She sang for the Pope, was bossed by Simon Cowell and partied with Elton John. It’s fair to say that Michelle McManus has enjoyed a varied career.
The 34-year-old became one of the most recognisable faces in the country when she won the second series of the reality television singing contest ‘Pop Idol’ in 2003.
While her singing career stuttered, Michelle successfully reinvented herself as a presenter and media personality. Now, she’s looking back at a whirlwind decade in a humorous new live show that visits The Dobbie Hall in Larbert on Saturday, July 19, as part of the Funny in Falkirk comedy festival.
The feel-good show mixes hilarious showbiz anecdotes with renditions of popular West End songs - or as Michelle puts it, all the numbers that she never got to perform elsewhere.
It’s a self-deprecating tale of how a girl from Baillieston suddenly found herself rubbing shoulders with music’s A-list.
“All the stories are true,” she said. “I’m not trying to be a stand-up comedian. I couldn’t make up jokes.
“I talk a lot about my weight, working with Simon Cowell and spending a year with (celebrity nutritionist) Gillian McKeith - so there’s a lot to laugh about.
“I was sitting in a gay bar in Edinburgh with some friends - that’s how I seem to spend my life, sitting in gay bars - and the owner suggested I should do a show in the basement during the Fringe.
“The first night we got a five-star review and the run quickly sold out. It was a small venue so not a lot of people saw it, so I wanted to bring it back this year.”
Michelle says she has no regrets about appearing on ‘Pop Idol’, which was the forerunner to ‘The X Factor’.
“We had no expectations,” she said. “It was a different show to X Factor. I expected to return to work after it.
“I know that I wouldn’t have had the career of Leona Lewis or One Direction. But honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve had the best 11 years of my life and I would do it all again.”
The Falkirk Herald has one pair of tickets to Michelle’s new show at The Dobbie Hall on Saturday, July 19, to give away to one lucky reader.
To enter, simply answer the following question: In which town was Michelle raised?
Send your answer - along with your name, address and daytime contact number - to email@example.com or by post to The Falkirk Herald, Unit 4A, Gateway Business Park, Grangemouth, FK3 8WX by noon on Tuesday, June 17. Usual Herald terms and conitions apply.