Cheryl reveals the 'dodgy things' Simon Cowell said to her before her first solo performance

Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell pose in front of the winners boards at the National Television Awards 2011

Singer Cheryl has revealed the “dodgy things” Simon Cowell said to her before she gave the first live performance of her career after taking a break from Girls Aloud.

Speaking to the BBC, Cheryl said: “Oh My God, performing Fight For This Love on X Factor [in 2009]. I've never been so nervous in me entire life.

Cheryl found fame with Girls Aloud, a band formed in 2002 on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals.

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She later became a judge on the UK version of The X Factor in 2008, sitting alongside Simon Cowell on the panel.

“It was my first solo performance, on a show I was working on as a judge, and then, half an hour before I went on stage Simon [Cowell] said some dodgy things. Like, 'Remember Cheryl, you've done this to yourself.'

“I don't know if he was giving me something to fight against, like 'I'll prove you bitches wrong,' or if he was simply saying, 'I don't know why you put yourself through this.' I'll have to ask him.

Read more: Why Simon Cowell is glad Robbie and Ayda quit The X Factor

“He's changed a lot since he's had a baby, so he might feel a bit bad these days.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Cheryl comments on a photo of her judging The X Factor with Simon Cowell in August 2008.

She says: "There he is. That look says it all: Smug."

Cheryl went on to have a successful solo career. She was the first British female solo artist to have five number-one singles in the UK, and she held the record for the British female solo artist with the most UK number-one singles until Jess Glynne overtook her in 2018.