A lot of people dream about being a pop star. It’ll be great. The money. The fame. Life must be wonderful!

Perhaps anyone who desires that existence should study this photo of Little Mix.

The chart-topping girl band is performing at Bitts Park in Carlisle next July. I like Little Mix. But I look at that picture and think: if you don’t like being a pop star, maybe you should do something else?

I used to work at the Metal Box factory in Carlisle, on production lines where we spent our days sliding sheets of metal through various machines.

It wasn’t glamorous. There were no cheering crowds. We didn’t earn a fortune. And we hardly ever travelled to work on private planes or in chauffeur-driven luxury.

But the staff were generally cheerful. We told jokes. We shouted good-natured insults. We sang, even though we weren’t being paid to do so.

I’m trying to imagine just how miserable the members of Little Mix would be if they did that job.

If their mouths drooped any further towards the ground they’d need a licence for fracking.

It’s not just them, of course. Plenty of pop stars are mean and moody.

A striking example is Cheryl in her video for Fight For This Love, released in 2009.

I’ve just watched it again to check that my memory hadn’t let me down. Sure enough, we have three minutes and 41 seconds of perfectly co-ordinated scowling.

To be fair to Cheryl, between 3:13 and 3:18 there are three brief moments when she appears to smile.

We must assume that the editor of the video was subsequently reprimanded.

Perhaps the examples I’ve chosen mean I’m being inadvertently sexist. After all, no one expects Morrissey or Leonard Cohen to breakdance and throw balloons in the air.

But it’s more about the genre of music. Pop is supposed to be fun.

I’m not saying pop stars should have to smile all the time... actually, I am saying that.

Plenty of people don’t seem to enjoy jobs that many others would love to have.

Former Liverpool player Danny Murphy is now a pundit on Match of the Day.

He gives the impression that analysing football matches is absolutely the last thing in the world he wants to be doing.

What’s the solution? The traditional attempt to provoke a smile in the miserable involves saying the phrase “Cheer up - it might never happen!”

This rarely seems to work. In the case of Little Mix, whatever “it” is looks as if it’s happened already.