Kerry Katona

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Kerry Katona
Kerry Katona crop.jpg
Kerry Katona in 2008
Background information
Birth nameKerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona
Born(1980-09-06) 6 September 1980 (age 33)
Warrington, Cheshire, United Kingdom
Occupationssinger, author, presenter, dancer
Years activeSince 1997
LabelsVirgin Records
Associated actsAtomic Kitten
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Kerry Katona
Kerry Katona crop.jpg
Kerry Katona in 2008
Background information
Birth nameKerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona
Born(1980-09-06) 6 September 1980 (age 33)
Warrington, Cheshire, United Kingdom
Occupationssinger, author, presenter, dancer
Years activeSince 1997
LabelsVirgin Records
Associated actsAtomic Kitten

Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona (previously McFadden) (born 6 September 1980)[1] is an English singer and media personality, best known for her television work, predominantly in light entertainment and reality shows. She is a member of girl group Atomic Kitten, a magazine columnist, an actress, and the author of ghostwritten books that include an autobiography and several novels. She has appeared in television commercials, notably for Iceland and Asda supermarkets.

Katona was the winner of the third series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2004 and runner-up of Celebrity Big Brother 2011. On 21 November 2012 Katona confirmed she had rejoined Atomic Kitten replacing Jenny Frost.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Warrington, Cheshire, Katona was brought up partly by her mother, Sue Katona, and partly by her stepfather, foster grandmother and others. Katona is of part Hungarian ancestry. As a young girl, she was placed in care and brought up by four sets of foster parents.[3] During that time, she attended eight different schools.[3] She left school at age sixteen to become a lap dancer. She then joined a dance troupe that toured Europe.[4]


1999–2001: Early career and Atomic Kitten[edit]

In 1999, at the age of eighteen, Katona rose to fame as a member of all-female pop trio Atomic Kitten, which had been created by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark frontman Andy McCluskey alongside Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon. The group's debut single, "Right Now", was released in late November 1999 and reached No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart. Their second single, "See Ya", followed in March 2000 and was an even bigger success, reaching #6.[5] Following this initial success, Atomic Kitten performed an Asian tour and scored their first number one hit there with "Cradle". The album, also titled Right Now, was first released in Japan on 16 March 2000, and subsequently released in the United Kingdom on 23 October 2000 following the release of two further singles, "I Want Your Love" and "Follow Me", with a slightly modified track list. In 2000, the group also recorded a cover version of "The Locomotion" for the movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

Right Now was unsuccessful upon its first release, peaking only at No. 39 in the UK album chart.[5] Initially, there were no plans to focus on the global market and Atomic Kitten's record label, Innocent Records, was even considering dropping them because of their limited success. However, the record company were persuaded to allow the group to release one more single from the album.[6] That single, "Whole Again", became their first number-one hit in the United Kingdom, and stayed at the top for four consecutive weeks.[5] Due to this success, "Whole Again" was released globally, and reached number one in eighteen other countries, including six weeks in Germany and New Zealand.[7] The song and video for "Whole Again" originally featured Kerry Katona; however, she left the group several days prior to the single's release due to her pregnancy.[8] Former Precious singer, Jenny Frost replaced Katona in the line-up and the single was re-recorded.

2004–11: Reality career[edit]

After marrying Brian McFadden and taking his surname, Katona moved into television work, appearing on and presenting a mix of light entertainment programmes such as Britain's Sexiest..., Loose Women, and elimiDATE. In February 2004, she won the third series of the British reality TV show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. In July of that year, Katona and McFadden appeared as judges on the RTÉ talent show You're a Star, which was used to select the Republic of Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest entry. On separating from McFadden in September 2004 she reverted to her maiden name.

In July 2005, Katona starred in My Fair Kerry on ITV, where she was taught airs and graces to transform herself from ladette to lady. Also in 2005 she starred in an Irish drama called Showbands.[9]

Between 2007 and 2009, Katona was the subject of three MTV reality shows: Kerry Katona: Crazy in Love, Kerry Katona: Whole Again, and Kerry Katona: What's the Problem? From a peak audience of 500,000 for Kerry Katona: Crazy in Love, viewership for Kerry Katona: What's the Problem?, a series about Katona's bipolar disorder, slumped to just 19,000. Katona was dropped by MTV in August 2009.

In late 2009, Katona attempted to become a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother 2010 but was rejected by the show's executives after she failed the required psychological tests.[10]

Katona's latest reality show Kerry Coming Clean aired on 24 June 2010. Katona has been banned from using drugs or reuniting with Mark Croft as a part of her contract with management team Can Associates.[11] The documentary covers the tribulations of Katona's separation from Croft and signing with Peter Andre's management company Can Associates. Katona also featured in two series of Kerry Katona: The Next Chapter. Katona was a contestant on Dancing on Ice Series 6 with English ice skater Daniel Whiston. They were eliminated in week 5 in a skate-off against Jeff Brazier and partner Isabelle Gauthier.

Katona was the first housemate to enter the Big Brother House for the 2011 series of Celebrity Big Brother alongside Amy Childs and Tara Reid amongst others. She was voted the runner-up in the final after Paddy Doherty on 8 September 2011.

Since 2012: Return to Atomic Kitten[edit]

In March 2012, Hamilton confirmed that the group were reuniting for a summer tour, including a performance at Diamond Jubilee Concert. Hamilton also stated that the group were in talks to star in their own reality TV show regarding the comeback, following on the success of the 2011 Steps reunion and reality show.[12] Hamilton stated that she hoped former member, Kerry Katona, who quit the trio in 2001 before they found chart success, would join them on stage for a performance. The reunion was later dismissed by all three members due to the fight between Katona and Frost. In June 2012 Katona performed at Birmingham's Gay Pride singing some of her hits in her time with Atomic Kitten including Whole Again and Right Now, this was the first time in over eleven years that Katona performed.

However, on 18 October, it was announced that the original members of Atomic Kitten would reunite for an ITV2 series along with other pop groups of their time, including B*Witched, Five, Liberty X and 911.[13][14] Natasha Hamilton tweeted to a fan that the reason Frost was not involved was because she was expecting twins, but she would be welcome to rejoin the group whenever she was ready.[citation needed]

On 20 November, the girls were spotted leaving a recording studio together. The Daily Mail reported that they were seen filming their reformation for The Big Reunion.[2] Katona later confirmed on 21 November in an interview on This Morning that she had rejoined the group and replaced Frost. On 19 December 2012 Katona appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show talking about her drug issues.

Other projects[edit]

Formerly represented by publicist Max Clifford, with whom she parted by mutual agreement in October 2008,[15] Katona has had endorsement deals with Iceland and Asda supermarkets. On 17 August 2009, Iceland released Katona from her £290,000 contract. The company stated that it was "impossible" to continue featuring Katona in its advertising campaigns after photographs appeared in the News of the World tabloid, allegedly showing her taking cocaine in the bathroom of her home.[16]

Katona has released an autobiography, Kerry Katona: Too Much, Too Young; a self-help book, Survive the Worst and Aim for the Best: How to Get Your Life Back on Track; and three novels, Tough Love, The Footballer's Wife, and Glamour Girl. All of her books have been ghostwritten. Until 2008, she wrote a regular column for OK! Magazine. Then again until December 2012.

Katona is a patron of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust,[17] a charity based in Warrington, which helps children with life-threatening conditions, and their families.

Personal life[edit]


On 31 August 2001, Katona gave birth to Molly Marie McFadden, daughter of former Westlife star Brian McFadden. On 5 January 2002, the couple married at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rathfeigh, County Meath, Republic of Ireland, with Katona's former Atomic Kitten colleague Natasha Hamilton as bridesmaid.[18] The couple spent their honeymoon in Mauritius. Their second daughter, Lilly-Sue, was born on 3 February 2003.[citation needed] The couple separated in September 2004 and their divorce was finalised in December 2006.[citation needed]

On 14 February 2007, Katona married taxi driver Mark Croft in a private ceremony in Gretna Green, with two friends as witnesses.[19] Six days later, on 20 February 2007, the couple's daughter Heidi Elizabeth Croft was delivered by Caesarean section at Macclesfield General Hospital. Six weeks premature, the baby weighed 5 lb (2,300 g).[20]

Katona announced in late September 2007 that she was expecting her fourth child, her second with Croft. At one point, she feared that she had suffered a miscarriage[21] but further examination found the foetus was still alive, and due in May 2008.[22] On 30 December 2007 she announced that her fourth child would be a boy named Maxwell Mark, after Max Clifford and her husband Mark. Five weeks before the due date, and after two days of labour, she gave birth to a 5 lb 4 oz (2,400 g) baby on 11 April 2008, at 5.42 pm.[23]

On 13 March 2009, Katona's financial advisor Frank Cochran[24] read a statement to the media stating that Katona and Croft had decided to divorce.[25][26]

On 12 September 2013, Katona stated that she is pregnant with her fifth child by her fiance, George Kay.[27]


On 15 July 2007, Katona and Croft were held hostage at their £1.5 million home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, along with their daughter Heidi. They reported that three men forcibly entered their home, one of whom held Katona at knife-point while the others forced Croft to show them where valuables were kept.[28] Nobody was physically harmed, but the men left with a blue BMW and other valuables with an estimated total value between £100,000 – £150,000.[29][30] On 19 July 2007, police found the undamaged car ten miles away on Reeves Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. Also on 19 July 2007, Katona was admitted to The Priory hospital[31] suffering from bipolar disorder. Her publicist, Max Clifford, claimed she had suffered from the disorder for some time, but her symptoms were aggravated due to this event.

