Francesca "Frankie" Bridge (née Sandford, born 14 January 1989)[3] is an English singer-songwriter, formerly a member of S Club 8 and a member of girl group The Saturdays, signed to the Fascination and Polydor labels. Bridge began her career when she auditioned for Simon Fuller's reality television competition, S Club Search in 2001, broadcast on CBBC. Bridge successfully auditioned and won a place in the pop group S Club Juniors. Bridge and the rest of the group then starred in their own reality TV show, S Club Junior: The Story. Together with the band, Bridge successfully released seven singles and two albums. While in the group, Bridge starred in S Club 7's TV show, Viva S Club. The group then began featuring in their own Children's musical television program, I Dream. Bridge played a main role in the show and went onto release solo single "Dreaming".

In 2007, Bridge went onto victoriously audition for girlband, The Saturdays. The group were immediately signed to Polydor and Fascination Records. They later gained a record deal with Geffen Records after having huge success in the United Kingdom. Bridge and the rest of the group later signed a deal with Island Def Jam Records and Mercury Records worth $1.5 million to distribute their music in the United States,[71] which led to her first UK number-one single "What About Us". Throughout Bridge's time in the music industry, she has achieved nineteen UK Top 10 Singles and six UK Top 10 Albums. Bridge has sold an estimated 10 million records worldwide.[73]

Bridge gained higher prominence as a style icon in the UK,[74] and her signature style short hair started a trend around the UK.[74] She has had a successful career in television as well as performing, she has been a part of two reality television series of her own: The Saturdays: 24/7 and Chasing The Saturdays. She was also involved in Ghosthunting With... The Saturdays in 2010. In 2014, Bridge took part in the Twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing where she was the runner-up of the series and in 2017 she began presenting Cannonball. She has been married to Wayne Bridge since 2014, and together, the couple have two sons. As of 2017, Bridge's net worth stands at £9 million, the highest of all the members of The Saturdays.[75]

Early life

Bridge was born in Upminster, Essex, to Kevin and Viv Sandford, and has an older sister, Victoria.[4] She also expressed an interest in going to the BRIT School and applied several times to become a student but Bridge was not successful in gaining a place at the performing school.[2] Bridge also previously worked in a bar in her local town during the week and had a Saturday job as a sales assistant at an AllSaints concession in House of Fraser, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Essex.[7][8] From a young age Bridge suffered from severe depression.[77] Bridge studied dance in her after-school hours. and enrolled at a stage school near Romford to study musical arts.[77] Her grandmother, would call her 'Sunshine and Showers' because of her very upbeat personality when she is happy and very down personality when she is sad.[77] Following the death of her grandmother, Bridge got words tattooed onto the bottom of her neck.[77]

Career

2001–05: S Club 8

S Club Juniors were formed in 2001 through a reality television show, known as S Club Search. The auditions aired on CBBC. S Club Juniors' appearances were considered a success and consequently 19 Entertainment, the management company that had created S Club 7 and auditioned S Club Juniors, decided they should perform as a support act at all of the venues on the tour.[3] The band released their first single "One Step Closer" where it charted at number two in the UK, selling roughly 52,000 copies in its first week. "Automatic High" was released as the second single from the band's first studio album, and also debuted at number two. Bridge was the only member of the band to get a solo in every chorus of the song. A third single was released from the album, "New Direction" and again charted at number two in the UK.[2] The Juniors released their debut album Together on 21 October; it reached number five in its first week of sale and sold 40,000 copies.[2] A fourth single, "Puppy Love/Sleigh Ride", was released on 9 December 2002.

In early 2003, the Juniors began working on their second studio album, Sundown. Following a name change to S Club 8, the first single released, "Fool No More", charted at number 4 in the UK. The second single released, the album title track, also reached number 4.[2] A third and final single was released, "Don't Tell Me You're Sorry", which charted at number 11. The group went on to I Dream for 19 Entertainment. Unlike the S Club 7 shows which focused upon the band's fictional exploits, I Dream saw S Club 8 as members of a larger ensemble cast. I Dream revolved around the summer school Avalon Heights, run by Professor Toone (played by Christopher Lloyd), where the characters tried to improve on their talents in the performing arts. The show prominently featured songs and dances, with normally two songs per episode. S Club 8 split up in late 2004.

2007–15: The Saturdays

Since 2007, Bridge has been a member of girl group The Saturdays. The group has achieved thirteen Top 10 hits, and five Top 10 albums.[3] The girl group released their debut single "If This Is Love" in July 2008, and it peaked at number eight in the UK.[14] The group released a second single "Up" which charted at number five in the UK[14] and later the song was given a Silver Disc in the United Kingdom.[78] In late October 2008, the group released their first studio album Chasing Lights. It charted at number nine in the UK, and went platinum according to the BPI.[78] The band released a third single from the album, "Issues", which also went silver.[78] The Saturdays released a cover of "Just Can't Get Enough" by Depeche Mode. The song debuted at number two in the UK, behind Flo Rida's "Right Round". The fifth and final single from the album was "Work", which was the first single by the group to fail to reach the top 20. The group later went on a tour titled The Work Tour. In October 2009, the group released a second studio album, Wordshaker, which charted at number nine and was given a silver certification by the BPI.[78] The first single, "Forever Is Over", charted at number two in the UK. The Saturdays appeared in advertisements for several products including a brand of deodorant, tampons,[3] mobile phones, an operating system, and hair removal products.[71] But in early 2010, the girls released a second and final single from their second album, "Ego", which charted at number nine,[14] the single gained a certification of silver by the BPI.[78]

In summer 2010, The Saturdays released their first mini album (their third album overall) Headlines!,[18] which charted at number 3 in the UK and number 10 in Ireland.[14] The band released their eighth single, "Missing You", which charted at number three in the UK and number six in Ireland.[19] Rochelle Wiseman confirmed that the second single from the album would be "Higher"[71][71] It was later confirmed, by the band's official website that Flo Rida had recorded vocals for "Higher".[71][71] On Your Radar was the girls' third studio album, reaching a disappointing number 23 in the UK and spending only three weeks in the UK Top 75, but featured the top-ten hits, "All Fired Up" and "Notorious" as well as single, "My Heart Takes Over". In December 2011, the group went on their first headlining arena tour, All Fired Up Tour! The band released their first single taken from their fourth studio album "30 Days" in May 2012, which peaked at number seven. Later in the year, they temporarily moved from London to Los Angeles in hope to break America. Helping increase their single sales in America, E! Network broadcast Chasing The Saturdays, a reality TV show following the girls during their three-month stay in America. The show premiered in January 2013, and was cancelled after one series. The band released "What About Us" (featuring rapper Sean Paul) in March 2013, which became their first number one single and was the biggest selling single of the year (at that point). Later on in the year, "Gentleman" and "Disco Love" were released; with both of them charting in the top 15. Their album Living for the Weekend became the band's fourth top ten album. The final single taken from the album was a fan favourite. The radio mix of "Not Giving Up" was released in April 2014 and was their seventeenth top 40 single. The band went on hiatus in 2014, and released a greatest hits album Finest Selection: The Greatest Hits the same year. The only single released from the album, "What Are You Waiting For?" charted at number thirty-seven, making it their lowest-charting single to date.

