Musicians, Singers and Composers

The complete list of all those I am aware of will be completed in due course.

Percy Phillips (Sound Recordist) 1896-1984

Born Mar 1896
Died 1984
Aged 87 or 88

Phillips’ Sound Recording Services was a studio in the house of Percy Francis Phillips (1896–1984) and his family at 38 Kensington, Kensington, Liverpool. Between the years of 1955 and 1969, Phillips recorded numerous tapes and acetate discs for Liverpool acts, people and businesses in a small room behind the shop his family owned.

Phillips first sold bicycles and motorbikes, but later started selling and recharging batteries in a shop in the front room of his house in 1925. After a decline in demand for batteries in the early 1950s, he started selling electrical goods and popular records. In 1955, Phillips set up a recording studio called Phillips’ Sound Recording Services.

In 1958, The Quarrymen (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John ‘Duff’ Lowe and Colin Hanton) recorded “That’ll Be The Day”, and “In Spite of All the Danger” in the studio. Other clients included Billy Fury, Ken Dodd, and Marty Wilde. Phillips died in 1984. The Quarrymen recording and the site of the studio were commemorated in 2005, when a Blue Plaque was unveiled by two of The Quarrymen (Lowe and Hanton) on the front of the house.

Early years

Percy Phillips was born in March 1896, in Warrington, Lancashire. He was a veteran of the First World War, and left the British Army (Royal North Lancashire Regiment) at the rank of Corporal in 1918, since he was wounded before the war ended.

After the war, he started selling bicycles and motorbikes in a small shop in Brunswick Street, in the Kensington Fields area of Liverpool. He began selling and recharging batteries in 1925, opening a shop in the front room of his family’s three-storey Georgian terraced house, called Phillips’ Battery Charging Depot, and had to install large accumulators in the cellar. Phillips ran the business for 30 years, even during WWII, but due to a decline in demand for batteries in the early 1950s (most people having electricity by then) he started selling household electrical goods. By late 1954, the shop was only selling records and record players; customers would buy recordings of American Country and Western, and Big Band music. As Phillips had supplied batteries to the Burtonwood air base during the war, he could buy and sell the latest records from America via his contacts there.

Studio

In 1955, several customers asked if Phillips could make demo discs. While on a trip to London to visit his son Frank, who was attending a sound recording course at EMI Electronics, Percy bought a 1/4 inch tape recorder (replaced in 1963 with a Vortexion portable), an MSS (Marguerite Sound Studios – after the owner’s wife) disc cutting machine, an amplifier, a 4-track mixer, three microphones (a Reslo, an HMV ribbon microphone, and an AKG), and three pairs of headphones for £400.

Phillips set up the equipment behind his shop in the (12 square feet) middle living room, with a piano and an overturned tin bath in the cellar as a reverb chamber, with a speaker and microphone linked to the studio above. The recordings would normally be on tape, and then transferred to disc, although the tape was recorded over again for each session. Because of trams, trucks, and horses passing the premises, Phillips hung heavy blankets over the studio door and a rear window to minimise noise intrusion. Phillips’ first recording was of himself singing “Bonnie Marie of Argyle”, (unaccompanied) and a few days later he recorded “Unchained Melody”, with local dance band singer Betty Roy. The first disc he cut in the studio was on 7 August 1955, with his eight-year-old daughter, Carol, singing, “Mr Sandman”. All the discs had “Play with a light-weight pick-up” on the label, as this would increase the life of the disc, which would eventually wear out.

Phillips advertised the studio as Phillips’ Sound Recording Services (also advertised as P. F. Phillips’ Professional Tape & Disc Recording Service), with his business cards reading: “PF Phillips, 38 Kensington, Liverpool, 7. Television and Battery Service. Gramophone Record Dealer. Professional Tape and Disc Recording Studio.” He cut discs for members of the public, and actors from the Liverpool Playhouse, who often stayed in the first-floor boarding rooms above the studio. Many of the actors would be asked by Phillips to record monologues and poems. These included the actors John Thaw, Richard Briers, and the ventriloquist Ray Alan.

