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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Former pop star's turbulent life
Kerry Katona
Kerry Katona's autobiography detailed her difficult childhood
Kerry Katona rose to fame as a pop star, but the former singer is best known for winning ITV1's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2004.

Born in Warrington, Cheshire, the 26-year-old tried her hand at glamour modelling before finding success as one-third of girl group Atomic Kitten in 1999.

That success was driven by a difficult childhood, which saw her live with four sets of foster parents and attend eight different schools.

She was taken into care at the age of 13 after her mother fled to a women's refuge because of an abusive relationship. She has never met her real father.

"It was a hard childhood but that made me even more determined to succeed," she has said.

She started a relationship with Westlife singer Brian McFadden, and left Atomic Kitten in February 2001 to give birth to their daughter, Molly, six months later.

At the time, Atomic Kitten believed they were about to be dropped by their label - but without her, the group gained a new member and went on to have their biggest hit, Whole Again.

Celebrity circle

Katona and McFadden married in January 2002 in County Meath, Ireland, putting the couple at the heart of the country's celebrity circle.

Atomic Kitten
Katona [centre] was part of Atomic Kitten's original line-up

But their marriage hit trouble after newspaper revelations about McFadden's infidelity on his stag night.

She eventually forgave him and the couple's second daughter, Lily Sue, was born in February 2003.

Katona started a television career, but her ITV1 dating show, Elimidate, was pulled from the screens after six outings. One critic claimed it was full of "spite, coarseness and stupidity".

She fared better after winning I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, and her frank persona made her a popular panellist on ITV1's daytime talk show Loose Women.

But an appearance on Channel 4's reality show The Salon led to controversy after she said she had never really sung on any of Atomic Kitten's singles.

"It was a joke," she insisted later. "I can't believe the fuss this has caused. As a joke I always say I can't sing, but I'm a great talker."

Drug abuse

Katona and McFadden separated in September 2004, after which she had a spell in rehab, as she battled depression and drug abuse.

But she remained in the public eye, advertising Iceland supermarkets and featuring in ITV1's From Ladette To Lady in 2005, where she attempted to learn airs and graces.

The following year, she published her autobiography, Too Much Too Young, detailing her difficult upbringing.

Kerry Katona and Brian McFadden
Katona was married to Westlife's Brian McFadden
On Valentine's Day 2007, she married taxi driver Mark Croft in Gretna Green. Six days later, she gave birth to their daughter a month early, Heidi Elizabeth.

But she complained of a difficult pregnancy, saying: "It's made me want to have my tubes tied, get the coil, go on the pill, get the injection and get Mark the snip - that's how much I've hated it."

In recent times Katona has developed a writing career, with her first novel, Tough Love - described by the publishers as a mixture of Footballers' Wives and Shameless - due in shops in the autumn.

The book centres on a glamour model whose career hits the skids.

"Leanne's had a taste of the high-life but now has to move back up north to her ordinary, working class family," Katona said.

"Except they're far from ordinary. They're loud, brash, and in-your-face - so nothing like me then."

The scene outside Kerry Katona's house

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21 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
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McFadden named TV's jungle queen
09 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
Celebrity jungle fever rages on
09 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
McFadden and Katona tie knot
05 Jan 02 |  Entertainment


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