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Kerry Katona

Katona (left) with Heat! D.J. Rachael Hopper
Born Kerry Jane Elizabeth Katona
6 September 1980 (1980-09-06) (age 29)
Warrington, Cheshire, England
Other name(s) Kerry McFadden (2002–06)
Kerry Croft (2007–present)
Occupation Media personality
Years active 1998–2001 (singing)
2002–present (presenting)
Spouse(s) Bryan McFadden (2002–2006) (divorced)
Mark Croft (2007–2010)[1]

Kerry Jane Elizabeth Katona (born 6 September 1980) is an English media personality. Best known for her television work, predominantly in light entertainment and reality shows, she has also been a pop singer with 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 the Iceland and Asda supermarkets.


Early life

Katona was brought up partly by her mother Sue Katona and partly by her stepfather, foster grandmother and others. As a young girl, she was placed in care and brought up by four sets of foster parents.[2] During that time, she attended eight different schools.[2]

She left school at age sixteen to become a lap dancer. She then joined a dance troupe that toured Europe.[3] She attempted to become a glamour model in her teens and posed for topless and nude photographs. In 2001, some of these photographs resurfaced and were published in the UK by tabloid newspaper The Sunday Sport.[4]


Atomic Kitten

In 1999, at the age of eighteen, Katona rose to fame as a founding member of all-female pop trio Atomic Kitten. While Katona was in the group, Atomic Kitten had four top-twenty singles in Britain, and its debut album Right Now reached number 39 on the British album charts. Katona left the group in February 2001 because she had become pregnant with the child of Westlife member Brian McFadden. Atomic Kitten's smash-hit single "Whole Again" reached Number One in Britain days after her departure.[5] Jenny Frost replaced Katona in the group.


After marrying McFadden, Katona moved into television, 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 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.

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.[6]

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.


Formerly represented by publicist Max Clifford, with whom she parted by mutual agreement in October 2008,[7] 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.[8]


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 Glamor Girl. All of her books have been ghostwritten. Until 2008, she was paid around £500,000 a year to write a regular column in OK! Magazine.


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

Personal life

Marriage to Brian McFadden (2002–2006)

On 31 August 2001, Katona gave birth to Molly Marie McFadden, daughter of Westlife star Brian McFadden. On 5 January 2002, the couple married at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rathfeigh, County Meath, Ireland, with Katona's former Atomic Kitten colleague Natasha Hamilton as bridesmaid.[9] The couple spent their honeymoon in Mauritius. Their had another daughter together, Lilly-Sue McFadden (born 3 February 2003), before separating in September 2004. The couple's divorce was finalised in December 2006.

Marriage to Mark Croft (2007–2010)

On 14 February 2007, Katona married taxi driver Mark Croft in a private ceremony in Gretna Green, with two friends as witnesses.[10] 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).[11]

Katona and Croft claim that on 15 July 2007, they were held hostage at their £1.5 million home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, along with their daughter Heidi. According to their account, three men forcibly entered their home. One held Katona at knifepoint while the others forced Croft to show them where valuables were kept.[12] Nobody was physically harmed, but the men allegedly left with a blue BMW and other valuables, a total loss in the region of £100,000 - £150,000.[13][14] On 19 July 2007, police found the undamaged car ten miles away on Reeves Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.

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[15] but further examination found the foetus was still alive, and due in May 2008.[16] 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.[17]

On 13 March 2009, Katona's financial advisor Frank Cochran[18] read a statement to the media stating that Katona and Croft had decided to divorce.[19][20] On 16 March 2009, it was reported that Katona and Croft had reconciled.[21]

In February 2010, the media reported that Katona had separated from Croft after he accused her of becoming romantically involved with fitness instructor Kevin Green. Katona went on holiday to Tenerife with her youngest daughter after the split.[22] In early March 2010, the media photographed Katona throwing a number of plastic bags, allegedly filled with Croft's belongings, into a Dumpster.[23]

Financial problems

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.[24][25] 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.[26]

Health problems

On 19 July 2007, Katona was admitted to The Priory hospital[27] suffering from bipolar disorder. Her spokesman, Max Clifford, stated she had suffered from the disorder for some time, but her symptoms were aggravated when armed robbers broke into her home.

Cosmetic Surgery

On 25 August 2008, Katona checked into a private clinic in north-west London to have several cosmetic surgery procedures performed. These included liposuction, laser treatment on her stretch marks, and an operation to reduce her 34GG breasts to a size 34DD. Reported to cost £15,000, the procedures were filmed and footage was featured on her MTV reality show Whole Again.[28]

Controversy and criticism

Katona has been criticised for smoking and drinking alcohol during her pregnancies. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Death (FSID) warned Katona that babies of smokers are up to fifteen times more likely to die from a cot death,[29] and the British Heart Foundation also condemned Katona for smoking while pregnant.[30] Katona defended her behaviour after these statements were made.[31]

Appearing on the 12 February 2008 edition of Channel 4's Richard and Judy show, Katona admitted that she had taken cocaine, but claimed that she had not taken any drugs for the past three years. She also claimed that the press was constantly making up stories about her and claimed that she was in the process of renewing her contract with Iceland.[32]

When she appeared on the 22 October 2008 live episode of ITV's This Morning show, Katona's speech appeared to be slurred, prompting questions about her well-being.[33] Katona blamed her slurred speech on having taken prescription drugs late the previous night. According to the presenters, she was angry at having been asked about it on air.[34] In the same interview, when Fern Britton asked whether her drug addiction had been replaced by an alcohol addiction, Katona dismissed the claims. She later spoke to the British tabloids, criticising her interviewers for implying she was drunk during the interview.