The Quarrymen recording

Johnny ‘Guitar’ Byrne (from Rory Storm and The Hurricanes) and singer Paul Murphy recorded a version of “Butterfly” and “She’s Got it” in the studio on 22 June 1957. Byrne later played the recording to George Harrison. On 12 July 1958, a local skiffle group, The Quarrymen (Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Lowe and Hanton) visited Phillips’ studio to record two songs, although the date has been disputed, as Lowe remembered that the recording was during cold weather (October or November, 1957) with the band wearing scarves. Hanton also mentioned the cold weather in interviews, and before recording, Lennon suggested that Hanton put his scarf over the snare drum to lower the volume.

The group were surprised to see how small and technically basic the studio was, with only one microphone in the centre of the room. Phillips demanded that they pay for the recording before they set up the equipment, so each member paid 3 shillings and 6 pence, but he then asked for an extra surcharge (£1) to cover the cost of transferring the tape recording to acetate disc. As this was too expensive, Phillips said that for a cut-rate price they would not be taped first, but record directly to vinyl.

The first song they recorded was “That’ll Be The Day” (sung by Lennon with harmonies by McCartney). Phillips wanted them to immediately record the next song, but Lennon and McCartney could not decide on a song for the B-side of the disc. McCartney suggested the doo-wop ballad, “In Spite of All the Danger” (by McCartney and Harrison, but sung by Lennon) even though Lowe and Hanton had never heard it before. They asked for some time to rehearse, but Phillips refused, saying, “For seventeen and six 17/6d you’re not here all day”.

Lowe and Hanton busked through the song, which was cut short by Phillips waving his hands to indicate that the cutting needle was getting close to the centre of the acetate. He then handed the band a fragile 78rpm 10-inch acetate record. It was later lost until Lowe rediscovered it in 1981, and planned to put it up for auction at Sotheby’s, but sold it to McCartney for an undisclosed amount. McCartney later had the two songs digitally re-mastered and pressed 50 copies, giving them to friends as a Christmas present, although the two songs were released on 21 November 1995, as part of The Beatles Anthology (Anthology 1). McCartney later said, “The strangest thing for me, listening to it, is that it’s like drowning, it’s like your life flashing by in front of you. From the earliest things by me and John when we used to sag off school and the earliest demo tape we ever made, to the first little record we made which was a version of John singing “That’ll Be The Day”, and a little song of mine [and Harrison] on the other side that’s never been released before.”

Later years

Other customers of Phillips’ studio included The Swinging Blue Jeans, Brian Epstein, Freddie Starr, Willy Russell, Liverpool F.C. supporters club, and players from Everton F.C. Denny Seyton and The Sabres recorded “Little Latin Lupe Lu” (Bill Medley) in the studio in 1963. Phillips closed the studio in 1969, the record shop in 1974, and died in 1984, at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. The recording of The Quarrymen acetate and the site of Phillips’ Sound Recording Services was commemorated on 26 August 2005, when a Blue Plaque was unveiled by two of The Quarrymen (Lowe and Hanton) on the front of the house. Record Collector magazine valued the Beatles related disc (still owned by McCartney) at a value of UK£ 200,000 in their 2016 “Rare Record Price Guide.” (A similar one off acetate recording by a pre famous Elvis Presley by Sam Phillips sold at auction for a similar amount previously).

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Edwin Astley (Composer) 1922-1998

Born 12 Apr 1922
Died 1998
Aged 75 or 76

Edwin Thomas “Ted” Astley (12 April 1922 – 19 May 1998) was a British composer. His best known works are British television themes and scores, most notably the main themes for The SaintDanger Man and The Baron. He also successfully diversified into symphonic pop and the arrangement of his theme to The Saint, as re-recorded by Orbital, reached number three in the UK Singles Chart.

