Little Mix are the first group to win The X Factor

They're members of the UK's hottest new girl band after winning The X Factor 2011 - but Little Mix's Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall say they weren't always this popular.

The 18-year-old Geordies never imagined they'd become stars when they were still schoolgirls in South Shields.

'I was always the one at school nobody fancied and I've only ever had one proper relationship,' says Perrie.

Jade adds: 'At school I was the swot who had rubbers thrown at her in class until I stood up in assembly and sang.

'There was this cheering and suddenly I began to be cool.'

Their 20-year-old band mate Jesy Nelson has already spoken about her battle with school bullies after becoming the target of cruel online taunts about her weight.

The singer - who is a size 10 to 12 - says she hoped she'd left the teasing behind in the classroom.

'When I was younger I got bullied about the way I looked and I thought once I was older it would stop,' Jesy tells Weekend.

'I hated going to school, but didn't know who to talk to about it.

'It knocked my confidence a lot.'

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Anna Duff