We love bringing you the exclusives here at heatworld, and today’s no different.
We’ve been updating you on all the stories from Tulisa’s book, Honest: My Story So Far, all week, but this morning, we’ve got a full, unseen extract for you to read.
In the extract, she reveals how she got the name The Female Boss and how a cheeky present convinced Simon Cowell she should be a judge on the X Factor.
'I took Simon a t-shirt saying, THE MALE BOSS'
"Before I knew it, literally within a couple of days, I was on my way to Los Angeles to meet Simon Cowell during a short break in the tour schedule. I’d never met him before, although our paths had crossed when I was a guest on The Xtra Factor, when I vividly recall him staring at me as if I was some sort of alien life form, somewhat intrigued. Not in a sexual way, more along the lines of: who the hell is she? Like he was trying to get the sum of me. I think Simon found me interesting, and I think that was precisely why I was now headed for a meeting at his house in LA.
Before I left London for the meeting, I had a T-shirt made – a white V-neck, Simon’s signature look – and on it I had printed a picture of the man himself with the words ‘THE MALE BOSS’ emblazoned across it. I’d been known as ‘the Female Boss’ for quite a while, so I thought it might be funny. My nickname had originally been ‘the Bitch’. Not a bitch, the bitch! That’s what Dappy, Fazer, Rich and all the guys called me for ages, because I was always laying down the law and usually got my own way. The boys tried to avoid using it in interviews, thank God, but actually it wasn’t meant as an insult – it was more a nod to my female power. In fact, if anyone ever called me a bitch in jest, I’d always come back with: ‘I’m not a bitch, I’m the bitch!’ What the guys meant was that I was a woman with balls, and I didn’t mind that in the slightest.
The polite version of that nickname was the Boss, because I was usually running the show, despite the fact that I was surrounded by a bunch of alpha males.
‘Speak to the boss,’ they’d tell everyone. ‘T’s the boss.’
As I was the only female, my nickname then morphed into the Female Boss. It was a lot more user-friendly than the Bitch, and it sort of became my alter ego. Whenever I had to be strong or make tough decisions, I would always talk about ‘bringing out the Female Boss’. I guess it meant showing my strong side, my tough outer shell (I am a Cancerian, after all), and my claws too. They come out when they need to, and they’re serious fuckers. That’s the Female Boss. I’ve now famously got it tattooed on my arm, and it’s also the name of my very own signature perfume.
Anyway, I was hoping that my comical little gift for Simon Cowell would break the ice and make him laugh. I wanted him to see how cheeky I was. It was a big part of my character and had often stood me in good stead. When I finally sat down with Simon, the conversation seemed to flow quite easily – I liked him. I felt like I was talking to someone who I’d met before, and I didn’t feel at all anxious. Just like the previous meeting with the producers, I decided to leave Simon in no doubt as to what an asset I would be to the show, and why I was perfect for the job, and while I chattered away, he took out a cigarette and started puffing.
‘Do you mind if I have a fag, Simon?’ I suddenly said mid-conversation. And the two of us sat in his house chuffing on cigarettes and talking like old mates.
‘I’m honest,’ I said, ‘and I like to say what I think – as you know – but I’m also emotional. Now that you’re not going to be on the judging panel anymore, who’s gonna be the judge to tell people that they’re rubbish when they are? Now that Cheryl’s gone, who’s gonna be the judge that brings the emotional edge to the panel? The one who will really react to a beautiful performance that moves them. I’m both of those judges,’ I told him, ‘and with the pair of you gone, you’re gonna bloody need that.’
At the end of the meeting Simon stood up and shook my hand.
‘Congratulations, I think you’re going to be great. Let’s get the contracts drawn up,’ he smiled.
‘OK, great, yeah, cool.’
I was as blasé as I dared be until I got outside, where Gareth and my friend Ny were waiting for me in a cab.
‘What happened, what happened?’
They were much more excited than I was; I was slightly stunned, to be honest, because it had all happened so fast.
‘Er . . . I think he just gave me the job,’ I said.
I really wasn’t sure once I’d left the house – Simon had delivered the news in such a throwaway manner.
‘WHAT?’ Ny and Gareth both screamed.
‘Yeah, but I’m not completely sure . . .’
I was baffled, and I could hardly let myself believe it had finally happened."
Honest: My Story So Far published by Headline is released in hardback and in eBook today