Steps star Claire Richards has revealed that she was advised to lose weight early in her career but that if it happened now she’d “tell them where to go”.
The singer, 46, has recently been quoted by The Sun as saying that when she was starting out she was told to shed some weight although she was a size 10 at the time.
She was asked about it during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, when host Rob Rinder remarked on how she’d once been asked to lose weight and whether she thought that was still a problem in the industry now.
“I hope it isn't and I would like to think if somebody ever said that to me now I would tell them where to go,” said Richards.
“Back then there was quite a… especially female pop stars were expected to look a certain way, and there was a prototype that everybody had to conform to really.
“I wanted to be in a band so much that I did anything I had to do to get into the group.”
She went on: “It plagued me for a long time.
"But now I feel like I hit my 40s and I feel like I've earned my stripes and I feel much stronger now for going through all that.”
Steps – comprised of Richards, Lee Latchford-Evans, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian ‘H’ Watkins – was formed in 1997.
The group’s big hits include the tracks One For Sorrow, After The Love Has Gone, Tragedy and Deeper Shade Of Blue.
Watch: Ian 'H' Watkins: 'I used to fancy Jason Donovan'