Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole's new tattoo gets the bum's rush (Reuters)

Pop star Cheryl Cole has taken to Twitter to defend having a giant English rose tattooed across her bottom and lower back.

The Geordie pop star confirmed the ink is hers after California tattoo artist Nikko Hurtado, who owns the Black Anchor tattoo studio in Hesperia, California, put the image on his Instagram page on Saturday, but did not reveal who the tattoo belonged to.

Alongside the picture, the artist posted the message: "Here is an in progress shot of a Tattoo I've been covering up and reworking. Really exited (sic) to show healed shots. It was some intense tattooing sessions. She's tough as nails."

It did not take long for fans to work out who the tattoo belonged to, with Cole having revealed parts of the tattoo as it was being worked on in public appearances, and she took to Twitter to chat to fans about the black and red image.

She told one interested fan: "I've had it for maybe 7-8 months, it was a long process but only just detailed it."

Cheryl also told other online followers that the longest she did in one sitting was for 7-8 hours and added to another: "I have personal meaning behind it but English roses are my favourite flowers."

Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan tweeted her support: 'No gonna lie I actually heart �� @CherylCole new tattoo! #dontcare X.'

However, some were not so keen.

Cheryl Cole's new-look bottom
Tattoo artist Nikko Hurtado reveals his work on Cole's derriere (Instagram)

Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones said the tattoo looked like a rash, and argued that she was setting a bad example for her fans.

The roses cover up a previous tattoo of a black butterfly Miss Cole, 29, had done in 2011, which took a gruelling 11 hours to complete.