On 21 August 2008, Katona was declared bankrupt at the High Court in London after failing to pay the final £82,000 of a £417,000 tax bill.[32][33] After losing her Iceland contract, her magazine column, and her MTV shows, Katona suffered further financial setbacks. In December 2009, she received a repossession order on her £1.5 million home, having not paid her mortgage in months.[34]

On 27 August 2009, it was reported that Katona was under investigation by Cheshire Police after allegations she had assaulted her accountant, and for criminal damage and a public order offence. After being arrested and questioned,[35] she was released and subsequently not charged.[36]

On 2 July 2013 Katona filed for bankruptcy at Wigan county court.[37]

Andy McCluskey's reaction[edit]

Atomic Kitten founder and songwriter Andy McCluskey (also frontman of globally successful new wave group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), when asked by Neil McCormick in The Telegraph if he felt "responsible for inflicting Kerry Katona on the world", said: "I feel more responsible for inflicting her upon herself than the rest of the world. I love Kerry to bits. But she is a Titanic looking for an iceberg. She was a beautiful girl, funny as hell, brilliant but totally insecure and screwed up, who thought being rich and famous would change her life and make her happier. She is the classic case of 'Do not have your wishes and dreams come true'."[38]



Emily Herbert wrote a biography about Katona in September 2005 called Kerry: Story of a Survivor.

Katona released her autobiography, Too Much, Too Young in 2006, written with ghostwriter Fanny Blake[3] and Katona's mother who consented to have her story told as well.[39]

... I put my mum's life story in the book as well ... so people could understand my mum ... my mum was involved in the book heavily ... I asked my mum if I could do the book first ...[39]

In October 2007, Katona released her first novel. Tough Love (produced with the aid of a ghost-writer[40]) follows the story of the Crompton family and was published by Ebury Press. A second ghostwritten novel, The Footballer's Wife, was published in 2008.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b Atomic Kitten recording comeback with Kerry Katona, not Jenny Frost? – Music News – Digital Spy
  3. ^ a b c "Ghost stories". 3 September 2006, p. 6
  4. ^ Damien Fletcher (21 July 2007). "Kerry's Gold". Daily Mirror. UK. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c "UK Charts > Atomic Kitten". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  6. ^ BBC News: Atomic Kitten's perfect year. Retrieved 29 July 2006
  7. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Atomic Kitten / Single" (in German). PhonoNet. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  8. ^ BBC News: McFadden and Katona tie knot. Retrieved 30 July 2006
  9. ^ "Showbands" IMDB. Retrieved 17 May 2009
  10. ^ Lisa McGarry. "Kerry Katona: ‘I failed Celebrity Big Brother psychological tests’". 
  11. ^ Johnson, Chris (26 March 2010). "Kerry Katona fighting fit as she starts filming new reality show with a fat-busting gym session". Daily Mail (London). 
  12. ^ "Atomic Kitten reunion confirmed by Natasha Hamilton – Music News". Digital Spy. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "ITVS to reform pop bands for The Big Reunion". Broadcast. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  14. ^ The 90s are back: reunions from Atomic Kitten, 5ive, and more | Gigwise
  15. ^ "Katona and PR guru Clifford split". BBC News. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008. 
  16. ^ Brook, Stephen (18 August 2009). "Kerry Katona dropped by Iceland". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  17. ^ The Shannon Bradshaw Trust
  18. ^ "McFadden and Katona tie knot". BBC News. 5 January 2002. Retrieved 28 September 2008. 
  19. ^ Guy Patrick (15 February 2007). "Gretna wedding for ex-Kitten". The Sun. Retrieved 15 March 2007. 
  20. ^ "Kerry Katona has baby girl early". BBC. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007. 
  21. ^ Guy Patrick (25 September 2007). "Pregnant Kerry in fear for baby". The Sun. UK. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  22. ^ Guy Patrick (27 September 2007). "Kerry 'hasn't lost her baby'". The Sun. Retrieved 27 September 2007. 
  23. ^ ITN
  24. ^ "Kerry Katona 'isolated after husband Mark Croft confiscates mobile phone'". Daily Mail (London). 13 March 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  25. ^ Beth Hardie. "Kerry Katona in tears as spokesman officially confirms divorce". daily mirror. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  26. ^ "Tears as Kerry Katona announces her marriage is over". Daily Record. Scotland. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  27. ^ "Kerry Katona announces she is expecting her fifth child". 12 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  28. ^ Katona held captive by armed gang. BBC News. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  29. ^ "Kerry Katona Held By Armed Raiders". Sky News. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  30. ^ "Katona 'distraught' after armed robbery". ITV News. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  31. ^ "Katona checks into Priory clinic". BBC. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  32. ^ "Ex-Kitten Katona is made bankrupt". 21 August 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  33. ^ "KATONA". The London Gazette. 28 August 2008. 
  34. ^ "Daily Star – Kerry Katona Could Have House Repossessed". 21 December 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  35. ^ Lizzie Smith (28 August 2009). "Kerry Katona investigated by police over allegations of assault". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  36. ^ "No charges for Kerry Katona over accountant attack". Accountancy Age. 12 October 2009. 
  37. ^ "Katona files for bankruptcy again". London. 2 July 2013. 
  38. ^ McCormick, Neil (9 September 2010). "OMD: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Noughties". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  39. ^ a b BBC Radio 4, Woman's hour, Thursday 12 October 2006, audio link(Retrieved 15 October 2006)
  40. ^ Morag Preston (22 March 2008). "Kerry Katona and friends in the Return of the Bonkbuster". The Times. UK. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Phil Tufnell
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!

Succeeded by
Joe Pasquale