Martine McCutcheon in 2010
|Born||Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting
(1976-05-14) 14 May 1976
Hackney, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Jack McManus (m. 2012)|
|Labels||Innocent, Virgin, Liberty|
Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting (born 14 May 1976), known professionally as Martine McCutcheon, is an English singer, television personality, actress and occasional radio presenter. McCutcheon had minor success as one third of the pop group Milan in the early 1990s, but it was her role as Tiffany Mitchell in the BBC‘s EastEnders that she is best remembered for. McCutcheon was written out of the series at the end of 1998 to embark on a pop career, this time as a solo artist.
She had success with her No. 1 single “Perfect Moment“. She released three albums to varying degrees of success, but her pop career stalled due to the poor reception of her third album in 2002. She has since appeared in various television programmes, in films such as Love Actually as Natalie, and on stage in My Fair Lady, where her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle won her a Laurence Olivier Award in 2002. She released her autobiography, Who Does She Think She Is? in 2000. McCutcheon is now regular panelist on the ITV daytime show Loose Women.
At the age of 10, Martine took her stepfather’s surname when her mother met and married window cleaner John McCutcheon. Martine McCutcheon has a younger half-brother LJ.
At the age of 12, McCutcheon obtained her first acting role and was paid £350 to appear in an American television commercial for the drink Kool-Aid, which was followed by modelling assignments and bit parts in TV shows such as in the ITV police drama The Bill. She also appeared in the music video for the song “Caribbean Blue” by Irish singer Enya. By the time she was 15, she was part of an all-girl group, Milan, with two fellow pupils and landed a record contract and a gig touring as the warm-up act for the British boyband, East 17. Milan were reasonably successful, they entered the dance charts three times, but not successful enough to make a living and they disbanded.
In 1994, while working as a shopgirl at Knickerbox, McCutcheon was offered the role of Tiffany Raymond on the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders. McCutcheon took inspiration and advice from her mother on how to play the part. The role of Tiffany grew, as did McCutcheon’s popularity, and 22 million viewers tuned in to see her final scenes in Albert Square in 1998 when her character was killed in a special episode screened on New Year’s Eve.
McCutcheon’s first appearance in the charts occurred in 1995 on a minor dance song “Are You Man Enough” with the dance producers Uno Clio. A promotional video was produced. In 1999, McCutcheon debuted as a solo pop artist with Virgin Records and scored a No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart with the ballad “Perfect Moment” (originally recorded by Edyta Górniak in 1997). That same year she had two more Top 10 entries, reaching No. 6 with two singles: “I’ve Got You” and later with “Talking in Your Sleep“, which featured the double A-side “Love Me“, an album track that was re-recorded for the Children in Need appeal with all proceeds being donated to that cause. All three singles were taken from her debut album, You Me & Us, which peaked at No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum.
In 2000, McCutcheon released her second album, Wishing, which was less successful, charting at No. 25 in the UK Albums Chart. The album spawned two singles – the No. 2 hit “I’m Over You” and the follow up song, a cover of the Donna Summer classic “On the Radio”. Despite peaking at only No. 25, the album still managed to sell around 250,000 copies. McCutcheon released her third album, Musicality, a Broadway influenced cover album, in 2002. It reached No. 55 in the albums charts, however her pop career stalled when, due to poor sales, her recording contract was cancelled.
A 2CD best of album called The Collection was released in September 2012. 
Film, stage and television
McCutcheon appeared in ITV’s The Knock as well as the British film Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang) in 2000. She went on to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady at the National Theatre in London. Despite missing many performances (citing health problems) and withdrawing nearly five months early from the production’s transfer to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, she won Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical at the 2002 ceremony.
In 2002, McCutcheon presented the National Music Awards for ITV1 and in 2003 she featured in her only major film role. She appeared as tea-lady Natalie in the Richard Curtis romantic comedy Love Actually, where the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) falls in love with McCutcheon’s character. The film received good reviews and was a box office success. McCutcheon went to America in the wake of the film’s success, but a Hollywood career did not materialise. She did however, win MTV Movie Award for Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer.
In September 2005, she appeared in two episodes of hit BBC drama series Spooks. Screened on the UK television station ITV1 in December 2005, McCutcheon appeared in The English Harem, playing a woman in love with a Muslim man (Art Malik), who marries him despite knowing he already has two wives. That same year she presented and performed on ITV’s entertainment programme, Moviemusic Mania. In 2007, McCutcheon was seen in two independent films, Withdrawal opposite Patrick Swayze and Jump!, as well as the Agatha Christie’s Marple television series episode “At Bertram’s Hotel”,.. She was also a judge in the second series of ITV1’s Soapstar Superstar. Her appearance on the show drew criticism, with reports alleging that she was becoming a hate figure for the contestants, who were said to have found her comments relentlessly critical and at times patronising. She performed in an Art Plus fundraising event at the Whitechapel Art Gallery opposite Natalie Press, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans and in January 2008 she starred alongside actor Jason Donovan, in the ITV soap Echo Beach as character Susan Penwarden.
McCutcheon released her autobiography, Who Does She Think She Is? in 2000, and in 2003 Martine McCutcheon: Behind the Scenes – A Personal Diary, was published by HarperCollins. McCutcheon was one of many celebrities that featured in a promotional film for London’s successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, in 2004. A fitness DVD, Martine McCutcheon: Dance Body, was released in December 2005.
In August 2006, the supermarket chain, Tesco, announced that they would be using McCutcheon in a series of adverts to promote a new green scheme for recycling used plastic carrier bags. In 2009, she had her first novel, The Mistress, published by Pan MacMillan. In January 2010, she became the face on Danone‘s UK advertising campaign for its Activia yogurt brand.
In Autumn 2016, McCutcheon was announced as one of the new guest panelists for series 21 of Loose Women. McCutcheon made her debut as a regular panelist on 8 September.
McCutcheon was engaged to DJ Gareth Cooke, but broke off the relationship in 1996. She married singer Jack McManus at Lake Como in September 2012. The couple had been dating since 2009. On 4 February 2015, McCutcheon gave birth to a son, Rafferty Jack McManus.
|1999||Martine McCutcheon: This Is My Moment||Herself||TV movie documentary|
|2001||Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang)||Mia|
|2003||Love Actually||Natalie||2004 Empire Award for Best Newcomer
2004 MTV Movie Award for Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer
|2005||The English Harem||Tracy Pringle||TV movie|
|2013||The Home Office||Jane||TV movie|
|1991||The Bill||Paper Girls||Season 7, Episode 53 “Skeletons”|
|1992||Amanda Jones||Season 8, Episode 57 “A Scandalous Act”|
|1995–1998||EastEnders||Tiffany Mitchell||364 episodes
1997 National Television Award for Most Popular Actress
1999 British Soap Award for Best Storyline (shared with Matthew Robinson)
Nominated – 1999 British Soap Award for Best Exit
|2000||The Knock||Jenny Foster||Season 5, Episode 2|
|2005||Spooks||Tash||Season 4, 2 episodes (uncredited)|
|2007||Agatha Christie’s Marple||Jane Cooper||Season 3, Episode 1 “At Bertram’s Hotel”|
|Soapstar Superstar||Herself/Judge||Series 2|
|2008||Echo Beach||Susan Penwarden||Season 1, 12 episodes|
|Moving Wallpaper||Herself||Season 1, 4 episodes (uncredited)|
|Moving Wallpaper: The Mole||Herself||Short, Season 1, 2 episodes (uncredited)|
|2012||Let’s Get Gold||Herself/Judge|
|2013||Midsomer Murders||Debbie Moffett||Season 15, Episode 6 “Schooled in Murder”|
|2016–||Loose Women||Herself/panelist||Series 21- present|
|2005||Martine McCutcheon: Dance Body||Herself||Fitness DVD|
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Sales||Certifications|
|You Me & Us||2||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
||You Me & Us|
|“I’ve Got You”||6||—||17|
|“Talking in Your Sleep“/”Love Me“||6||—||26||
|“I’m Over You”||2000||2||—||23||Wishing|
|“On the Radio“||2001||7||—||18|
|“—” denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
|“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly“||2001||My Fair Lady (2001 London Cast Recording)|
|“I Could Have Danced All Night“|
|“I Dreamed a Dream“||2002||101 Songs From The Musicals|