Belfast Telegraph

Cheryl's cheer factor for troops

Cheryl Cole has flown to Afghanistan to help boost the morale of those serving on the front line.

The former X Factor judge set off for Camp Bastion in Helmand province last night on a visit to mark 10 years of British operations in the country.

The 28-year-old boarded a troop carrier plane at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for a 12-hour flight yesterday morning, having undergone hostile environment training to prepare her for the trip.

As part of the visit, the Girls Aloud singer is due to meet British soldiers, sailors and airmen serving in the country, including those who have been wounded in action.

She has said she was "delighted" to be making the trip. A source told the Daily Mirror: "Cheryl's amazed by the courage of all those serving our country. When she was invited to go out to see them in Afghanistan, she immediately said 'Yes'."

The pop star agreed to fly to the war zone to film a tribute to the Armed Forces as part of the newspaper's Pride of Britain Awards, which are to be screened on ITV1 next month.

Cheryl follows in the footsteps of a number of celebrities and high-profile figures who have paid similar visits to the war-torn region.

Classical star Katherine Jenkins and singer and former soldier James Blunt have both performed for troops, while Prince William made a special trip in November to join servicemen at a remembrance service.

Earlier this year, Cheryl was sacked from the US X Factor and replaced on the judging panel by Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger.

Last month she was filming a cameo role in the movie What To Expect When You're Expecting, starring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and Matthew Morrison.

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