Frankie Sandford - Biography
Frankie Bridge has the words 'Sunshine and Showers' – her grandmother's nickname for her – tattooed on the back on her neck. It's a deeply poignant tribute to the lady who clearly recognised the pop star's inner tumoil since she has battled depression for most of her life, all while growing up in the public eye.
There are plenty of reasons the singer gets people talking, from her success with The Saturdays to that super-stylish crop, her chic wardrobe and even her celebrity relationship with footballer Wayne Bridge. But in 2012, the singer was determined to get people to focus on her for a very different reason. She bravely stepped into the spotlight to open up on her silent eight-year struggle with depression in an effort to encourage others to seek help.
It was a courageous act from the star, who clearly takes her role model status to young girls very seriously.
"I was so nervous, because I was 'Frankie from The Saturdays'. I didn't know if people would be horrible to me and say, 'You're in a really successful band, you've got this great boyfriend; he's got loads of money," said the singer, who in January 2013 became the youngest ever ambassador for mental health charity Mind.
"But no one judged me. No one thought I was weird. No one thought my version of things was strange and wrong because it was different from theirs."
Frankie's bravery has only strengthened her popularity with the public, who clearly feel protective of the elfin star they have watched grow up from a child into a poised young woman.
Born in January 1989 in Upminster, London to Kevin and Viv Sandford, Frankie shot to fame at the tender age of 12 when she joined S Club Juniors.
Having studied dance in her after-school hours, and then enrolled at a stage school in nearby Romford to study musical arts, Frankie's dedication paid off in 2001 when she was picked to join the young pop group, who amassed six Top 10 hits over the next four years.
In 2005, they went their separate ways; but it was just the beginning for Frankie and her S Club Juniors bandmate Rochelle Wiseman. Both girls went on to audition for a brand new girl group in 2007, and were delighted to learn they had been chosen alongside Una Healy, Mollie King and Vanessa White to form The Saturdays.
By 2013, the girls had twelve top ten hits, including their first number one single What About Us, and three smash albums. They have also succeeded where so many others have failed, and started to enjoy success over in the States. In January 2013, their reality documentary show Chasing The Saturdays premiered in the US, and the vivacious girls quickly garnered a legion of loyal fans.
"We walk down the street in America now and people recognise us because of the show," Frankie said in April 2013. "…We want to conquer ever country. World domination is next."
Equally fulfilling for Frankie is her relationship with English footballer Wayne Bridge. Since the end of her two-year romance with McFly bassist Dougie Poynter in November 2010, she has found love with the attentive sports star, and it was Wayne who stood by Frankie when she was treated in hospital for her depression in 2011.
Credited with inspiring others to seek help at the Mind Media Awards in November 2012, Frankie took the chance to pay homage to her rock, her "gorgeous, supportive boyfriend" Wayne.
Then in April 2013 came the happy news that the couple were engaged. The brunette teased fans on Twitter writing: "Guess what?!!!!" and linking to an image which showed her jokingly gasping in shock, a diamond sparkler adorning her finger.
In July 2014 the duo tied the knot in front of family and friends. They exchanged vows at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire and the reception was held in a marquee that had been erected in the grounds of the picturesque country estate. Following the wedding, Frankie official changed her name on social media.