‘I was so offended by that!’ Kéllé Bryan claims she was alienated from her Eternal bandmates after being told she was ‘only picked because of her looks’
These days she’s better known as a prominent panellist on ITV show Loose Women, but those with longer memories will recognise Kéllé Bryan as an integral member of ’90s girl-group Eternal.
Accompanied by Louise Redknapp, née Nurding, and sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett, the singer enjoyed prolonged mainstream commercial success throughout the decade before the band’s eventual split in 2000.
But mother-of-two Bryan, 47, claims she felt alienated from her bandmates after being told she was only selected for the group because of her looks, rather than her ability to carry a tune.
Appearing on Thursday’s edition of Loose Women, she explained: ‘I was so offended by that, it’s not bad to be attractive but for me I find that annoying because I was like, “I’m here for more than that”‘.
‘I like singing. I don’t think I’m beautiful. It was just the people around at the time were like “you were chosen because you are pretty”‘.
Upset: Kéllé Bryan claims she felt alienated from her Eternal bandmates after being told she was only selected for the group because of her looks, rather than her ability to carry a tune
Old times: (L-R) Eternal stars Louise Redknapp, née Nurding, Easther Bennett, Kéllé Bryan and Vernie Bennett in 1994
All change: Initially a four-piece, the band quickly became a trio after Louise left to pursue a solo career in 1995
Initially a four-piece, the band quickly became a trio after Louise left to pursue a solo career in 1995 before turning into one of the most successful girl-groups in the UK with three top ten albums.
Kéllé was eventually sacked from the band in 1998 amid claims she was ostracising herself from Easther and Vernie, and the group’s fourth album – released the following year – limped to a disappointing number 87 in the UK chart.
The band, minus Louise, later reformed for TV Show The Big Reunion in 2014, during which Kéllé claimed her sacking had been carried out via fax.
She explained: ‘It was sent to a lot of people, so it wasn’t just me, it was sent to a lot of people in the industry. And so I was getting phone calls from a lot of people “I heard you got the sack”.
‘I was hurt because I didn’t understand, there was no closure. I didn’t understand what I’d done wrong. From the outside it just seemed like “Kelle’s got issues” and “let’s get on with it ourselves”.
‘If only I’d had the balls to march into one of their rooms and go “Oi, what’s your problem with me?”… we would have gone on and sold god knows how many more records.
‘I wasn’t strong enough, I didn’t have the courage. I was too scared.’
Let’s talk: The former singer discussed her time in the popular band during Thursday’s edition of Loose Women
Opening up: ‘I like singing. I don’t think I’m beautiful. It was just the people around at the time were like “you were chosen because you are pretty”‘, she recalled
The singer went on to enjoy a successful acting career with role in police drama The Bill and long-running teen soap Hollyoaks., where she played series regular Martine Deveraux until 2022.
Confirming her departure from the show last May, she told the Loose Women panel: This is a secret I’ve been keeping for so long, so actually saying it out loud feels really weird.
‘Tonight on Hollyoaks will be my very last scene. I’m departing the show after four years of playing the same character. I’m off!
‘Fans will be able to see what happens to Martine and all of the dynamics between myself and Richard Blackwood, who plays my husband.
‘I used to carry a bit in there just to have that sense of discomfort. So taking that out, changing the hair… she’s been part of me for such a long time, it’s going to be odd putting her down.’
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12:30pm on ITV.