2016–present: Documentaries and debut solo album

Bridge became the ambassador for the mental health charity Mind, after suffering from depression herself for years.[79] Bridge pledged to do her best to help raise awareness of mental health problems.[79] Although, she shared her anxiety's of having this role, Bridge thought people would think she didn't have anything to be depressed about as she was rich.[77] However, fans reacted positively to Bridge being announced as the ambassador.[77] Later in the year, Bridge also became the ambassador for Marie Curie.[80] Bridge designed a range of cosmetics in order to raise money and awareness for the charity.[80] It was announced that her cosmetics line would be sold through Superdrug.[81] Bridge managed to raise £430,000, the equivalent to nearly 21,500 hours of nursing care by Marie Curie. But there are still a large number of people living with a terminal illness who die without receiving the end of life care they need.[81] In 2016, Bridge signed a deal with Channel 5 Documentaries to present a number of different documentaries in the UK.[82] Bridge presented Celebrity Trolls: We're Coming to Get You and Celebrity Trolls with Frankie Bridge in 2017. Bridge and her team of investigators track down people who sent abusive messages to celebrities online, including Nicola McLean and Sam Bailey.[82] The documentary saw Bridge track down the trolls and confront them about the messages they have been sending. Bridge also met with a family who were sent awful messages after their son went missing, and it made viewers on Twitter absolutely furious about the messages the family were receiving.[82] Bridge decided to do the show after she received death threats through social media after splitting up with previous partner Dougie Poynter.[82] In September 2017, Bridge took part in television show Married to a Celebrity, where she appeared with her husband Wayne Bridge.[83]

Bridge decided to pursue a solo career in music in late 2017,[84] Bridge's first attempt at a solo career was in 2004, when she released a duet with Calvin Goldspink with the song "Dreaming" which was a moderate hit in the UK. Bridge then featured on Kids in Glass Houses' second studio album, Dirt (2010) on the track "Undercover Love". Bridge revealed the songs that she had previously recorded and co-wrote, "Swallow" and "Bored" would be re-recorded for the album.[84] It was revealed that she would be collaborating with The Saturdays long time producer Steve Mac.[84] It is speculated that Bridge would work with Flo Rida after he revealed he would like to work with Bridge as a solo artist after their collaboration on "Higher".[52] In September 2017, Bridge became a co-presenter on ITV gameshow Cannonball alongside Freddie Flintoff, Maya Jama, Ryan Hand and Radzi Chinyanganya, filming in Valletta, Malta.

Other endeavours

Television appearances

On 22 September 2004, I Dream, a children's musical television comedy programme aimed at and about teenagers, was broadcast. Set at a performing arts college near Barcelona, Spain, the programme focused on thirteen teens, including Bridge, invited to enroll at Avalon Heightsover the summer. Christopher Lloyd also starred in the show. The programme was created by Simon Fuller who is responsible for the Idol series. In late 2008, Bridge appeared in late-night teen soap Hollyoaks Later, where she was credited as herself. The Saturdays were given their own reality TV series The Saturdays: 24/7, which followed the band during their day-to-day life promoting their new album [at the time] Headlines!. The programme was sponsored by watchmakers Sekonda. The programme also featured exclusive performances by Bridge and her bandmates.

