Sarah Harding lit up a room says Holly Willoughby in emotional tribute to Girls Aloud star

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Sarah Harding’s longtime friend Holly Willoughby has said she “lit up a room” as she delivered an emotional tribute to the late star.

The former Girls Aloud singer died after a battle with breast cancer on Sunday, September 5, and tributes have poured in from her friends in the celebrity world.

Holly, 40, shared her feelings on This Morning on Monday (September 6), as she said: “It's so awful, very sad.”

Looking back on her time working with the star on Saturday Showdown with Stephen Mulhern, the presenter shared her memories.

"I met her a few times on Saturday mornings when she was in Girls Aloud and there was this glamorous gaggle of girls,” Holly said. "She lit up a room, she was so full of energy."

"Our total love to her whole family,” Holly continued, getting emotional as she spoke. “We are thinking of you today."

Sarah, who died at the age of 39, posted a statement on social media last year to say she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She later told fans that her doctor had informed her she wouldn’t live to see another Christmas.

Sarah’s mum Marie shared the heartbreaking news that her daughter had died just months before her 40th birthday, but she wouldn’t want to be remembered for having cancer.

"It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved,” she said.

"I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead."

In the months after going public with her diagnosis, Sarah told fans how she was approached to write an autobiography.

Pleased to have the opportunity, the star’s book Hear Me Out was released in March this year. She said: “Writing about my cancer, I found myself thinking, ‘Do I want everyone to know this?'

“I kept thinking that if there was a chance just one person who read my story decided to get checked and was treated in time, then it was worth it,” she added at the time.

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