Sarah Harding's tragic death is an 'unusual case' says GMB's Dr Hilary Jones as he pays tribute to 'bubbly, cheeky star'

GOOD Morning Britain's Dr Hilary Jones has said that Sarah Harding's tragic death at the age of 39 to breast cancer is an "unusual case".

The 68-year-old medical professional also revealed that he'd interviewed the "bubbly, cheeky" star when she was still in Girls Aloud in a bizarre "change" to his job.

Speaking on the breakfast show today, Dr Hilary said of their chance meeting: "Richard Arnold was away so I was sent to interview [Girls Aloud].

"What a wonderful interview, and what a change to what I normally do – and Sarah was a wonderful, vivacious, happy, bubbly, cheeky girl – and it's just a tragedy at the age of 39."

Asked by hosts Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid how usual it is for a woman so young to pass away from breast cancer, Hilary insisted that it was "rare".

He added: "We hear a lot about breast cancer in younger women because it's so shocking when it happens, but about 5% of breast cancer is found in under 40s, and very, very rare in 20s.

"39 is still very young; the majority of women who die from breast cancer or develop breast cancer are 60s and 70s and beyond, so this is an unusual case. But when it is diagnosed in younger women, it tends to be later stage and more aggressive."

Hilary also reflected on the timing of Sarah's diagnosis, with the singer previously revealing that she faced delays due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He explained: "It was very unlucky, it couldn't have been worse timing – right then, when we approached the first lockdown and services were being postponed."

However, he urged viewers to not hesitate in getting any concerns checked out, saying that the NHS "prioritises cancer treatment", and are very much "open for business."

Sarah tragically passed away yesterday morning, with her mum Marie announcing the sad news in a statement later that day.

She'd bravely gone public with her cancer battle last August, and told fans earlier this year that doctors had said Christmas 2020 would be her last.

Paying tribute to her daughter, her devastated mother wrote: "It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away. Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day.

"She slipped away peacefully this morning. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.

"I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead."

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