Astley was born in Warrington, Lancashire to Lawrence Astley and Mary Alice Pester. He served in the Second World War as a musician in the Royal Army Service Corps band playing saxophone and clarinet for the troops.

Astley married Hazel Balbirnie in 1945. Their eldest daughter Karen Astley married Pete Townshend of The Who, and their son Jon Astley produced and remastered The Who’s reissues. Daughter Virginia Astley is a singer-songwriter. His other children are Virginia’s twin Alison, and son Gareth.

Career

In the early 1950s, Astley was arranging for Geraldo. His song “I Could Never Tell” was written by Edwin and Billy Bowen as an entry into a song writing contest when they were both serving in the army. Edwin won the prize of £250 and later used this money to pay for his wedding to Hazel Balbirnie. “I Could Never Tell” was later recorded by both Vera Lynn and Richard Tauber.

His own band, the Ted Astley Orchestra, became well known in the north of England, and he wrote songs for performers such as Anne Shelton.

He wrote music for many British television series of the 1950s and 1960s, including incidental music for The Champions, and the opening titles to The Adventures of Robin Hood (with the exception for the closing titles), Danger Man (known as Secret Agent in North America, where High Wire was replaced by the song Secret Agent Man), Department SRandall and Hopkirk (Deceased)The SaintGideon’s Way and The Baron. Most of these programmes are made by ITC Entertainment.

Astley also wrote the orchestral and “opera” score for the Hammer Films version of The Phantom Of The Opera (1962).

Astley wrote two arrangements of his own theme for The Saint, a slow version used in the black and white episodes and a more up-tempo arrangement of the same theme for the colour episodes. He then wrote a second theme, used in the second season of the colour episodes, based around Leslie Charteris’ own theme music, which had previously been used in films and on radio. Charteris’ theme would also open its main theme to Return of the Saint and would close its theme for its TV movies of The Saint which starred Simon Dutton (neither of which were composed by Astley); however, Astley’s original Saint theme was chosen for the film of the same name.

Astley also wrote two themes for Danger Man — one for the 30-minute series transmitted from 1960 to 1962 entitled “The Danger Man Theme”, and a new theme for the 60 minute series (1964–68) entitled “High Wire”. Astley was asked to write music for The Prisoner, but had to withdraw because he felt that he would be unable to create Patrick McGoohan’s vision for the score — due to McGoohan being too busy to hold meetings with him.

However, Astley showed his diversity by writing the music for Sir Kenneth Clark’s BBC documentary series Civilisation (1969), and scoring several British Transport Films including Diesel Train Ride (1959), Broad Waterways (1959/60) and The Signal Engineers (1962).

In 1997 Astley found himself at number five on the pop charts as composer of “The Saint”, 33 years after he wrote it, which had been revived by Orbital for the new Saint movie. His last work was a 1998 symphonic interpretation of Who music called Who’s Serious: The Symphonic Music of the Who, which followed 1995’s Symphonic Music of the Rolling Stones.

Recordings

Astley’s actual recorded output is quite sparse, consisting of a few singles and albums of the music from The Saint and Danger Man. These were only available in the United States until 1997 when he arranged for CDs to be issued in the UK, where the albums were expensive collectors’ items. Other recordings included the soundtrack for International Detective, a few library records which were only semi-official and a series of albums made by the London Symphony Orchestra which featured his work.

Recently the complete recordings of the score to Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was released by Network DVD in the UK. The three disc box-set featured over two hundred recorded music cues from the series, and a book detailing the music production.

In 1977, Astley wrote the orchestral score for Street in the City, a song contained in the Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane’s album Rough Mix.

Death and legacy

Astley retired in the late 1970s, and died in 1998.

Although Astley’s themes had introduced a number of highly popular television shows, recognition of his death was limited to brief obituaries in The Times and The Independent. However, tributes later appeared on television and in print.

In 2001 Jools Holland presented a television tribute called Astley’s Way. Holland had recorded the Danger Man theme earlier, and he appeared with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra to play “High Wire”, plus various other themes and incidental music composed by Astley. The documentary also included interviews with his widow, son Jon, daughter Virginia and son-in-law Pete Townshend.

