Like many, Kimberley Walsh is gradually meeting up with more friends as lockdown restrictions ease. Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, the singer opened up about her reunion with her best friend and Girls Aloud bandmate, Cheryl Tweedy, and how thrilled their sons were to see each other.
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"The boys usually see each other about once a week so it has been a long time for them," said Kimberley. "Just the same as with adults, the kids acted like there had been no time away. It was lovely to see them go straight back to playing as normal."
Cheryl and Kimberley have been best of friends for years
Kimberley shares Bobby, five, and Cole, three, with her husband Justin Scott while Cheryl is a doting mum to Bear, also three, with her ex-partner Liam Payne.
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The West End star is looking forward to picking up her lead role in London's first socially distanced musical – Sleepless, a Musical Romance – when its curtain finally lifts on 25 August. It was originally due to open in March but was postponed because of the global pandemic.
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And it sounds like Kimberley's sons have already been sweetly helping their mum gear up for her Sleepless role. "Their sibling bond has grown stronger during lockdown," said Kimberley. "Recently they decided to sleep in the same bed for a week. They said to me: 'We're going to do sleepovers all week.'
"It has been so nice to see them playing together and to see how much they love each other."
The actress, 38, will take on the role of Annie in the romantic musical comedy – based on the 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. She will be reunited with her West End co-star, ex-The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness – like her a former Strictly Come Dancing contestant – with whom she appeared in musical Big last year.
Pick up the new issue of HELLO! out on Monday for the full interview.
Sleepless is at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre from 25 August until 27 September. To book tickets, visit sleeplessthemusical.com.