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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Faces of the week
Faces of the Week

Our regular look at some of the faces which have made the news this week. Above are CHERYL TWEEDY (main picture), with ZINEDINE ZIDANE, LORD LEVY, DEBORAH VOIGT and JACK THE RIPPER.


Barely has the final whistle blown on the 2006 World Cup and the knives are out over England's performance.

But not about whether Rooney should have played up on his own, whether Lennon should have replaced Beckham or whether Gerrard and Lampard can ever gel.

These arguments were exhausted even before Portugal dumped us from the competition and, of course, then we had Cristiano Ronaldo on whom to vent our frustration.

No, we're talking about the Wags, the wives and girlfriends. The first action Steve McClaren took as England manager was to ban the Wags from future competitions abroad.

Whereas our lads would only go to work every few days, the Wags, it seemed, played every night. What's more, they performed their antics under the noses of the press corps, having been booked into the same hotel. As a result, they got almost as much coverage as their other halves.

The restaurant and bar owners, and the designer shop managers raked it in during a spree of conspicuous consumption hitherto unseen in straightlaced Baden Baden, so good they named it twice.

But this week, the Waglash, as it's been called, began.

Cheryl Tweedy cheers on England with Victoria Beckham
Cheryl Tweedy cheers on England with Victoria Beckham
Pop star and Mobo award-winner, Jamelia, laid into them in an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine. The singer, who's the partner of Millwall footballer Darren Byfield, said they led empty lives.

"Footballers' wives don't do anything. All they do is spend their boyfriends' money."

One of the exceptions she makes is Cheryl Tweedy, the 23-year-old singer with Girls Aloud. Indeed, Cheryl Tweedy herself, who this weekend married England left-back Ashley Cole, has also sunk her false nails into her fellow bon-viveurs.

In an interview she gave last summer, but reprinted last week, she said: "It really annoys me when people try to call me a footballer's wife. Footballers' wives have no careers and live off their husbands' money. If I'm going shopping, I'll pay with the money I've worked hard for. I would die of embarrassment if I had to resort to taking a boyfriend's cards."

Girls Aloud

Like Jamelia, Tweedy spares criticism of Victoria Beckham who, like her, had a career in a girl band before she married. In fact, the former Spice Girl took Ms Tweedy very much under her wing during their time in Germany.

Cheryl Tweedy began earning her own money from an early age. As a child in Newcastle, she did lots of modelling, becoming "Boots bonniest baby", winning the "Mothercare Happy Faces Portrait" competition, and a host of other beauty contests. She danced, she sang, and she did some acting.

Later, her good looks got her spots on TV advertisements and, in the UK talent-search show Popstars: The Rivals, she received the most votes in the poll to choose the girls for the all-female group Girls Aloud, so becoming the first to be picked.

Girls Aloud have had two number one hits and, unusually for a talent show band, remain popular. But it nearly fell apart for Cheryl Tweedy in 2003.

During a drunken night out with fellow band-member Nicola Roberts at a Guildford nightclub, she punched a black toilet attendant in the face.

Ashley Cole with Cheryl Tweedy
Cheryl and Ashley who marry this weekend
At her ensuing trial, she was cleared of racially aggravated assault, though found guilty of the lesser charge of occasioning actual bodily harm. The judge described her behaviour as "an unpleasant piece of drunken violence".

She was sentenced to 120 hours of community service in her native North East which consisted of sanding benches and working in a care home for people with multiple sclerosis.

The affair "brought me down to earth", she said afterwards." It made me realise just how lucky I was to lead the life I do."

She endured plenty of criticism at the time. Ulrika Jonsson branded her an "arrogant bully" who sets an "abysmal example to young women".

A tabloid spat between the two was born and continues still.

But crucially, Cheryl Tweedy's fears that she might be dropped by her fellow band-members and her record company, proved groundless.

Three years later, Girls Aloud are still touring successfully despite constant rumours that they're on the verge of splitting.

This weekend, Ashley Cole became Cheryl Tweedy's footballer husband in a ceremony that was originally due to be a simple, quiet affair, but which got the full showbiz treatment financed by an OK! magazine photo deal.

So no need to reach for the credit card, either his or hers.

Zinedine Zidane

French footballer Zinedine Zidane apologised this week for his infamous head-butt on Italian defender Marco Materazzi during last Sunday's World Cup final in Berlin, his last game in football. But he added that he did not regret the incident because the Italian had insulted his mother and sister. Materazzi, who admitted making uncomplimentary remarks to Zidane but denied mentioning his mother, was subsequently summoned by the disciplinary committee of the world football authority, FIFA, to answer the accusations.

Lord Levy

Tony Blair's chief fundraiser, Lord Levy, was arrested this week and questioned over the "cash for peerages" affair. They are trying to establish whether he agreed millions of pounds in secret loans to the Labour Party in the knowledge that lenders would not demand repayment. The law requires that donations over 5000, including any money lent on preferential terms, must be disclosed. Lord Levy denies any wrongdoing and described his arrest as "entirely theatrical".

Deborah Voigt

The fat lady is singing again. Two years ago, American soprano Deborah Voigt was famously relieved of the title role in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. It was felt that, at 20 stone, she wouldn't suit her costume, a small black dress. But after a stomach operation, she is due to appear in the same opera next year. She is now nine and a half stones lighter.

Jack the Ripper

Another name has been added to the list of suspects for the legendary Victorian London murderer, Jack the Ripper. According to notes written more than 80 years ago by the detective who led the hunt for the serial killer, he was a Polish barber named Aaron Kosminski who could not be questioned because he was insane. A witness who identified him, refused to testify against him because he was a fellow Jew. Kosminski died in an asylum in 1919.

Written by BBC News Profiles Unit's Bob Chaundy

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