The Autumn 2005 edition of Action TV provided a twelve-page feature on Astley, including an interview, photos, a discography and a filmography.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Joan Rigby (Singer) 1930-2015

Born 13 May 1930
Died 24 May 2015
Aged 85

Joan Rigby publicity photo

Joan Rigby (nee Plant) was born in Warrington.

WELL known local singer Joan Rigby, or Joan Plant, as she was known to thousands of Warringtonians, who danced to the big band music of The Wilf Rigby Orchestra in the 1950s-1960s, died in Warrington Hospital, aged 85, after collapsing at her home in Padgate Lane.

A former employee of Hancock and Wood, Joan successfully auditioned to become the vocalist in the Wilf Rigby Orchestra, which won numerous Melody Maker Big Band awards. She was a well known favourite of courting couples at all the local dance halls, namely The Parr Hall, Fletchers, The Baths, Mersey View and of course the American Air base at Burtonwood, captivating GIs and fans with her singing of romantic songs.

Joan married band leader Wilf in 1959 and had four sons, Paul, Mark, John and Simon.  When the big band music made way for Skiffle, Rock and the Disc Jockeys, Joan continued singing with local choirs including Crosfield Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society.

Even when her singing days were over her enthusiasm for music remained by regularly attending Big Band and Jazz performances.

Joan, who died during the early hours of Sunday, is survived by three sons, a granddaughter and six grandsons.

Her funeral was held at St. Wilfrid’s Church Grappenhall on 8 June 2015.

Report from Gary Skentlebery at Warrington Worldwide

Edna Savage (Singer) 1936-2000

Born 21 Apr 1936
Died 31 Dec 2000
Aged 64

Edna Savage was a pop singer in the UK.

Edna Savage was born 21 April 1936 in Broadbent Avenue, Latchford, Warrington, and went to Richard Fairclough Secondary School. She was a singer in the 1950s, and always told her fellow pupils she was going to be a star.

She had two sisters, both older. Her father was a landscape gardener, her mother an amateur singer. She left school at age 15 (common in the UK in those days). At first she trained as a telephone operator, but after a few bands had her sing for them locally, she quit the telephone job to sing professionally.

She appeared at various venues around the town, including Bell Hall, the Liberal Club, Parr Hall and the Ritz Cinema before being catapulted into fame.

Her trademark choker was a piece of velvet ribbon with a brooch. Warrington bandleader, Eric Pepperall, was her mentor who pointed her in the right direction for recording success. She sang alongside the up and coming talent Glen Mason on TV. 

She auditioned twice for the BBC before making her first broadcast, in 1954. She recorded a number of records, only one of which charted, “Arrivederci Darling” in 1956, which made it to No. 19 in the UK Singles Chart In 1957 she participated in the UK qualifying heat for the Eurovision Song Contest. In addition to being briefly married to fellow singer Terry Dene,

Savage married three more times.

She died in Ormskirk hospital on 31 December 2000 at the age of 64.

Barbara Law (Singer) 1940s-

Born 1940s

Barbara Law (born 1940s in Warrington) is a singer and a great friend of the late Edna Savage and attended the same school as her, Richard Fairclough Secondary School. She performed in many TV and radio shows on the BBC in the north from the late 1950s to the 1990s, as well as making many records. In June 1957 she crowned Hazel Jones as the Lymm May Queen. In 1959 she appeared as herself in David Croft’s One O’clock Show for Tyne Tees Television in northeast England. The show was on five days a week and ran for 1098 episodes between 1959 and 1964. She has also won the Tyne Tees Television personality of the year award.

She was selected by the BBC in London to represent Great Britain in the ‘Nord Ring Song Festivals’, which resulted in her broadcasting with many European orchestras. In 1980 she sang a song called New Town on the Fanfare record label. The B-side was called We Remember Warrington and featured various people from the town, along with Warrington Youth Band. She made a special Christmas appearance at Ryfields Retirement Village at the end of 2008 where she gave a cabaret performance to the residents. She now lives in Tenerife, the largest of the seven Canary Islands near Spain.

