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Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona (formerly McFadden, Croft and Kay; born 6 September 1980[1]) 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.

Kerry Katona
Kerry Katona crop.jpg
Katona in 2005
Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona

(1980-09-06) 6 September 1980 (age 39)
Other namesKerry McFadden
Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Kay
  • Singer
  • musician
  • television personality
  • media personality
  • author
  • presenter
TelevisionThe Big Reunion
Brian McFadden
(m. 2002; div. 2006)

Mark Croft
(m. 2007; div. 2011)

George Kay
(m. 2014; div. 2017)
Musical career
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1998–present
Associated actsAtomic Kitten

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.[2]


Early lifeEdit

Katona was born in Warrington, Cheshire. Katona's maternal grandfather is Hungarian who fled Budapest to Britain during the Second World War.[3] As a child she was placed in care and brought up by four sets of foster parents and attended eight different schools.[4] She left school at sixteen to become a lap dancer, then joined a dance troupe that toured Europe.[5]


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.[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.[6] 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.[7] That single, "Whole Again", became their first #1 hit in the United Kingdom and stayed at the top for 4 consecutive weeks.[6] Due to this success, "Whole Again" was released globally and reached #1 in 18 other countries, including 6 weeks in Germany and New Zealand.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.

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. She also starred in an Irish drama called Showbands that year.[11]

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.

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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14][15]

In 2019, Katona appeared in the sixth series of E4 reality series Celebs Go Dating.[16]

Other projectsEdit

Formerly represented by publicist Max Clifford, with whom she parted by mutual agreement in October 2008,[17] 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.[18]

Katona has released two autobiographies, Kerry Katona: Too Much, Too Young and Still Standing: The Autobiography; 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.

Katona is a patron of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust,[19] a Warrington-based charity which helps children with life-threatening conditions and their families.

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 [20] and 'Best casino site' at the New Casino Sites Awards[21] in 2017.

Personal lifeEdit


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, Ireland.[22] 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.[citation needed]

On 14 February 2007 Katona married taxi driver Mark Croft in a private ceremony in Gretna Green.[23] Six days later, on 20 February 2007, the couple's daughter was born.[24] She gave birth to a baby in 2008.[25] In her 2012 book, Still Standing: The Autobiography, Katona describes meeting Croft when he was ­supplying cocaine to her mother Sue in September 2005. Katona had just returned to Warrington after spending six weeks in rehab in Arizona for depression, alcohol and drugs. They announced a breakup in 2009[26][27] but reconciled, then divorced in 2011.

In 2012, Katona started dating former rugby league player George Kay. She gave birth to their daughter in April 2014[28] and the pair was married in September of that year.[29] Kay had served three years of a six-year jail sentence after being convicted for blackmail in 2008.[30] On 7 October 2015, Katona announced their separation after he allegedly assaulted her at their home in Crowborough and was subsequently arrested by police.[31] Kay was charged with assault by beating and possessing a banned weapon, but these charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.[32] Like Katona, Kay suffered from mental health issues,[33] and died on 5 July 2019 after an overdose.[34] Like her mother Sue before her, Katona was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2005 and has been campaigning to increase awareness of mental health problems.[35] Katona also has dyslexia [36] and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[37]

Legal issuesEdit

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.[38] 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.[39][40] On 19 July 2007, police found the undamaged car 10 miles (16 km) away on Reeves Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. That same day, Katona was admitted to the Priory Hospital[41] 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.[42][43] 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.[44]

On 2 July 2013, Katona filed for bankruptcy at County Court in Wigan.[45]

On 8 May 2019, Brighton Magistrates' Court ordered Katona to pay a £500 fine after one of her children's school attendance rate had fallen below 50% in 2018. Her solicitor argued that Katona did not have childcare and had to take the child to work with her. During a previous hearing, Katona had pleaded "not guilty" and announced she would represent herself in court.[46]


Year TV programme Role
2001 Atomic Kitten: So Far So Good Archive Footage
2002 ElimiDate Presenter
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
Kerry Katona: Whole Again
2009 Kerry Katona: What's The Problem?
2010 Kerry Katona: Coming Clean
2010 Kerry Katona: The Next Chapter
2011 Dancing On Ice Contestant
2011 Celebrity Big Brother Contestant, runner Up
2012 The Big Reunion Herself
2016 The Ray D'arcy Show
2016 In Therapy
2019 Celebs Go Dating



Emily Herbert's biography of Katona, Kerry: Story of a Survivor, appeared in September 2005.

Katona released her autobiography, Too Much, Too Young 5 October 2006, written with ghostwriter Fanny Blake[4] and Sue Katona, who consented to have her story told as well.[47]

In October 2007, Katona released her first novel. Tough Love (produced with the aid of a ghost-writer[48]) 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. In 2012, Katona released her second autobiography, Still Standing: The Autobiography.

