Martine McCutcheon

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Martine McCutcheon
Born Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting
(1976-05-14) 14 May 1976 (age 41)
Hackney, London, England, United Kingdom
Nationality English
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Jack McManus (m. 2012)
Children 1
Musical career
Genres Pop
Years active 1992–2002, 2017–present
Labels Innocent, Virgin, Liberty, BMG

Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting (born 14 May 1976), known professionally as Martine McCutcheon, is an English singer, television personality and actress. McCutcheon's first television role was the part of Mandy in the TV show Bluebirds in 1989. She also had minor success as one third of the pop group Milan in the early 1990s, but it was her role as Tiffany Mitchell in the BBC's EastEnders that she is best remembered for, as well has her role in the 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually. For the former she has won the 1997 National Television Award, whilst for the latter she received the 2004 Empire Award and the 2004 MTV Movie Award. She was written out of EastEnders at the end of 1998 to embark on a pop career, this time as a solo artist.

McCutcheon's debut studio album You Me & Us (1999) peaked at number 2 in the UK, was certified platinum and spawned the UK number 1 single "Perfect Moment" and two other top 10 hits. Her second studio album, Wishing (2000), was less successful, peaking at number 25, however produced two top 10 singles and was certified gold. Her pop career stalled due to the poor reception of her third album, Musicality in 2002, which only reached number 55 in the UK and received silver certification. She has since appeared in various television programmes, in films such as Love Actually as Natalie, and on stage in My Fair Lady, where her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle won her a Laurence Olivier Award in 2002. She released her autobiography, Who Does She Think She Is? in 2000. In 2016, she joined the ITV daytime show Loose Women as a regular panellist. The following year, she returned to music with the album Lost and Found.

Early life[edit]

McCutcheon was born Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting[1] at the Salvation Army Mothers' Hospital in Hackney, London, when her mother, Jenny Tomlin, was 19.

At the age of 10, Martine took her stepfather's surname when her mother met and married window cleaner John McCutcheon. Martine McCutcheon has a younger half-brother LJ.


Early career[edit]

At the age of 12, McCutcheon obtained her first acting role and was paid £350 to appear in an American television commercial for the drink Kool-Aid, which was followed by modelling assignments and bit parts in TV shows.[2] She was given the part of Mandy in the TV series Bluebirds (1989) alongside Barbara Windsor, and also made two guest appearances on the ITV police drama The Bill in 1991 and 1992, respectively. Moreover, she appeared in the music video for the song "Caribbean Blue" by Irish singer Enya. By the time she was 15, she was part of an all-girl group, Milan, with two fellow pupils and landed a record contract and a gig touring as the warm-up act for the British boyband, East 17. Milan were reasonably successful, they entered the dance charts three times, but not successful enough to make a living and they disbanded.[2]


In 1994, while working as a shopgirl at Knickerbox, McCutcheon was offered the role of Tiffany Raymond on the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders. McCutcheon took inspiration and advice from her mother on how to play the part.[2] The role of Tiffany grew, as did McCutcheon's popularity, and 22 million viewers tuned in to see her final scenes in Albert Square in 1998 when her character was killed off in a special episode screened on New Year's Eve.[3] For her portrayal of the character she received the 1997 National Television Award for Most Popular Actress and the 1998 TV Quick Award for Best Actress.[4]

Pop career[edit]

McCutcheon's first appearance on the charts occurred in 1995 on a minor dance song "Are You Man Enough" with the dance producers Uno Clio. A promotional video was also produced. In 1999, McCutcheon debuted as a solo pop artist with Virgin Records and scored a number 1 on the UK Singles Chart with the ballad "Perfect Moment" (originally recorded by Edyta Górniak in 1997). That same year she had two more top 10 entries, reaching number 6 with two singles: "I've Got You" and later with "Talking in Your Sleep", which featured the double A-side "Love Me", an album track that was re-recorded for the Children in Need appeal with all proceeds being donated to that cause. All three singles were taken from her debut album, You Me & Us, which peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

