A Birkenshaw singer will reunite with her former bandmates in an ITV documentary – more than a decade after disbanding.
Nicola Harrington, who grew up in Bradford Road, was the talk of the pop world back in 2000 when her band, Girl Thing, were tipped to take the charts by storm.
But things turned sour as a lack of chart success strained relationships in the band, and they broke up later that year.
“It was like a whirlwind at first,” she said. “So much money was spent on promoting us and our music video – we were everywhere.”
After the band’s debut single, Last One Standing, hit number eight in the UK top 40 things began to go wrong.
“I was really excited at the time – I thought number eight was great,” she said. “But the record company wanted a number one.”
After their second single, Girls On Top, only reached number 25, Girl Thing’s planned third single, Pure and Simple, was instead given to Hear’say, whose version of the song topped the UK charts for three weeks in 2001.
Nicola added: “It felt like we were a carbon copy of the Spice Girls, and the public weren’t falling for it.”
The band was mentored by pop mogul Simon Cowell, and Nicola still has nothing but praise for him.
She said: “I think, at the time, Simon was more disappointed for us than anything. He is the most honest person you could meet, and we had a lot of respect for him.”
Last year Nicola was approached by ITV show The Big Reunion to take part in a Girl Thing comeback.
She said: “When I was first asked to do it, I thought ‘what? surely not’. It had ended on a bitter note and it was daunting to meet up with the girls again, but once we did, we agreed to get back together.
“There was so much pressure on us the first time round, so we just really want to have fun this time.”
Nicola now works as fitness guru in LA where she lives with her husband Martin and three children. Since recording the episode of The Big Reunion, Nicola and the girls have been busy rehersing for a show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.
“We are so excited about the gig,” she said. “Part of me has missed the big stage and I can’t wait!”
The Big Reunion is on ITV1 on Thursdays at 9pm. The live show is on February 21. For tickets visit www.eventim.co.uk/thebigreunion.