Kimberley attended the Pride of Britain awards without her bestie

It’s the big question of the latter half of 2016: is Cheryl pregnant or not?

Though photos seem to illustrate her looking fuller of face, and some cleverly-cut outfits blur the line of whether she has a bump or not, no-one outside of her circle seems to know for sure – which is why many are saying that some crucial words from best friend Kimberley Walsh hold the key to what everyone wants to know…

In pics: All the red carpet dresses from the Pride of Britain Awards!

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At Monday evening’s Pride of Britain Awards (31st October), Cheryl and boyfriend Liam Payne were a noticeable absence. Since the ceremony honours the unsung, everyday heroes of the nation, plenty of our favourite celebrities show up in droves. This year, however, Chez decided to skip them, and took to Twitter to voice her disappointment:

Gutted I couldn’t make the #prideofbritain awards tonight. One of my favourite awards!. Good luck to all the nomineed you’re all amazing <3

Without having given a reason for her absences, some have assumed that it is to avoid even more media attention and unexpected, revealing pap shots.

Meanwhile Kimberley, an expectant mother herself, showed up to the red carpet with hubby Justin Scott in tow, and tried her best to field question about Cheryl, Liam, and whether there’s a little Payne in Chez’s oven.

More: ‘She’ll be a brilliant mum’: Kimberley Walsh talks Cheryl and motherhood

‘It’s not that I’m not allowed [to talk about it]. It’s just that she’s my best friend. I don’t want to talk about her … anyway,’ she divulged to the Mirror.

And as she made her exit, a photographer told her to pass on congratulations to Cheryl, and Kimberley simply responded with: ‘Thank you’.

Ooh, Kimberley – ‘thank you’ for what?

Could this be Kim making a little slip-up and confirming what everyone wants to know? Perhaps… but either way, it’s only a matter of time before the full truth emerges!