Cheryl Cole has credited Derek Hough with "saving her life" by forcing her to overcome a fear of needles to take the blood test which detected her malaria. The British singer was convinced she was suffering a bout of influenza when she fell ill in July but the professional dancer ordered her to seek further medical advice.
Cole admits she has a phobia of needles and was "really angry" with Hough for the suggestion - until doctors diagnosed her with the mosquito-borne illness. And now Cole insists she will be forever indebted to Hough for coming to her rescue.
Speaking on Piers Morgan's "Life Stories", Cole explains, "I'm pathetic when it comes to needles. I was actually really angry with him for suggesting I get my blood taken. For making me have a needle. Little did I know, he saved my life."
But the Girls Aloud beauty refuses to confirm rumours she and Hough are romantically involved. She adds, "This is the last time I will ever talk about my private, personal life. I'm not willing to sit here and say he's my boyfriend or he's not. I'm not prepared to deny or admit anything and I don't have to. We are very, very close. That's obvious."