Michelle Heaton: Hero or Villain?
Sunday 21 October 2012
Life in the public eye has not always been easy on Michelle Heaton. She first hoved into view in 2001 as a gobby Geordie who lost out on the chance to be in mega-group (ahem) Hear'Say.
Yet she picked herself up and, with four other rejected Popstars candidates, formed Liberty X. That wasn't so bad; what was, was that Heaton was clearly the least accomplished singer in the group, which meant that all she got to do was breathe heavily and whisper, "I like it when you do it like that."
By the time the Xers split in 2007, she was as famous for being papped as for anything that came out of her mouth, and shots of her in various states of undress frequently decorated the tabloids.
Offering herself up as a guinea pig for a documentary on binge-drinking, she ended up with heart palpitations; but worse was to come in her nascent TV career, as she entered the Big Brother house then became a guest interviewer on the irredeemable OK! TV.
Yet she came through it all with a smile. It is an attitude the 33-year-old will need over the coming months after revealing last week that she has been diagnosed with a mutated gene called BRCA2, giving her an 80 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and 30 per cent chance of ovarian cancer. This has led her to the decision to have a preventative double mastectomy and hysterectomy – brave for anyone; not least someone whose career has placed so much focus on physical appearance.
Heaton admitted that she was asked by doctors whether she would like to be tested after her father was found to have the faulty gene three years ago, but declined. "I didn't really know what the issues were," she said. "Now I know knowledge is power, but at the time, my attitude was that ignorance was bliss."
By making her revelation, painful as it clearly was, Heaton is doing her utmost to ensure others – faulty versions of the BRCA genes affect between 2,000 and 3,000 breast-cancer patients a year – do not make the same error.
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 3 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 4 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 5 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
Greece debt crisis: Athens has one day to find €1.6bn
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...