IT has been less than a year since Little Mix became the first group to win the X Factor and yet the all girl quartet have just topped the singles chart for a second time... and picked up their fair share of over zealous fans. For Perrie Edwards, the blonde one who is dating One Direction’s Zayn Malik, it has been a surreal – and painful – experience.
One fan recently showed her a tattoo of the letter “P” on his hand that he said was dedicated to her.
“Yeah, that was quite bizarre,” says the 19-year-old, who celebrated her birthday over the summer with a holiday in Nice.
Surely that “P” could be for any number of his family or friends?
“That’s what I thought but he didn’t have it when I first met him,” she says. “We’ve met him a few times but when he came to a signing we did in South Shields he said: ‘I’ve got this for you.’ I said ‘Wow!’
“If it is for me then it’s such a compliment.”
She adds: “A fan ripped my hair out once and they took quite a lot of it. If I knew they wanted it that bad I’d have cut it off and given it to them,” she laughs, before strangely adding: “But if it makes them happy, why not?”
Perrie, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson initially auditioned for the X Factor as solo performers but judge and mentor Tulisa Contostavlos encouraged them to join forces.
They signed to Simon Cowell’s label Syco and topped the chart with their debut single, Cannonball, a cover of the Damien Rice hit.
They headlined the X Factor tour in February, which included a visit to the Capital FM Arena – although she has no memory of the city.
“I just remember it being an amazing crowd,” she deadpans.
Come on, Perrie.
“I don’t remember,” she laughs. “Everything on the tour was just amazing. There were more and more people with Little Mix T-shirts as the tour went on. I loved being on that tour.”
As well as working on their debut album, Little Mix spent the summer touring with JLS.
“They are the sweetest boys ever!” she beams. “So lovely and genuine and down to earth. They make time for everyone.”
Also supporting were Cover Drive, who were less, erm, lovely.
“We were playing practical jokes on each other all the time but they started it! We got them back big style.
“It started off with us in our dressing room, doing our thing getting ready to go on stage then all of a sudden there was a fire alarm. When we came rushing out they were standing there laughing. One of them had a fire alarm app on his phone.”
They’ve just announced their debut headline tour, which opens at the Royal Concert Hall on January 28.
“Being on tour is the best time because you get to see the crowds, you get to see your fans and everyone is going wild, it’s just amazing,” she says. “When the audience is singing the lyrics back at you and waving their arms having a good time, there’s no better feeling.”
Wings, which topped the chart on Sunday, is the first taste of the new material that will be on their debut album.
“We will have an album out by the tour,” says Perrie. “Then hopefully everyone knows all the songs.”
She adds: “We know it’s going to be hard work and tiring but we just can’t wait to get into it and start rehearsals.”
The first gig the South Shields singer went to was McFly.
“When I was younger I didn’t see that many people live. I couldn’t really afford the tickets. I know – poor me!”
She’s been seeing Malik since December.
“It’s only hard to a certain extent because you’re not seeing each other as much as you’d like. But if you’re happy with someone and you really like them you’re going to make it work.”
Leigh-Anne Pinnock is the only member of the group who is single. So, what’s wrong with her? Does she have a personality defect?
“(Laughs) No, I just don’t think anyone is good enough for Leigh-Anne”