The Girls Aloud star's revealed her first meeting with The X Factor judge in her new book - and it's not pretty.

An extract from Cheryl Cole‘s new autobiography My Story came out today where she described Nicole Scherzinger‘s behaviour towards her when the pair first met backstage at The X Factor as really embarrassing’.

Aparently Nic sang Cheryl‘s track Promise This to her in the bizarre encounter, which Cheryl describes thus:

I swear to God the woman sang the whole song, to my face. It was just so awkward, and every time I stood next to her she started singing it again…Can you image how weird that would be?’

Basically, Nicole sounds ridiculous.

I quite like the fact Cheryl’s described exactly what she feels here.

She’s a very guarded young woman these days in interviews, compared to the girl who used to happily say exactly what she felt on almost any subject.

Burned in the past by this open attitude (Cheryl v Lily Allen, anyone?), she now rarely gives much, if anything, away – so it’s nice to see that, underneath it all, she’s still the feisty girl who says what she thinks.

And Cheryl knew exactly what she was doing when she told this – let’s face it, mortifying – anecdote about Scherzinger, who we mustn’t forget replaced sacked Cheryl on The X Factor USA while the paint was still drying on poor Chezza’s posh dressing room.

I first met Cheryl when I covered the weekly Popstars: The Rivals live shows that created Girls Aloud back in 2002 and I was there in the studio when she got through to be a member of the band.

She was always my favourite of those final few girls in the competition.

Hardworking like the others, but Cheryl was especially natural and genuine – not to mention a good laugh – and definitely had an extra helping of star quality that made her stand out.

Her mum Joan was usually with her in the bar afterwards, where the families of the contestants would gather to spend a precious half-hour with their little stars before the girls were rounded up and taken back to the house they were all sharing.

I bumped into her again a few years later backstage at T4 on the Beach when Girls Aloud were at the height of their sassy success and she gave me a hug hello and we talked about how Popstars seemed a lifetime ago.

She was still genuine – and that was nice to see, especially as so many celebs become someone different when they become famous.

And it’s genuine Cheryl to reveal that conversation with Nicole. I don’t think she meant it bitchily as some people have said. I think she just thought Why not? It’s a funny story.’

That’s why, to me, The X Factor isn’t the same without Cheryl and Dannii Minogue.

The glory years of tuning in to see what these smart, funny women would say – and obvs to also see what Cheryl‘s dress and Dannii’s hair would be like each week – are gone.

Tulisa and Nicole just aren’t a match for them in terms of pulling ratings or banter.

They’re not even near.

Sorry ladies – Cheryl 1, Nicole 0.

* Cheryl: My Story, published by HarperCollins, is out now

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