In November 2008, along with The Saturdays, Bridge appeared in the Channel 4 Hollyoaks spin-off Hollyoaks Later.[25][26] They performed the song "Issues" in the 10-minute BBC drama Myths in January 2009, in the episode 'A Syren's Call'.[25] Commenting on rumours about tension in The Saturdays, Bridge said, "You always see in the papers, that me and girls are always arguing, we really don't and there is no bitching at all."[73] In the first episode of The Saturdays: 24/7 the band were shown gigging around the UK, without King, after she was taken ill after being bitten by a horse-fly and Bridge had to learn new lines of their song "If This Is Love" after she stated she didn't know all the song's lines.[73] On 8 November 2010, Bridge took part in the paranormal television programme Ghosthunting with..., where she appeared with her bandmates. On the programme, the band investigated purported paranormal activity[73] accompanied by host Yvette Fielding, who took them to visit three locations within the Welsh mountains: the clock tower, the manor and the kitchen block. In each of these areas, there have been countless reports of strange phenomena including the sounds of chatter coming from empty rooms, cooking smells coming from an empty kitchen, and reported ghostly sightings.[3] During the time in the first location, Bridge said that she could smell someone cooking, although no one was in the kitchen.[3] She also experienced a ghost throwing marbles at her, when there was no one there. When she was about to leave the haunted location the spirit of the little girl apparently threw marbles at them.[3] In 2010, Bridge appeared in ITV reality series The Door where she had to pass through a series of doors and take on a number of tough challenges. The last star standing claims a cash prize for their chosen charity. Bridge was the first celebrity to be eliminated from the show after she could not put her hand in a bowl of spiders to get the key to the door to pass through to the next level. Bridge commented, "It's funny because I know when I watch it that I'll look like I hate every second of it but I absolutely loved it. I wanted it to keep going."[73] Bridge was in talks to become a judge on The X Factor after Cheryl Cole left the panel following the 2011 series. She was later judged not to have a "high enough profile". Bridge also declined to appear on rival BBC talent show The Voice UK due to her "busy schedule".[73] On 13 August 2014, Bridge announced on BBC Breakfast that she would be competing in the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing that would begin in September 2014.[73] Her dance partner was Kevin Clifton.[73] Bridge and Clifton placed runner-up in the final, alongside Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff. She became a co-presenter on ITV gameshow Cannonball alongside Freddie Flintoff, Maya Jama, Ryan Hand and Radzi Chinyanganya in September 2017.

Merchandise and sponsorship deals

Bridge contributed to the book The Saturdays: Our Story, an autobiography of The Saturdays that was released on 25 October 2010. The book was written by a ghostwriter and published by the Transworld imprint Bantam Press.[3][85] Bridge and her band also began a book signing on at WHSmith in Bluewater.[85] The book gives an insight into Bridge's life, where she explains her success with The Saturdays as well as her ex-band S Club 8. She talks about her love life, her friendships within the band and personal insight into her life before finding fame. Bridge also gives fashion and beauty tips throughout the book and gossip accompanied by photos from her own collection.[86]

As a member of The Saturdays, Bridge became the new face of hair removal product, Veet. In the photoshoot to promote Veet's new collection, the band models a range of micro mini-skirts and body con dresses to show off their hair-free legs.[23] They also later became the new faces of Impulse women's deodorant. The band recorded a television ad dubbed The Impulse Diaries. The TV content, which involves a sponsorship package on Channel 4, will show the girls in various settings including a hotel room, a tour bus and backstage before a gig. This first aired on 23 October.[24] The Saturdays also became the face of Nintendo 3DS game, Nintendogs + Cats, for which the band recorded a number of TV adverts to promote.[89]

Musical style

Bridge gained a record deal in 2002 with S Club Juniors and the band released their debut single, "One Step Closer", in which she sings the solo parts in every chorus and backing vocals in the end of the song. All of the band's songs were pop-based music. After the band split up, she remained signed to Polydor Records and uploaded a R&B song titled "Bored" onto MySpace.[44] She later uploaded another track titled "Swallow" which was a pop rock song.[45] She later became a member of The Saturdays and recorded a song titled "If This Is Love," featuring elements of synthpop and new wave.[101][8] Bridge's style has also been described by music critics as "obligatory fluffy summery pop," "pure uplifting pop," "an 80's throwback" and "an electro-soul number."[8] In 2010, she went on to release another solo song with Kids in Glass Houses called "Undercover Love", which was released from their 2010 album Dirt. The Sun reported that Bridge "flirts her way through the song" with her vocals.[75] She later released a new song with The Saturdays, "Missing You" and then "Higher" where the band have made use of auto-tuning on their vocals.[7] The production of "Higher" was described as "hectic"[17] "yet very catchy."[12] Bridge was criticised by press after the release of "Missing You" after she used Auto-Tune on some of her vocals. Many artists have expressed views in collaborating with Bridge including Bruno Mars and Flo Rida, who stated that he would like to work with her as a solo act.[52]

