Davina McCall has said the "hardest thing" about Sarah Harding's death is that she was "hard on herself" for not being diagnosed with breast cancer sooner.

The Girls Aloud singer sadly passed away after a battle with the disease last month at the tender age of just 39.

Davina, 53, had a connection with the superstar, hosting both Popstars: The Rivals – the show which former Girls Aloud in 2002 – and The Jump, which Sarah competed in in 2016.

Speaking ahead of hosting Friday night's Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon, the brunette beauty told OK!: "I think the saddest thing is the last time I’d seen Sarah Harding was on The Jump, where she was a contestant. And, oh my God, such good fun!

"But I read somewhere that she’d given herself a hard time for not going to sort it out earlier. That, for me, is always the hardest thing.

"My sister was given a terminal diagnosis in hospital and gave herself a hard time for not doing something about it.

"There’s nothing like the look on someone’s face when they realise that what they’re being told is that there’s no treatment. This is palliative care from now on.

"And the idea that you would ever blame yourself for that is too much to handle.

"So we need to help people to find ways of detecting changes in their bodies but never shaming anybody – ever, ever, ever – and least of all shaming yourself, ever, if you get sick. It’s not your fault."

Sarah opened up on her late diagnosis in her autobiography, released six months before her untimely death.

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She wrote: "There had been so much reporting on the news about people missing out on check-ups during Covid lockdown, even though they might be worried about something.

"People who had left a cancer diagnosis until it might be too late. Maybe if I spoke out, as a public figure, a celebrity, it could help get the message across how important it is to get checked out if you have concerns.

She went on to say she had used the coronavirus pandemic "as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong."

Cancer is a close subject for Davina, who has lost both her mother and sister to the disease.

She continued: "My mum died of cancer, my sister died of cancer, so I know how cancer affects people, and I know that because of the pandemic, thousands of people have been left waiting for cancer tests and treatments, creating a worrying backlog.

"So this year, more than ever, we just need to fund as much research as we can, to give as many people as good a chance as possible."

To donate, go to donate.cancerresearchuk.org/stand-up-to-cancer/your-donation.

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