The singer, who triumphed with her band in last weekend's X Factor final, hails from South Shields - close to where the Girls Aloud star grew up in Newcastle.
"People keep telling me I'm the new Cheryl Cole," Thirlwall told the Sunday Mirror.
"That's fine by me. Cheryl's an inspiration for all of us. She's beautiful and so talented. I met her when I auditioned for the show in 2010 and she was amazing. She's my idol.
"Well, Cheryl and Beyoncé are my idols. I was front row at a Beyoncé gig and she touched my hand once. That was the best moment of my life."
Leigh-Anne Pinnock added that Little Mix will start work on their debut LP in the new year, saying that they want to record an "urban and R&B pop album".
Little Mix recently met Spice Girl Emma Bunton at a Glamour magazine event.
Listen to Little Mix's winner's single 'Cannonball' below: