Belfast Telegraph

Megan McKenna: From reality TV regular to X Factor star

The Barking-born singer, 27, found fame on a string of reality shows.

Megan McKenna was crowned the first winner of X Factor: Celebrity (Matt Crossick/PA)
Megan McKenna was crowned the first winner of X Factor: Celebrity (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

The road from reality television star to bona fide recording artist was not always a smooth one for Megan McKenna.

The X Factor: Celebrity winner beat off competition from three other finalists on Saturday night, claiming the prize of a recording contract.

The 27-year-old was born in Barking, east London, and in her autobiography – titled Mouthy – she revealed that she was bullied at school.

McKenna appeared in a raft of TV shows including Ex On The Beach, Celebrity Big Brother and Celebs Go Dating.

But it was her stint on The Only Way Is Essex that cemented her position in the public consciousness.

She has often found herself at the centre of controversy.

During her time in the Celebrity Big Brother house, she received a formal warning for using aggressive and threatening behaviour towards her housemates.

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Megan McKenna and Pete Wicks (Matt Crossick/PA)

McKenna has been linked with both Towie star Pete Wicks and former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, who was found dead in March this year.

McKenna has often spoken of how she dreamed of pursuing a career in music before finding success on Towie.

She cited country music star Dolly Parton as her musical hero.

McKenna attended theatre school as a teenager before appearing on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, where she reached the semi-finals as part of the duo Harmony.

After taking time off from filming Towie, she began to refocus her energy on music, reaching number 43 in the UK singles chart with her debut single High Heeled Shoes.

She performed one of her biggest gigs to date at the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park in 2018, supporting Michael Buble.

And in 2019 she was announced as one of the 15 celebrities taking part in Simon Cowell’s spin-off show X Factor: Celebrity.

PA

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