Personal life

Relationships and children

Image
The Saturdays onstage, 2009

Bridge dated her S Club 8 band mate Calvin Goldspink.[77] She was also in a long term, three year highly publicised relationship with McFly member Dougie Poynter.[91] Poynter checked into rehab after Bridge broke up with him.[91] This caused Bridge to receive death threats from Poynter's fans.[91] Poynter's mother publicly shared her dislike for Bridge and would often ask her to "leave her son alone".[91] Bridge began a relationship with footballer, Wayne Bridge in late 2011. They married in a private ceremony in 2014; the couple have two sons Parker Bridge and Carter Bridge.[75] Bridge is 5ft 3in tall.[77] Bridge feared she would suffer from postnatal depression after struggling with depression previously.[92] However, Bridge revealed she never loved something so much in her life.[92] Bridge suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum with both pregnancies and was admitted to hospital on both occasions.

Battle with depression

In 2011, Bridge had to take time out of her work commitments with The Saturdays due to an "illness".[92] It was later revealed that Bridge had been hospitalised due to depression.[92] Bridge revealed that in the run-up to seeking treatment, she found herself arguing with her boyfriend, Wayne Bridge [now husband] over trivial things and questioning her looks, talent and personality.[92] Bridge revealed her depression got so bad that she convinced herself Bridge did not love her or did not know her at all because he had bought her the wrong yoghurts. She said: "It set off this spiral of negative thinking – that if I disappeared, it wouldn’t matter to anyone. In fact, it would make everybody’s life easier. I felt that I was worthless, that I was ugly, that I didn’t deserve anything".[92] Prior to seeking help, Bridge would often end up hysterical and often having panic attacks.[92] Bridge revealed, when she spoke to someone she would often think they thought horrible things of her, such as; "They probably think I’m a horrible person", "Am I boring them? Do I look ugly?[92] Bridge announced once in rehab she thought the other patients would judge her because she was "rich" and well off.[93] The media reported that Bridge was checked into a rehabilitation centre due to stress after a punishing work schedule.[93] However, Bridge quickly denied the rumours.[93] Bridge came out and poke about her battle with depression after people began to believe she was admitted due to alcohol and drugs.[93] Bridge was praised for coming out and speaking about her battle with depression and this lead to Bridge becoming the ambassador for charity, Mind.[93]

Discography

YearSinglePeak
positions
Album
UK
2010"Undercover Lover"
(Kids in Glass Houses featuring Frankie Sandford)
62Dirt

Tours

With The Saturdays

  1. The Work Tour (2009)
  2. The Headlines Tour (2011)
  3. All Fired Up! Tour (2011)
  4. Greatest Hits Live! (or "Finest Selection Tour") (2014)

As solo supporting act

  1. The Dirt Tour (with Kids in Glass Houses; selected dates in 2010)
  2. Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2016

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryResult
2011Glamour AwardsBest Dressed[11]Won
2014Inspiration Awards For WomenNext Generation[4]Won

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
2001S Club SearchHerselfTV series
2002Viva S ClubFan
Smash Hits Poll Winners Party 2002HerselfWith S Club Juniors
2002–03Top of The PopsHerselfFive performances with S Club Juniors
2004SmileHerself
Ministry of MayhemHerself
Top of The Pops SaturdayHerselfOne performance with S Club Juniors
I DreamFrankie
2008Hollyoaks LaterHerselfSeries 1, Episode 3
Never Mind the BuzzcocksGuestTV series (Episode 22.2)
Big Brother's Little BrotherHerself
2009MythsSyren
The Xtra FactorGuest
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night TakeawayGuest
Something for the WeekendGuest
2010Impulse into Glamour Presents: A Diary of the Saturdays T4 SpecialHerself
The DoorParticipantITV reality game show
2013Chasing the SaturdaysHerselfTV series
2014Strictly Come DancingParticipantBBC One celebrity ballroom dancing series
2016—Celeb Trolls: We're Coming to Get YouPresenterChannel 5 documentary series
2017—CannonballCo-presenterITV entertainment series