Singer, actress and fitness instructor Michelle Heaton was born in Gateshead in July 1979.
From the age of 3 she attended Sandra Ravely’s Stage School studying acting and dance and attended Newcastle College where she graduated with a distinction in Drama and Performing Arts.
Starting out as a jobbing actress with roles in Crimewatch, Heartbeat and Byker Grove, Michelle found fame in 2000 on the original ITV talent search Popstars. She reached the final and along with four of the runners-up formed pop band Liberty X.
For seven years Liberty X dominated the charts, achieving ten consecutive UK Top 20 singles, a Brit Award, Disney Award and Smash Hit Award as well as the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for their single Just A Little.
Her popularity led, in 2006, to the ITV2 fly-on the-wall series Michelle and Andy’s Big Day documenting the lead up to her first wedding to Pop Idol series 2 singer Andy Scott Lee. 2007 saw the break up of both Liberty X and Michelle’s first marriage but 2008 heralded a fresh start for Michelle in Dublin where she set up home with her new partner, Irish fitness trainer Hugh Hanley.
With Hugh’s inspiration and guidance she found a new passion for health and fitness, revolutionised her lifestyle and shed three stone in weight. She also worked as the female judge on You're a Star (The Irish X Factor) for which she won an Irish TV award. Michelle was nominated in the Best New Talent to TV category at the Irish TV awards 2009.
2010 saw Michelle qualify as a Level 6 FETAC personal trainer with credits in nutrition, step, aerobics, weight work and dance. She also ran the New York and London Marathons as part of the ten-strong Virgin Unite team.
On discovering she was pregnant with her first child in June 2011, Michelle qualified as a Pre and Post Natal fitness instructor. She also spoke out about her heart condition Arrhythmia, caused by sustained use of slimming pills in her teens to early twenties. Michelle now works to raise awareness of the dangers of slimming pills and the importance for women and men of losing weight the healthy way.
Michelle's first child Faith Michelle Hanley was born on 11th January 2012 and Michelle began her ongoing role as an ambassador for Cho Yung Tea in June of that year.
In July 2012 Michelle discovered she carries the BRAC2 cancer gene and underwent a preventative double mastectomy on 20th November. Her story was documented via a series of VTs for Lorraine and a weekly diary for Closer magazine.
Liberty X reunited in January 2013 for ITV2 series The Big Reunion alongside Atomic Kitten, 5ive, The Honeyz, B*witched and 911. The bands embark on the first Big Reunion UK arena tour in May.
Michelle’s current nominated charities are Count The Kicks and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.