Ian Brown (Singer and Musician) 1963-

Born 20 Feb 1963

Ian George Brown (born 20 February 1963) is an English singer and multi-instrumentalist. He was the lead singer of the rock band The Stone Roses from their formation in 1983. Following the split in 1996, he began a solo career, releasing seven studio albums, a greatest hits compilation, a remix album, an 11-disc box set titled Collection, and 19 singles. He has performed solo shows in 45 countries. He returned to singing for the Stone Roses in 2011, although this did not spell the end of his solo endeavours, releasing First world Problems through Virgin/EMI Records on 25 October 2018. He had a cameo appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Personal life

Brown was born in Warrington in 1963 and grew up on Forster Street, Orford until the age of about six. His father, George, was a joiner, and his mother, Jeane, worked as a receptionist in a paper factory. He then moved with his family, including a brother (Graham) and sister (Sharon) to Sylvan Avenue in Timperley, Altrincham. He attended Park Road County Primary Infant and Junior School and then Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, leaving aged 16. In 2015 and 2017, he testified against a former teacher at Altrincham Grammar, Fred Talbot, who was found guilty of sexually abusing pupils in the 1970s.

Brown’s interest in music was inspired by the punk movement, specifically the bands Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Manchester-based Slaughter & the Dogs. Brown and original Stone Roses bassist Pete Garner attended the recording of the Clash single “Bankrobber” in Manchester.

Brown was married to Fabiola Quiroz, a model from Mexico. They divorced in 2011. He has three children, one with Quiroz, the other two from a previous relationship.

Brown is a lifelong supporter of Manchester United and is a season ticket holder. For the 2005-06 season, Brown was the shirt sponsor of London Commercial Division football team Chiswick Homefields, the players wearing an “IB – The Greatest” logo on their chests.

The Stone Roses

Brown’s music career began in 1980, playing bass guitar in a band with John Squire and Simon Wolstencroft. They eventually became the Patrol, with Andy Couzens on vocals. The band soon split up, with Brown selling his bass to buy a scooter. Brown moved to Hulme and attended Northern soul “all-nighters” across Northern England in the early 1980s as the scene faded. Around this time, Brown met soul legend Geno Washington, who told him, “You should be a star.” In 1983, Brown joined the Waterfront, the band that would evolve into the Stone Roses, as co-vocalist.

The Stone Roses rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their debut album voted the best British album of all time in 2004. The band’s second album, Second Coming, received a mixed reaction, and after several changes of line-up, the band split up in October 1996.

On 17 October 2011, Brown alluded to a Stone Roses reunion via text message, saying, “We are going to rule the world again. It’s happening.” On the following day, a reunion was announced for the band with performances planned for June 2012 in Manchester. In a press conference interview, the members of the Stone Roses have said that a new album is planned.

On 2 December 2011, Ian Brown and John Squire performed together live for the first time since 1995. They joined Mick Jones from The Clash, The Farm, and Pete Wylie at the Manchester Ritz in a concert in aid of the Justice for Hillsborough campaign. They performed “Elizabeth My Dear” as a duo before being joined by Mick Jones and The Farm for renditions of the Clash’s “Bankrobber” and “Armagideon Time”, with Ian Brown taking on lead vocals for the three songs.

The Stone Roses reunited in 2011 and went on a reunion tour in 2012. They continued to tour until 2017 when the band disbanded for a second time.

Solo career

After a break from music in Morocco, Brown established his solo career with the debut solo single “My Star”, which was released in the UK on 12 January 1998. The debut album Unfinished Monkey Business followed on 2 February 1998. The album was produced and financed by Brown and featured ex-Roses members Mani, Nigel Ipinson, Aziz Ibrahim, and Robbie Maddix. The album sold over 300,000 copies.

