Sarah Harding in bikni photoshoot
Harding attended Hazel Grove High School and Stockport College, along with Chelsea Norris, worked as part of the promotions team for 2 nightclubs in The Grand Central Leisure Park in Stockport. Harding was also a regular singer at Karaoke nights in the Puss and Boots pub and did some vocals for Project G on some unreleased tracks. Project G was a band for which Harding provided backing vocals, long before Girls Aloud came along. She did some photoshoots for promotion but no album, nor known singles exist. Some tracks that have leaked onto the internet include "Searching" and "Don't Wanna Be Alone". Whilst working as a waitress and barmaid in Manchester, she entered the UK talent-search show Popstars: The Rivals.
Harding also entered FHM's High Street Honeys, the magazine's national beauty contest, and her pictures appeared in the first Top 100, but she later withdrew, upon achieving success on Popstars. A year later, she was voted one of the Top 30 sexiest women in the world, by readers of the same magazine. In 2005, she entered the same Top 10 at Number 8, slipping to Number 15 in 2006.