Remember When… Lily Allen And Cheryl Cole Had An Iconic Feud

Open letters, insults on talk shows, this fight had it all.

Remember When... Lily Allen And Cheryl Cole Had An Iconic Feud

by Rebecca Reid |
Updated on

Remember Whensday is a new weekly series where we spend Wednesday reflecting on an iconic moment, argument, relationship or news story - or at least one that we couldn't stop talking about during school/college/internships/our first jobs.

Remember When Cheryl Cole and Lily Allen kept gossip magazines in business by getting into a massive public fight?

The year was 2006. Lily Allen was still (just about) wearing trainers with 1950s prom dresses, and Cheryl wasn’t even a Cole yet, let alone a Fernandez-Versini. The best British cat fight of all time was brewing.

The first shot was fired by Allen who was at the time 21. She name-checked Cheryl (then 23) on her song, subtly titled Cheryl Tweedy. The lyrics, if you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of noughties b-sides, go:

Wish my life was a little less seedy,

Why am I always so greedy?

Wish I looked just like Cheryl Tweedy,

I know I never will.

It’s a pretty bleak song, so give it a listen if you want to feel bad about the world around you. Anyway, Cheryl was not a big fan of her inclusion in this meditation on the perception of beauty in the modern world. Or perhaps she took exception to the part where Allen commented in the press that women don’t actually want to look like Cheryl, they just think they do.

In 2007, Allen added fuel to the fire by changing the lyrics of the song while performing it at Glastonbury, changing the lyrics from ‘I wish I looked just like Cheryl Tweedy’ to ‘I’m glad I don’t look like f**king Cheryl Tweedy.’

Cheryl responded on Gordon Ramsey’s show The F Word (remember that?). Gord asked her about the comments and she responded by calling Allen a ‘chick with a dick’, which was a strange choice of insult even then.

Rather than allowing the fight to quietly die now that shots had been fired equally from each side, Allen wrote an open letter (sidenote: we miss when people used to write open letters all the time). In the letter she wrote: ‘Cheryl, if you're reading this, I may not be as pretty as you, but at least I write and sing my own songs without the aid of Auto-Tune.

'I must say, taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer [Cheryl had since wed Ashley Cole] must be very gratifying, your mother must be so proud.’

If you’re wincing at how not 2019 all of the insults are, you’re 100% not the only one. Take it as a lovely sign of how far we’ve all come as humans that these types of fights just don’t seem to happen anymore.

The story does have a (semi) happy ending though. In 2014, Lily told Q magazine ‘I wish that whole thing hadn’t happened. I like Cheryl. She’s good on The X Factor, she’s pretty and she’s got balls. I like women who do well.’

And then in 2018, with the release of her autobiography, Allen returned to the ‘cat fight’ narrative to comment that the root cause was actually the fact that she was extremely sexually frustrated. She put the entire saga succinctly, writing, ‘Sorry Cheryl, I was angry because I hadn’t come yet.’

So if you are considering starting a long-running public feud with a famous pop star, maybe take a moment to consider whether you might just need to have an orgasm instead?

Bonus remember when... we all wore prom dresses and trainers thanks to Lily Allen.


That Time We All Wore Prom Dresses And Sneakers Because Of Lily Allen

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion1 of 7

1. Training Day

Allen subscribed to a specific style algorithm: prom dress plus sneakers equals chic. Wait a second, didn't we all in 2006?

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion2 of 7

2. Got Gok’d

Once upon a time (not so long ago) fashion advice was found on TV. In-between talking about 'bangers' (boobs) and advising people to walk around shopping centres in their underwear, Gok Wan believed strongly in the power of the waist belt. We weren't the only ones to fall for it.

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion3 of 7

3. Gold Digger

Looking like she'd dunked her head in a jewellery trough down Portabello market, this is a quintessential Allen look: vintage-y dress, white Reeboks and lashings of chains.

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion4 of 7

4. Cap It Off

To finish Lily's ironic co-option of a working-class aesthetic her stylist added a side-leaning cap. Jury's out on this one.

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion5 of 7

5. Wig Out

There was a hot moment – around the time that Pixie Geldof and Alexa Chung became tabloid fodder – when celebs discovered ultra lurid wigs (see point 1). They wore them to Glasto, and then the style stuck

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion6 of 7

6. Corset It Is

Our girl's all grown up. Marking the end of her vintage experiment, Lily attended the 2007 British Fashion Awards dressed as a pink feather duster courtesy of Giles Deacon.

Lily Allen Flashback Fashion7 of 7

7. Stocking Up

While performing at a Chanel show in one of the grandest venues in Paris, which had was transformed into a hay-filled farmyard (because, why not), Lily wore faux-stockings. Like thigh-high socks with a low-denier neckline, we have a feeling they became House of Holland's bread and butter soon after this.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us