|Years active 2002–present|
Name The Girls
|Role Pop duo|
Record label Multiply Records
|Labels Multiply (2002–2004)XBN (2004–2006)GMI Music (2006 – present)|
Origin Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2002)
Members Gabriela Irimia, Monica Irimia
Albums PartyTime, In My Mind, Greatest - The Cheeky Girls, Party Time
Genres Pop music, Dance music, Europop, Eurodance
Similar Fast Food Rockers, Toploader, Vivien Goldman, Jason Nevins, Big Brovaz
The Cheeky Girls are a Romanian-born British-based pop duo consisting of twin sisters Gabriela and Monica Irimia, originally from Cluj-Napoca. After appearing as auditionees in Popstars: The Rivals, they achieved success in the charts with four top 10 hits between 2002 and 2004. They are best known for their debut single, "Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)", which has sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide.
The cheeky girls
Gabriela and Monica were born on 31 October 1982 to Doru and Margit Irimia. Gabriela is older by 10 minutes. Their early life in Romania consisted of studying gymnastics and ballet and touring with the Hungarian National Opera. Moving to the United Kingdom with their mother in 2002, the girls shot to fame as the Cheeky Girls after auditioning on the British TV shows, Channel 4's Model Behaviour and more importantly Popstars: The Rivals. Following two appearances on the show with their audition which had judges Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh not knowing what to say (Waterman was later quoted as saying they were the worst act ever), various record companies approached the Granada Press Office. The Press Office contacted Paul Holland at Granada Ventures who was able to secure them a deal with the Multiply label part of Telstar Records. Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum) was swiftly recorded and released in the first week in December. Entering the chart at number two, the single remained in the top five for five consecutive weeks – four of them at number two. In the week before Christmas this was one of three singles from the Popstars: The Rivals show to occupy the Top 3, One True Voice and Girls Aloud held the other two positions.
This was quickly followed up with two more top three hits, "Take Your Shoes Off" and "(Hooray, Hooray!) It's a Cheeky Holiday!". Their style of music is primarily disco-pop, aimed at the pre-teen market. Most of their songs are written by their mother, who also acts as their manager. In January 2004, their first single, "The Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)" was voted the worst pop record of all time in a Channel 4 poll.
When their record company Multiply went into liquidation in 2004, the girls turned down several deals from other companies and decided to launch their own label XBN, to continue their music career, but with less success. From 2004, they began to appear regularly in other media such as television appearances on Brainiac, NBC and The Weakest Link and opening the studios of a new local radio station Big L 1395, along with Cliff Richard. The Cheeky Girls are also involved in charity work and are supporters of the UK Children's Charity ChildLine.
On 4 August 2006, the Evening Standard reported that the Cheeky Girls were already "at rock bottom" and facing bankruptcy action in court owing to not having been paid by their now-defunct record company Telstar Records. The article said that the girls owed £4,500 in unpaid taxes, along with other bills due, and that Telstar owed them £2.2 million. Later, it was reported that they owed £130,000 in total.
In September 2009, the girls released their Cheeky Girls make-up range, aimed at the young teen market.
In January 2010, Gabriela and Monica auditioned for Britain's Got Talent under the name Cheeky Girls and Darius. The trio performed a Bollywood dance at the Hammersmith Apollo, London. The judges reacted favourably and they were voted through to continue in the competition. However, they did not make it to the semi-finals. The Cheeky Girls did however, sing at the Polly Jones festival in March 2009.
In November 2010, Gabriela and Monica appeared on the Celebrity edition of Channel 4 reality programme Coach Trip, two days before the series' end.
On 7 March 2013 the girls appeared on the This Week BBC TV programme discussing the subject of Romanian immigration to the UK with host Andrew Neil. This followed a short video report by Monica talking about British fears of an invasion of benefit-seekers from their homeland. The girls previously appeared on the show on 10 July 2008.
In December 2006, it was revealed by the tabloids that former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Öpik had broken up with long-time fiancée, ITV weather presenter Siân Lloyd, and was now romancing Gabriela. Öpik "passed documentation on to the singers' constituency MP and spoke to a Home Office minister," when the Irimias were facing deportation to Romania. The couple announced their engagement in April 2008 after Öpik proposed in Rome, but the engagement was short lived and a breakup was announced three months later.