  • 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, Kerry (22 November 2012). Still Standing: The Autobiography. Orion. ISBN 978-1-40-912746-8.


Katona is also well known for her glamour modelling.[49] She first posed for Page 3 at the age of 17.[49] Katona has also posed for the men's publication Zoo.[50] She has also done glamour modelling for a host of other high-profile publications appearing in the likes of New!,[51][52] Now Magazine.[53] and Star.[54]

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.[50]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Atomic Kitten recording comeback with Kerry Katona, not Jenny Frost? – Music News – Digital Spy
  3. ^ Nick McGrath (18 February 2012). "Kerry Katona: My family values". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Ghost stories". 3 September 2006, p. 6
  5. ^ Damien Fletcher (21 July 2007). "Kerry's Gold". Daily Mirror. UK. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  6. ^ a b c "UK Charts > Atomic Kitten". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  7. ^ BBC News: Atomic Kitten's perfect year. Retrieved 29 July 2006
  8. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Atomic Kitten / Single" (in German). PhonoNet. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ BBC News: McFadden and Katona tie knot. Retrieved 30 July 2006
  10. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 6 May 2001. ITV.
  11. ^ "Showbands" IMDB. Retrieved 17 May 2009
  12. ^ Lisa McGarry. "Kerry Katona: 'I failed Celebrity Big Brother psychological tests'". Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ "Atomic Kitten reunion confirmed by Natasha Hamilton – Music News". Digital Spy. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  14. ^ "ITVS to reform pop bands for The Big Reunion". Broadcast. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  15. ^ The 90s are back: reunions from Atomic Kitten, 5ive, and more | Gigwise
  16. ^ "So what does everyone think of the new series lineup? #coming2019". 23 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Katona and PR guru Clifford split". BBC News. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  18. ^ Brook, Stephen (18 August 2009). "Kerry Katona dropped by Iceland". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  19. ^ The Shannon Bradshaw Trust
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "[3]".
  22. ^ "McFadden and Katona tie knot". BBC News. 5 January 2002. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  23. ^ Guy Patrick (15 February 2007). "Gretna wedding for ex-Kitten". The Sun. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  24. ^ "Kerry Katona has baby girl early". BBC. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  25. ^ ITN[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Beth Hardie. "Kerry Katona in tears as spokesman officially confirms divorce". daily mirror. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  27. ^ "Tears as Kerry Katona announces her marriage is over". Daily Record. Scotland. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  28. ^ "Kerry Katona Gives Birth To Fifth Child, Welcomes Baby Girl To Partner George Kay". The Huffington Post UK. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Kerry Katona marries George Kay". RTE. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  30. ^ "Kerry Katona's fiance George Kay: My three years behind bars". Now. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Kerry Katona to divorce third husband after arrest". RTE. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  32. ^ "Kerry Katona's husband George Kay cleared of assault". BBC News. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Kerry Katona: 'Sometimes I think I attract drama'". The Guardian. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  34. ^ Template:Cite WEB
  35. ^ "Kerry Katona wants to become a life coach and help other people". Manchester Evening News. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  36. ^ "Dyslexic Kerry Katona admits she had help with her new novel". CelebsNow. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  37. ^ "Kerry Katona tells Katie Price's critics to back off and reveals she's turned her own wild ways around". Daily Mirror. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  38. ^ Katona held captive by armed gang. BBC News. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  39. ^ "Kerry Katona Held By Armed Raiders". Sky News. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  40. ^ "Katona 'distraught' after armed robbery". ITV News. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  41. ^ "Katona checks into Priory clinic". BBC. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  42. ^ "Ex-Kitten Katona is made bankrupt". 21 August 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  43. ^ "KATONA". The London Gazette. 28 August 2008.
  44. ^ "Daily Star – Kerry Katona Could Have House Repossessed". 21 December 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  45. ^ "Katona files for bankruptcy again". London. 2 July 2013.
  46. ^ "Kerry Katona fined £500 for failing to send her child to school". BBC News. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  47. ^ BBC Radio 4, Woman's hour, Thursday 12 October 2006, audio link(Retrieved 15 October 2006)
  48. ^ Morag Preston (22 March 2008). "Kerry Katona and friends in the Return of the Bonkbuster". The Times. UK. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  49. ^ a b "Katona wants to be glamour model again?". Digital Spy. 3 April 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  50. ^ a b "SEE PICS Kerry Katona shows off new boobs". Now Magazine. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  51. ^ "Kerry Katona admits to relationship strain". New!. 16 July 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  52. ^ "Kerry Katona Says Cancelling Wedding To George Kay Following Bankruptcy Has 'Put A Strain On Us'". New!. 16 July 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  53. ^ "Kerry Katona Reveals She's Made 'Biggest Mistake' By Splitting With Steve Alce". Huffington Post. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  54. ^ "Kerry Katona: 'I'd love to play Coronation Street psycho'". Digital Spy. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2015.

External linksEdit