Sunday, April 11, 1999 Published at 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Ex-EastEnders star's perfect moment
Martine McCutcheon: Something to smile about
Former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon has started her new singing career by shooting straight into the pop charts at Number One.
After four years on the BBC soap where she played Tiffany Mitchell, the 22-year-old claimed the top slot with the single Perfect Moment.
In its first week, sales figures were way ahead of any rivals, including last week's Number One Mr Oizo.
'I can't believe it'
Martine celebrated with a lunch out with family and friends. "It is a dream come true. I keep pinching myself - I can't believe it," she said.
More than 12 million viewers caught their last glimpse of Tiffany on New Year's Day when she met a dramatic end under the wheels of Frank Butcher's car.
Martine has since clinched a £1.2m deal with Virgin's Innocent record label.
During the last three months she has travelled to and from New York, where she is recording songs for her debut album.
A spokesman for Virgin confirmed that the single had outsold Mr Oizo by more than two to one since its release.
"This single will stick around for some time," he said. "We are confident that we have got a major star on our hands and there is an album's worth of fantastic material being created at the moment."
He confirmed that the album was likely to be released this autumn.
Everyone's favourite girl next door
HMV chart expert Jason Legg said: "It's the sort of record that sells well across the board. She's everyone's favourite girl next door. There's obviously a long tradition of soap stars releasing singles but she is really talented and it shows.
"She's also been very brave in releasing a ballad rather than the cheesy pop that a lot of actors might tend to do."
Martine's success is all the more impressive because the single is being sold at the full price of £3.99 in most shops. Her record label felt Perfect Moment had such strong sales potential there was no need to offer a discount.
Mr Oizo dropped into second place this week with Flat Eric, followed by Eminem's My Name Is.
Last month, EastEnders actor Ross Kemp who plays Grant Mitchell, Tiffany's husband, let it be known that he plans to leave the soap, too. He is reported to have a signed up with ITV for one of their major drama series.
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