Reality TV star and tabloid regular Kerry Katona is heading to Sunderland. Katy Wheeler speaks to her about her new autobiography and a chance to win a signed copy.
SHE’S still standing – and she’s baring all in Sunderland.
Controversial Kerry Katona is heading to Wearside on Sunday to sign copies of her new autobiography Still Standing, which touches on the darkest moments of her life while celebrating the fact that she’s come out the other side a self-confessed stronger person.
Though the mum-of-four’s life has been shared with the public via acres of tabloid column inches and reality TV shows, she says this is her chance to put the record straight.
Speaking to her, she is as unabashed and honest as you would expect her to be and is ebullient at releasing a second autobiography.
The book follows on from her first autobiography, Too Much Too Young, but the media celebrity says so much has happened in her life since then that it warranted a second bite of the literary cherry.
“The first book was more about my childhood, my upbringing and my marriage to Brian (former Westlife and Kerry’s first husband, Brian Mcfadden),” she said.
“It’s six years since then and I’ve been through so much including bankruptcy, armed robbery and divorce.
“There are so many articles and stories that are written about me and I wanted to put it straight, now is the time to get my side across.
“I’ve been clean for three years and there are people out there who have the same problems.
“But there aren’t many people who talk about their failings and addictions because they are embarrassed. I want them to think ‘if Kerry Katona can get through it then so can I.’ I want to be an inspiration.”
Of course Kerry’s life is atypical of a “normal” 32-year-old’s: over the years she’s faced a run of crises spanning infidelity, embezzlement, kidnap, bankruptcy and even armed robbery.
Love her or hate her, hardly a week’s gone by without Kerry hitting the headlines – from accusations of drug abuse, plastic surgery and infidelity to “that” episode on This Morning when she slurred her words throughout an interview. They are subjects which proved therapeutic to talk about, as she explains: “I had the book read back to me and it was awful to think that’s me.
“It was so dark and there are things in there that I’m embarrassed about, but no one has a perfect life.
“The thing about me is that I’m honest. I’ve been through s**t, but I’m not pretending to be something I’m not; that life is all sunshine.”
Kerry will be signing copies of Still Standing at WH Smith in Market Square from noon on Sunday and she says she’s looking forward to meeting her Wearside fans.
“I get asked all the time why people have so much interest in my life and I haven’t got a clue,” she said.
“Maybe it’s because I’m an ordinary girl, I don’t think I’m a celebrity, I’m just an ordinary girl doing an extraordinary job.
“I always get a good response from the public, especially the old dears. They always say they’re glad I’m feeling better.
“People also come up to me and talk about depression. At signings, people are really friendly, they seem to understand and empathise, I think that’s because I wear my heart on my sleeve.”
Though Kerry remained tight-lipped about rejoining Atomic Kitten, she said she’s looking forward to forthcoming projects.
“Life is good at the minute,” she said. “I’m sure there will be bumps along the way. I have four kids so I’m sure there will be dramas, but that’s life.
“When there are bumps I will deal with it.”
* We have a signed copy of Still Standing to give away.
To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: What is the name of Kerry’s first husband?
Send your answer with your details and address to Katy.Wheeler@northeast-press.co.uk. Closing date: December 6.