Following in the footsteps of her former band-mate Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh has recently released her autobiography. Since Girls Aloud came to an end earlier this year, Kimberley has been deciding her next steps and what better way to close one chapter of her career than to reflect on it all with an autobiography. A Whole Lot of History charts Kimberley’s rise to fame starting from her childhood and ending with the Girl Aloud’s final arena show in Liverpool earlier this year.
A Whole Lot of History is a refreshingly frank and honest account of Kimberley’s life and career to date. Of course the book starts at the beginning with Kimberley revealing details of her childhood which was punctuated by her rowing parents before they decided to part ways. One of four children, Kimberley grew up with a passion for singing, dancing and acting, as did her siblings. Taking parts in school productions, Kimberley’s love for musical theatre dominated her youth which is why it comes as a surprise that she ended up as one fifth of a pop group.
We were quite surprised that her time on Popstars: The Rivals is skirted over taking up only a few pages. We expected there to be more stories about the process of the show but Kimberley is fairly vague. She does discuss the pressures of the show and admits that she believed her performances got worse and worse as the weeks went on.
There’s no doubt that the chapters on Girls Aloud are the ones that fans will want to get to when they pick up a copy of the book. Unlike Cole’s autobiography which sugar-coated some aspects of her time in Girls Aloud, Kimberley does no such thing. Instead fans of the group may be quite shocked by some of her revelations and the frankness with which she speaks. Louis Walsh who was the group’s original manager, doesn’t come off well as Kimberley explains how he took his commission but never actually managed the group. Instead he left them to their own devices as they fumbled their way through an industry none of them had experience in.
She admits that her 10 years as part of Girls Aloud was a rollercoaster and her friendship with the other four girls has changed throughout the years. Despite initially becoming close with Nadine Coyle, Kimberley expresses disappointment and frustration with her band-mate particularly about the way Nadine handled her solo career and distanced herself from the other girls. Throughout the book Kimberley also reveals that she has found Sarah Harding difficult at times due to her mood swings and personal issues. On the flipside her friendships with Cheryl Cole and Nicola Roberts have grown over the time in Girls Aloud and the three are now very close.
Outside of her time in Girls Aloud, Kimberley talks about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of an all-star Comic Relief team, discusses her time dancing with Pasha Kovalev on Strictly Come Dancing, and opens up about her West End debut in Shrek. She also opens up about her personal life and gives us a glimpse into her longterm relationship with Justin Scott who used to be in the pop group Triple 8.
A Whole Lot of History is a good read and one that fans of Girls Aloud will love. Kimberley has always been seen as the nicest member of the band and has never been the mouth-piece for the group. It’s nice to hear her speaking candidly and expressing her points of view. Some fans of Girls Aloud may not be happy about Kimberley’s revelations but we enjoyed finding out what really went on inside the pop group.