got your wellies at the ready to play any of the festivals this summer?
We really want to do lots of festivals this year. We’ve already put in for V festival and I’d really like us to do Isle Of Wight again. If we could play Glastonbury that would be amazing and one to remember for years and years. I’ve never even gone, let alone performed!
I can’t see a bling ring on your finger so I’m assuming there was no truth in the rumours you were proposed to by boyfriend Tom Benn at Christmas?
No we are just chilled and will get married when the time feels right – which is not for a few years! We had our anniversary last week and when the time is right the time is right but at the minute we’re just chilled and focused on work. We’re very happy. Maybe next year, eh! We had a gorgeous meal for our anniversary.
What did Tom make of recent reports that you were ‘cosying’ up to Alex Reid on a night out?
Oh god, that was so funny because I’ve known Alex since I was eleven years old. He was my kick-boxing instructor for six years. My mum knows his mum and my brother was in the same year at school with him. I know for a fact he does not see me in that way and he knows for a fact that I didn’t see him in that way. It would almost be a bit weird if we did – it basically would be incest! I think Katie would have known straight away that it was just a rumour as she knows we’re friends.
Amelle is proud to support the 1st year anniversary of the Fight Cervical Cancer in Style campaign; a national campaign to educate and raise awareness about cervical cancer developed by GlaxoSmithKline, in association with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK charity dedicated to cervical cancer. Currently, eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and nearly three women die of the disease every day in the UK but the UK cervical screening programme is thought to be saving up to 4,500 lives per year. For more information speak to your local GP/nurse or visit www.showyourstyle.co.uk.