Brown toured in summer 1998 with a band that included Aziz Ibrahim (guitar), Inder “Goldfinger” Matharu (tabla/percussion), Simon Moore (drums), and Sylvan Richardson (bass), including performances at the Glastonbury Festival and the V Festival.

His second album, Golden Greats, was released by Polydor Records in 1999. It featured more electronic instrumentation and earned critical acclaim. For his third studio album, Music of the Spheres, Brown sought outside production help for the first time, hiring the services of songwriter and producer Dave McCracken, who would go on to become a regular collaborator. He toured the US for the first time as a solo artist in support of the album.

Brown’s fourth solo album, Solarized, was released in the UK on 13 September 2004 and was the first to be released under the revived Polydor imprint Fiction Records. When his new Fiction A&R Jim Chancellor was asked in HitQuarters what contribution he makes to Brown’s records, he said, “There’s not as much to do. Ian is very much the master of his own records.”

Since the break-up of the Stone Roses in 1996, Brown has released six solo albums and fourteen UK Top 40 singles. He has sold out seven UK tours and appeared three times at the Glastonbury Festival, including headlining the Other Stage in 2005. He has appeared five times at V Festival since 1998, along with regular appearances at the T in the Park and Oxegen festivals, and played the Move festival in 2002 at Old Trafford Cricket Ground as well as two tours of Australia in 2006 and 2008.

At the 2006 NME awards, Brown was presented with the “Godlike Genius” award and in 2007, was given the Q “Legend” Award.

In September 2007, Brown released his fifth studio album, The World Is Yours. The album represented a more political approach in his music, particularly the anti-war track “Illegal Attacks”, which featured Sinéad O’Connor. The album also featured former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, Paul Ryder of Happy Mondays, and Steve Jones and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols.

My Way, his sixth solo album, was released in September 2009. It was recorded at London’s Battery Studios with producer Dave McCracken; the first single, “Stellify”, was released 21 September 2009. Brown played Manchester Arena for the 3rd time in December 2009 and in 2010, made his 3rd appearance in Moscow and 2nd in Beijing, China. Since turning solo in 1998, Brown has played shows in 45 countries.

Brown has collaborated several times with UNKLE, appearing on “Be There” in 1999 and on “Reign” on the 2003 album Never, Never, Land, which was also released as a single.

On 25 October 2018, he released his first solo material in nine years with the single “First World Problems”. His seventh studio album, Ripples, was then released on 1 February 2019.

On 18 September 2020, Brown announced the release of new song “Little Seed, Big Tree” through his Twitter account. The song appears to refer to the COVID-19 pandemic, and express anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine sentiment. Brown later complained that it was taken off Spotify. A Spotify spokesman stated that the platform “prohibits content on the platform which promotes dangerous false, deceptive, or misleading content about COVID-19”.

Film and television

Brown had a cameo role in the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as a wizard magically stirring his drink while reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time at the Leaky Cauldron. In 2010, Brown had a cameo role as a police officer in Shane Meadow’s series This is England ’86 based on the film of This is England.

Edited information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Kerry Katona (Singer and Presenter) 1980-

Born 6 Sep 1980

Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona is a British 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.

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 was runner-up of Celebrity Big Brother 8 in 2011. In November 2012 Katona confirmed she had re-joined Atomic Kitten, replacing Jenny Frost. In 2021 she competed in the third series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Early life

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

Career highlights

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 number 10 on the UK Singles Chart. Their second single, “See Ya”, followed in March 2000 and was an even bigger success, reaching number six. Following this initial success, Atomic Kitten performed an Asian tour and scored their first number one 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.

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. 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.

Between 2007 and 2009, Katona was the subject of three MTV reality shows: Kerry Katona: Crazy in LoveKerry 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.

Other projects

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

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 LoveThe 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, a Warrington-based charity which helps children with life-threatening conditions and their families.

I have a claim to fame on Kerry – my mum in her younger days had her hair styled by Kerry’s grandmother!

Some information retrieved from Wikipedia.