The Derry-born star talked on the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTE Radio 1 on Tuesday morning, also speaking about ‘Last Singer Standing’ which begins this Saturday, October 23.
The singer is a panellist on the series alongside Joey Fatone and Samantha Mumba, with Westlife’s Nicky Byrne as host.
Nadine explained how “traumatic” the past two years have been since Sarah’s diagnosis.
She said: “It feels like it’s been a really traumatic year and a half, almost two years at this point now.
“It’s just, it’s a cruel, cruel disease and I know many people suffer with it and I wish everybody all the best. We definitely lost a great one there.
“She was unbelievable. Me and Sarah have been close and always remained close. We were a great support for each other in the band and for years after.
“I was so close to her you know in life… There’s definitely been things, she’s made her presence known a few times. And as I was shooting the show, it was right in the middle of it all and people were so kind and have been so lovely.
“My eyes started to swell, I think my body just was rejecting to what was happening and everyone was so, so kind.”
Nadine also opened up on potential ‘signs’ from her friend who passed away on September 5.
“There [were] a couple of days when the headphones just flew across the table, sitting getting my makeup done and this happened three days in a row, for no reason, just flew across.
“The girls in hair and makeup and everyone was saying, ‘it has to be Sarah’.
“And then I was talking about her one night in my house and something was flying off a shelf. I was like, ‘Is this Sarah? Is she just like throwing stuff? It’s so fresh and I’m still thinking she’s going to phone. I’m still at that stage of it.
“You just want her to send you a text.”Nadine also explained how she immediately had to get stuck in with the show after Sarah died.
She said: “The show was scheduled, everything was booked, everyone was there. There was no way they could take a break for me to kind of grieve or even digest it all or anything. Literally it was straight back into work the next day.
“Everyone was so kind and so lovely, really patient with me, you know it was great.
“Sometimes you just end up in a certain place for a certain reason.”
The performer explained how great it is to be working with some people she hasn’t seen since she was 16-years-old, and how she tries to be “constructive” and “sympathetic” with contestants as she knows how ‘tough’ these type of shows can be.
Nadine said: “It really, really was a great experience to be able to come back and spend three weeks filming it in Dublin, we had a great crew and everything, it was really good.”
The former Girls Aloud member revealed how she spent most of lockdown in Ireland before going back to London for her daughter to return to school.
Nadine said she is enjoying being a mother to 7-year-old Anaíya, who was born in LA, and told how her and ex-boyfriend Jason Bell are “extremely close”, with the three being “a family”.
“I am just so lucky because she [Anaíya] is so relaxed, so laid back, so easy-going, nothing is a bother to her, she’s quite happy to go here, go there… she is just an absolute pleasure and I am so lucky to have her.
“Jason and I are extremely close, we are, you know… Jason is obviously one of the closest people to me in my life, even when there’s not a lockdown Jason and I… we kind of come as a package deal with Anaíya.”
Nadine says in the music industry, although it looks “glamorous”, you can run into “uncomfortable situations”.She continued: “People are afraid to be seen in real life without a filter on so I’m really hoping it’s just kind of a flash… and people start to accept themselves, be able to feel more comfortable in their own skin without having to impress a bunch of strangers for likes for whatever reason.”
Nadine has recently been making appearances at Bongo’s Bingo in the UK and says she loves the environment.
“Just people that just want to have fun and let loose and I’m all up for that.”Tags: