Katona in 2005
|Born||Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona
(1980-09-06) 6 September 1980
Warrington, Cheshire, England
|Other names||Kerry McFadden|
The Big Reunion
|Spouse(s)||Brian McFadden (m. 2002; div. 2006)
Mark Croft (m. 2007; div. 2011)
George Kay (m. 2014)
|Associated acts||Atomic Kitten|
Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Kay (née Katona, formerly McFadden and Croft; born 6 September 1980) is an English singer and media personality. She was a member of girl group Atomic Kitten from 1998 until her first departure in 2001 and again from 2012 until her second departure in 2017. Her television work is predominantly in light entertainment and reality shows.
Katona was the winner of the third series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2004, making her the first queen of the jungle, and runner-up of Celebrity Big Brother 8 in 2011. On 21 November 2012, Katona confirmed she had rejoined Atomic Kitten, replacing Jenny Frost.
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Katona was born in Warrington, Cheshire. Katona’s maternal grandfather is Hungarian who fled Budapest to Britain during the Second World War. As a child she was placed in care and brought up by four sets of foster parents and attended eight different schools. She left school at sixteen to become a lap dancer, then joined a dance troupe that toured Europe.
In 1999, 18-year-old Katona rose to fame as a member of Atomic Kitten, an all-female pop trio created by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark frontman Andy McCluskey. The other original members were Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon. Their debut single, “Right Now”, was released in late November 1999 and reached #10 on the UK Singles Chart. Their second single, “See Ya“, followed in March 2000 and was an even bigger success, reaching #6. Following this initial success, Atomic Kitten performed an Asian tour and scored their first #1 hit there with “Cradle”. The album, 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 at only #39 in the UK album chart. 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. That single, “Whole Again“, became their first #1 hit in the United Kingdom and stayed at the top for 4 consecutive weeks. Due to this success, “Whole Again” was released globally and reached #1 in 18 other countries, including 6 weeks in Germany and New Zealand. The song and video for “Whole Again” originally featured Kerry Katona but she left the group several days before the single’s release because she was pregnant. Former Precious singer Jenny Frost replaced Katona in the lineup and the single was re-recorded.
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. She appeared on Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank in 2001. In February 2004, she won the third series of the British reality TV show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!. That July, she 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.
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 and MTV dropped her in August 2009.
Katona’s latest reality show Kerry Coming Clean aired on 24 June 2010. 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 and others. She was voted the runner-up in the final after Paddy Doherty on 8 September 2011.
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. 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 Atomic Kitten hits including Whole Again and Right Now. It was the first time in over 11 years that Katona performed.
However, it was announced on 18 October that the original members of Atomic Kitten would reunite for an ITV2 series along with other pop groups of their era, including B*Witched, Five, Liberty X and 911. Natasha Hamilton tweeted to a fan that the reason Frost was not involved was that she was expecting twins, but she would be welcome to rejoin the group whenever she was ready.
Formerly represented by publicist Max Clifford, with whom she parted by mutual agreement in October 2008, 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.
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. On 11 May 2016 Katona rejoined the panel of Loose Women since leaving the series in 2004.
In January 2013 Katona has had an endorsement deal with CashLady  promoting short term loans. The relationship was ended in July 2013.
In March 2016 Katona launched an online bingo site called Bingo With Kerry. In May 2016 the site won ‘New Site of the Year’ at the WhichBingo Awards  and ‘Best casino site’ at the New Casino Sites Awards in 2017.
Katona has five children from three marriages. She has two children with 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. The couple honeymooned in Mauritius. McFadden filed for divorce from Katona in September 2004 and was separated for two years, until their divorce was finalised in December 2006.
On 14 February 2007 Katona married taxi driver Mark Croft in a private ceremony in Gretna Green. Six days later, on 20 February 2007, the couple’s daughter was born. She gave birth to a baby in 2008. They announced a breakup in 2009 but reconciled, then divorced in 2011.
On 15 July 2007, Katona, Croft, and their young daughter Heidi were held hostage at their £1.5 million home in Wilmslow, Cheshire. They reported that three men forcibly entered their home, one of them holding Katona at knife-point while the others forced Croft to show them where valuables were kept. Nobody was physically harmed, but the men left with a blue BMW and other valuables with an estimated total value between £100,000 and £150,000. On 19 July 2007, police found the undamaged car 10 miles away on Reeves Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. That same day, Katona was admitted to The Priory hospital suffering from bipolar disorder. Her publicist, Max Clifford, claimed she had suffered from the disorder for some time, but the trauma had aggravated her symptoms.
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. 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.
On 2 July 2013, Katona filed for bankruptcy at Wigan County Court.
|2001||Atomic Kitten: So Far So Good||Archive Footage|
|2003–04, 2016||Loose Women||Panellist|
|2004||I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!||Contestant, Winner|
|2005||My Fair Kerry||Herself|
|2007||Kerry Katoma: Crazy In Love||MTV Reality Series|
|Kerry Katona: Whole Again||MTV Reality Series|
|2009||Kerry Katona: What’s The Problem?||MTV Reality Series|
|2010||Kerry Katona: Coming Clean||ITV2 Reality Series|
|2010||Kerry Katona: The Next Chapter||ITV2 Reality Series|
|2011||Dancing On Ice||Contestant|
|2011||Celebrity Big Brother||Contestant, Runner Up|
|2012||The Big Reunion||Herself|
|2016||The Ray D’arcy Show||Herself|
- Right Now (2001)
- Greatest Hits (2004)
- The Collection (2005)
- Essential (2007)
- The Essential Collection (2012)
- Whole Again – The Best of Atomic Kitten (2015)
Emily Herbert’s biography of Katona, Kerry: Story of a Survivor, appeared in September 2005.
In October 2007, Katona released her first novel. Tough Love (produced with the aid of a ghost-writer) 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.
- Katona, Kerry (5 October 2006). Too Much, Too Young: My Story of Love, Survival and Celebrity. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-191390-8.
- Katona, Kerry (1 March 2007). Survive the Worst and Aim for the Best. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-191754-8.
- Katona, Kerry (18 October 2007). Tough Love. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-192319-8.
- Katona, Kerry (3 April 2008). The Footballer’s Wife. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-192324-2.
Katona is also well known for her glamour modelling. She first posed for Page 3 at the age of 17. Katona has also posed for the men’s publication Zoo. She has also done glamour modelling for a host of other high-profile publications appearing in the likes of New!, Now Magazine. and Star.
Barely two months after having £15,000 worth of plastic surgery, which included having a breast reduction as she had her 32GG breasts reduced to an E cup in August 2008, Katona posed for Zoo Magazine in October 2008.