On 27 August 2009, it was reported that Katona was under investigation by Cheshire Police after allegations she had assaulted her accountant, and also for criminal damage and a public order offence. After being arrested and questioned, she was released on police bail until 12 October, pending further enquiries.[35]



Date Title Chart Comments
With Atomic Kitten
16 March 2000 Right Now 39  
All chart data refers to the United Kingdom unless noted otherwise


Date Title Chart Sales Comments
Atomic Kitten Releases
29 November 1999 "Right Now" 10 120,000  
27 March 2000 "See Ya" 6 104,000  
2000 "Cradle" 1(Asia)   Only released in Asia[36]
3 July 2000 "I Want Your Love" 10 72,000  
9 October 2000 "Follow Me" 20 44,000  
29 January 2001 "Whole Again" 1 934,600[37] Platinum Certification
All chart data refers to the United Kingdom unless noted otherwise


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

Katona released her own autobiography on 5 October 2006 titled Too Much, Too Young with ghostwriter Fanny Blake[2] and Katona's mother who consented to have her story told as well.[38]

... 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 ...[38]

In October 2007, Katona released her first novel. Tough Love (ghost written by Anne Marie O Connor) follows the story of the Crompton family and was published by Ebury Press.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Ghost stories". September 3, 2006, p. 6
  3. ^ Damien Fletcher (July 21, 2007). "Kerry's Gold". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  4. ^ "Atomic Kitten Star Topless". The Sunday Sport. 2001-02-25. 
  5. ^ BBC News: "McFadden and Katona tie knot"
  6. ^ "Showbands" IMDB. Retrieved 17-05-2009
  7. ^ "Katona and PR guru Clifford split". BBC News. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  8. ^ Brook, Stephen (18 August 2009). "Kerry Katona dropped by Iceland". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "McFadden and Katona tie knot". BBC News. 2002-01-05. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  10. ^ Guy Patrick (2007-02-15). "Gretna wedding for ex-Kitten". The Sun Online.,,2-2007070592,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  11. ^ "Kerry Katona has baby girl early". BBC Online. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  12. ^ Katona held captive by armed gang. BBC News. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.
  13. ^ "Kerry Katona Held By Armed Raiders". Sky News. July 16, 2007.,,30100-1275433,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  14. ^ "Katona 'distraught' after armed robbery". ITV News. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  15. ^ Guy Patrick (2007-09-25). "Pregnant Kerry in fear for baby". The Sun.,,4-2007440483,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  16. ^ Guy Patrick (2007-09-27). "Kerry 'hasn't lost her baby'". The Sun.,,2007440806,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  17. ^ ITN
  18. ^ "Kerry Katona 'isolated after husband Mark Croft confiscates mobile phone' | Mail Online". 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  19. ^ Beth Hardie. "Kerry Katona in tears as spokesman officially confirms divorce". Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  20. ^ "Tears as Kerry Katona announces her marriage is over". The Daily Record. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  21. ^ "MSN Celebrity Blog - Windows Live". 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  22. ^ Donna McConnell (2010-02-22). "Kerry Katona back to face the music after married fitness instructor admits to swapping texts". Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  23. ^ Marcus Barnes (2010-03-02). "Kerry Katona bins her ex Mark Croft's belongings as she attempts to turn over a new leaf". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  24. ^ "BBC News - Ex-Kitten Katona is made bankrupt". 21 August 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  25. ^ "London Gazette 28 August 2008 - KATONA". 
  26. ^ "Daily Star - Kerry Katona Could Have House Repossessed". 21 December 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  27. ^ "Katona checks into Priory clinic". BBC Online. July 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  28. ^ "Daily Mail—Kerry Katona's breast reduction to be filmed for new reality show". 
  29. ^ "Charity: Kerry has to give up", The Sun Online
  30. ^ "Katona slammed for smoking while pregnant", Sky News Online
  31. ^ "Katona hits back at smoking criticism", Digital Spy
  32. ^ Channel 4 - Richard & Judy, 12 Feb 2008
  33. ^ "Concern over Katona TV appearance", BBC News Online
  34. ^ Schofield denies Katona 'ambush', BBC News Online
  35. ^ Lizzie Smith (2009-08-28). "Kerry Katona investigated by police over allegations of assault | Mail Online". Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  36. ^ Independent Online Music Magazine (Accessed August 3, 2006)
  37. ^ Figures from Chartwatch Last updated: 12 October 2004
  38. ^ a b BBC Radio 4, Woman's hour, Thursday 12 October 2006, audio link(Retrieved: 15 October 2006)

External links

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

Succeeded by
Joe Pasquale

Simple English

Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona (born September 6 1980 in Warrington, Cheshire, England) is an English television presenter, magazine columnist and former pop singer with girl band Atomic Kitten.

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