She's had her Cher of troubles
Published 13/08/2011 | 08:00
Once again I've been reminded of all the reasons to sway my daughter from dreams of fame. This time it was Cher Lloyd who brought out the protective mum in me. You might laugh but when I watched Lloyd's first audition on the X Factor, I was immediately convinced that she had a stand-out chance of a long-term career.
She had more attitude than Simon Cowell and an unusually authentic edge. Awkward and gawky, she was unpolished but compelling. However she also looked like she would break - both physically and mentally - if she was poked with a stick.
This week sees her first No. 1 single, accompanied with press stories about her acute loneliness and a jolting reality check regarding the consequences of celebrity and involvement in the music business.
"I wanted to be the big famous 'Look at me everybody'," she says, echoing the thoughts of huge swathes of the under-25s. "I was delusional, I thought I'd become a pop star and I'd have the best life ever."
Instead, she has been the target of online bullying, death threats and racism and is said to be becoming a recluse. She is regularly portrayed as a brat in the media but insists her 'hard-face' has developed as a defence mechanism to being hurt.
She may have a propensity for brattishness - she's 18! - but I hope Lloyd's still standing in a few years' time, surrounded by good friends, able to sustain genuine relationships and free of addiction. And with caring Cowell on her side, why wouldn't she be?