In 2000, McCutcheon released her second album, Wishing, which was less successful, charting at number 25 in the UK. The album spawned two singles – the number 2 hit "I'm Over You" and the follow up song, a cover of the Donna Summer classic "On the Radio" which peaked at number 7. Despite peaking at only number 25, the album still managed to sell around 250,000 copies and received a gold certification from BPI. McCutcheon released her third album, Musicality, a Broadway influenced cover album, in 2002. It reached number 55 in the UK and was certified silver by BPI, however her pop career stalled when, due to poor sales, her recording contract was cancelled.[2] Her 2CD best-of-album called The Collection was released in September 2012.[5]

McCutcheon returned to music in 2017 with her fourth studio album, Lost and Found, released in August by BMG. Its lead single, "Say I'm Not Alone" was premiered on 30 May 2017.[6]

Film, stage and television[edit]

McCutcheon appeared in ITV's The Knock as well as the British film Kiss Kiss in 2000. She went on to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady at the National Theatre in London. Despite missing many performances (citing health problems) and withdrawing nearly five months early from the production's transfer to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane,[7] she won Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical at the 2002 ceremony.

In 2002, McCutcheon presented the National Music Awards for ITV1 and in 2003 she featured in her only major film role. She appeared as tea-lady Natalie in the Richard Curtis romantic comedy Love Actually, where the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) falls in love with McCutcheon's character. The film received good reviews and was a box office success. McCutcheon went to America in the wake of the film's success, but a Hollywood career did not materialise. She did however, win MTV Movie Award for Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer. She also won the Empire Award for Best Newcomer at the awards' 2004 ceremony.

In September 2005, she appeared in two episodes of hit BBC drama series Spooks. Screened on the UK television station ITV1 in December 2005, McCutcheon appeared in The English Harem, playing a woman in love with a Muslim man (Art Malik), who marries him despite knowing he already has two wives. That same year she presented and performed on ITV's entertainment programme, Moviemusic Mania. In 2007, McCutcheon was seen in two independent films, Withdrawal opposite Patrick Swayze and Jump!, as well as the Agatha Christie's Marple television series episode "At Bertram's Hotel". She was also a judge in the second series of ITV1's Soapstar Superstar. Her appearance on the show drew criticism, with reports alleging that she was becoming a hate figure for the contestants, who were said to have found her comments relentlessly critical and at times patronising.[8] She performed in an Art Plus fundraising event at the Whitechapel Art Gallery opposite Natalie Press, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans and in January 2008 she starred alongside actor Jason Donovan, in the ITV soap Echo Beach as character Susan Penwarden.[9]

In September 2016, McCutcheon was announced as a regular panellist on the ITV daytime show Loose Women, after making few guest appearances on the show earlier in the year.[10]

Other work[edit]

McCutcheon released her autobiography, Who Does She Think She Is? in 2000, and in 2003 Martine McCutcheon: Behind the Scenes – A Personal Diary, was published by HarperCollins. McCutcheon was one of many celebrities that featured in a promotional film for London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, in 2004. A fitness DVD, Martine McCutcheon: Dance Body, was released in December 2005.

In August 2006, the supermarket chain, Tesco, announced that they would be using McCutcheon in a series of adverts to promote a new green scheme for recycling used plastic carrier bags.[11] In 2009, she had her first novel, The Mistress, published by Pan MacMillan.[12] In January 2010, she became the face on Danone's UK advertising campaign for its Activia yogurt brand.[13]

Personal life[edit]

McCutcheon was engaged to DJ Gareth Cooke, but broke off the relationship in 1996.[14] She married singer Jack McManus[15] at Lake Como in September 2012.[16] The couple had been dating since 2009.[17] On 4 February 2015, McCutcheon gave birth to a son, Rafferty Jack McManus.[18]

In July 2014, she was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Bolton for her services to entertainment.[19]


