Cheryl told to gain weight to save her life

Curvy: Cheryl Cole after her battle with malaria

Cheryl Cole reveals how she was ordered by doctors to gain weight to save her life

Doctors ordered Cheryl Cole to stop exercising and put on weight after the health scare that almost killed her.

And the svelte star – who was given just 24 hours to live at one point after contracting malaria last year – had no choice but to obey them to beat the illness.

‘I just ate everything,’ she said.

Cole, 28, revealed how being ill had changed her priorities. ‘It opened my eyes to health and things I hadn’t focused on before,’ she said.

After her recovery from the disease, she went to America as one of the judges on The X Factor U.S.A.

At the press launch, she showed off her fuller figure, but was then fired after just four days of filming on the show.

Since then, she has returned to her trimmer self and has kept a relatively low profile, splitting her time between the U.S. and UK working on her music.

She also had a cameo role in the film What To Expect When You’re Expecting with Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez.

Change in priorities: It's about chilling with friends, and less about work Cheryl says now

Speaking in the new issue of InStyle magazine, which goes on sale on Thursday, the Girls Aloud singer also revealed she had once enjoyed a drink with Amy Winehouse, who died in July.

But she admitted: ‘I’m awful at drinking. Don’t get us [sic] wrong, though – I like a drink if it’s a night out.’

Cheryl also told of her fascination with tattoos, saying that ‘to me, it’s art’.

She has at least seven tattoos.

To read the full feature, see the December issue of InStyle on sale Thursday.