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Martine McCutcheon: This Is My Moment Herself TV movie documentary
2001 Kiss Kiss Mia
2002 Martine Herself TV movie
2003 Love Actually Natalie 2004 Empire Award for Best Newcomer
2004 MTV Movie Award for Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer
2005 The English Harem Tracy Pringle TV movie
2006 Withdrawal Bonnie Short
2008 Jump! Liuba Halsman
2013 The Home Office Jane TV movie
2017 Red Nose Day Actually Natalie Television short film
Year Title Role Notes
1989 Bluebirds Mandy 6 episodes
1991 The Bill Paper Girls Season 7, Episode 53 "Skeletons"
1992 Amanda Jones Season 8, Episode 57 "A Scandalous Act"
1995–1998 EastEnders Tiffany Mitchell 364 episodes
1997 National Television Award for Most Popular Actress
1998 TV Quick Award for Best Actress[4]
Nominated—1999 British Soap Award for Best Exit
2000 The Knock Jenny Foster Season 5, Episode 2
2005 Spooks Tash Season 4, 2 episodes (uncredited)
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple Jane Cooper Season 3, Episode 1 "At Bertram's Hotel"
Soapstar Superstar Herself/Judge Series 2
2008 Echo Beach Susan Penwarden Season 1, 12 episodes
Moving Wallpaper Herself Season 1, 4 episodes (uncredited)
Moving Wallpaper: The Mole Herself Short, Season 1, 2 episodes (uncredited)
2012 Let's Get Gold Herself/Judge
2013 Midsomer Murders Debbie Moffett Season 15, Episode 6 "Schooled in Murder"
2016–present Loose Women Herself/Panellist Since series 21
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Martine McCutcheon: Dance Body Herself Fitness DVD


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
You Me & Us
  • Released: 6 September 1999
  • Label: Innocent, Virgin
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Released: 13 November 2000
  • Label: Innocent, Virgin
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Released: 2 December 2002
  • Label: Liberty
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Lost and Found
  • Released: 11 August 2017
  • Label: BMG
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details
The Collection[5]
  • Released: 18 September 2012
  • Label: Music Club Deluxe
  • Formats: CD, digital download


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Perfect Moment" 1999 1 10 100 3 You Me & Us
"I've Got You" 6 30 17
"Talking in Your Sleep"/"Love Me" 6 31 26
"I'm Over You" 2000 2 12 23 Wishing
"On the Radio" 2001 7 32 18
"Say I'm Not Alone" 2017 Lost and Found
"Any Sign of Life"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Are You Man Enough"
(Uno Clio featuring Martine McCutcheon)
1995 62 Non-album single

Other appearances[edit]

Title Year Album
"Mamma Mia" 1999 ABBAmania
"I Could Have Danced All Night" 2001 My Fair Lady (2001 London Cast Recording)


  1. ^ "Martine McCutcheon declared bankrupt". BBC News Online. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. petitioned in her given name – Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting 
  2. ^ a b c d Hattenstone, Simon (15 November 2003). "It's got to be perfect". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Martine McCutcheon: By George she's got it", BBC. URL last Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  4. ^ a b "EastEnders cleans up". BBC News. 3 September 1998. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Collection". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  6. ^ White, Jack (30 May 2017). "Martine McCutcheon releases new single Say I'm Not Alone and announces comeback album Lost and Found". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, Nigel (3 November 2001). "McCutcheon quits show over fears for her voice". London, UK: Telegraph. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Martine a "hate figure" for soap singers", Digital Spy; retrieved 17 January 2007.
  9. ^ 'Echo Beach' and 'Moving Wallpaper' lineup revealed
  10. ^ "Three new Loose Women revealed!". Hello!. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "Martine in Tesco advert Archived 30 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine.", Tesco. URL last Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  12. ^ The Mistress Archived 5 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed 4 July 2015.
  13. ^ "2010 is officially the Year of TLC – Tummy Loving Care.". Activia promotion. Danone Plc. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "MARTINE MCCUTCHEON ON WHY SHE'S NOT GIVEN UP ON ROMANCE", The People. URL last Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  15. ^ Sarah Bull (14 April 2011). "Martine McCutcheon insists she is proud to be a role model for real women". London, UK: Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Martine McCutcheon marries Jack McManus,; accessed 4 July 2015.
  17. ^ "A piece of my mind: Martine McCutcheon". The Herald. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  18. ^ "Martine McCutcheon and Jack McManus welcome baby son". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Former Eastenders star Martine McCutcheon and former Bolton Wanderers star Chris Eagles get honorary degrees from University of Bolton". The Bolton News. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c "Martine McCutcheon". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "Certified Awards" (Enter the keywords "Martine McCutcheon", select search by Artist, tick the "Exact match" box and click search). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 563. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  23. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in Germany:
  24. ^ "Enter the keywords "Martine Mc Cutcheon" in the "Search by Artist" section and click search". The Irish Charts. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 

External links[edit]