Michelle McManus

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Michelle McManus
Background information
Born (1980-05-08) 8 May 1980 (age 39)
OriginGlasgow, Scotland
GenresPop, dance, R&B, electropop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, columnist, former television host, actress and radio DJ
Years active2003–current
LabelsSony BMG (2003–2005)
McManni Records (2007–present)[1]
WebsiteOfficial website

Michelle McManus (born 8 May 1980[2]) is a Scottish singer, columnist, occasional television presenter, radio DJ and actress, who is best remembered as the winner of the second and final series of UK talent show Pop Idol in 2003.

McManus's debut single, "All This Time", entered the UK Singles Chart at number one in January 2004. Her only album to date, The Meaning of Love, was released in February 2004 and debuted at number three on the UK Albums Chart. Later that year, BMG dropped McManus from the label and she has not been signed by any other record labels to date.

In 2009-11, McManus was co-presenter of STV's lifestyle magazine show The Hour, originally alongside Stephen Jardine and, later, Tam Cowan. She is also a columnist for the Glasgow Evening Times. In 2018, McManus joined the Loose Women panel as a guest panelist.[3]

Early life[edit]

Michelle McManus was born in 1980 in Queen Mother's Maternity Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland to John and Helen McManus,[4][failed verification][5][failed verification] and is the oldest of five sisters. Before auditioning for Pop Idol, McManus lived in the Glasgow district of Baillieston, to the east of city with her parents and sisters.[5]


2003: Pop Idol[edit]

In early 2003, McManus auditioned for the second season of Pop Idol, along with thousands of other aspiring singers from around the UK. Of the four judges, Pete Waterman in particular was critical as to whether she could make a career in the music industry, mainly due to her fuller figure appearance. However, she was the favourite of Simon Cowell, and after being put through to the semi-final stages, the public voted McManus into the top twelve, though she entered the finals as the bookmaker's rank-outsider. Throughout the finals, McManus was in the bottom 3 only once, and on 20 December 2003, she was declared the winner of Pop Idol.[6]

Performances on Pop Idol[edit]

Week Theme Song Original artist Result
Top 12 Your pop idol "All by Myself" Eric Carmen Safe
Top 10 Birthyear songs "On the Radio" Donna Summer Safe
Top 8 Elton John songs "Your Song" Elton John Bottom 3
Top 7 Disco "If I Can't Have You" Yvonne Elliman Safe
Top 6 The Beatles "Hey Jude" The Beatles Safe
Top 5 Big band "Feeling Good" Nina Simone Safe
Top 4 Christmas songs "Merry Christmas Everyone" Shakin' Stevens Safe
"Oh Holy Night" Unknown
Top 3 Judges' choice "I Say a Little Prayer" Aretha Franklin Safe
"Without You" Harry Nilsson
Final Contestant's choice "On the Radio" Donna Summer Winner
B-side "The Meaning of Love" Unknown
Winner's single "All This Time" Michelle McManus


When McManus won the competition, judge Pete Waterman stormed off the Pop Idol set in protest; he later branded her "rubbish".[7] Louis Walsh, a judge of sister show Popstars: The Rivals, was bewildered by McManus's victory, and lamented that "we have to give her, her 15 minutes [of fame]."[8]

Scotsman reporter Fiona Shepherd said of the win: "McManus's victory was not some triumph of talent over image - the very opposite, in fact... If she was a modelesque girl with as unremarkable a voice, the voting public would not have cared."[9] George Tyndale in the Sunday Mercury expressed similar sentiments, arguing that McManus won because of the "fat vote". He disapproved of her professed satisfaction with her weight as well as her elevation to celebrity status, writing: "The harm this has done is incalculable. Lives may, quite literally, be at stake."[10]

Daily Telegraph journalist Viktoria Tolstoy said McManus's victory "seemed to suggest that the pool of talent available to the judges is seriously diminishing".[11] An Entertainment.ie critic labelled McManus the weakest winner of the Pop Idol series and wrote that she made fellow reality television music competition winners Will Young and Alex Parks "look like worldbeaters by comparison".[12]

2003–05: The Meaning of Love[edit]

Following her win on the second season of Pop Idol, McManus was signed to the Sony BMG record label, and going under the single name Michelle, her debut single "All This Time" was released between late 2003 and early 2004. The song went straight to number one on the UK Singles Chart, and stayed there for three weeks;[13] it spent eleven weeks inside the UK Top 100.[14] McManus is the first Scottish female to debut at the top of the UK Singles Chart.[15] In Ireland, the song debuted at Number 5 before rising to 2.[16] Her debut album The Meaning of Love, was released on 16 February 2004 and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart,[17] number one on the Scottish Albums Chart,[18] and number 64 on the Irish Albums Chart.[19] It went on to receive a gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry for sales of over 100,000 in the UK.[20] The title track of the album was released as the second single, however it stalled at number sixteen on the UK chart[21] and Number 29 in Ireland,[22] while reaching number seven on the Scottish Singles Chart.[23] As a result of disappointing record sales, McManus was dropped by her label.[24]

On 22 June 2005, McManus appeared on a 60-minute television special of You Are What You Eat with the author and TV personality Gillian McKeith in a bid to lose weight. A follow-up was broadcast on 13 December 2005, which profiled McManus and her weight loss since the last programme. McManus released a book in December 2005 entitled You Are What You Eat: Michelle's Diary. The book documented her journey from winning Pop Idol to appearing on You Are What You Eat, with particular reference to her weight issues and subsequent slimming.[25] Further to this, in December 2006 McManus released a DVD called The Life Plan, a guide to healthy living, exercise and eating.[26]

In September 2005, McManus appeared in an episode of the BBC One holiday magazine programme Departure Lounge.[27] In July 2005 it was announced that McManus had parted company with her management company 19 Entertainment, 19 months after winning Pop Idol. She then went on to sign with Sanctuary Entertainment. During a 2007 appearance on ITV's Loose Women, McManus stated that she believed that she was dropped due to her weight, as her record company could not build any merchandise around her image.

In 2006, McManus began guest-presenting on the Scottish radio station Clyde 1, and then gained her own regular Saturday show on the station. McManus then hosted two series of the BBC Radio Scotland show titled Let's Do The Show Right Here. On television, McManus announced the Scottish votes during the Making Your Mind Up 2006 programme in March 2006, and in November 2006 she was a reporter on Children in Need live from Scotland. In June 2006, McManus performed in the theatre production, The Vagina Monologues, a role which she has subsequently repeated for various tours.[28]

2007–09: Dancing To A Different Beat[edit]

In 2007 She made two appearances on the television show Loose Women. In November 2007 a single, "Just for You", was released. It was intended to be on her second album, Dancing to a Different Beat, which remains unreleased.[29][30]

In August 2007, McManus guest-starred as herself in an episode of the BBC sitcom Still Game.[31] In December 2007, McManus was seen in a run of the musical Discotivity at the Arts Theatre in London's West End.[32] In January 2008 she toured Asia in a theatre production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.[33]

2009–2012: The Hour and presenting[edit]

McManus appeared regularly as a guest co-host of the weekday Scottish lifestyle TV programme The Hour during the summer of 2009. In October 2009, McManus became a permanent main presenter alongside Stephen Jardine.[34] The programme was relaunched in September 2011 as a weekly peak-time programme, with McManus co-hosting with new presenter Tam Cowan, but was axed after four weeks due to low viewership.[35]

In addition to The Hour, McManus has also presented Hogmanay programming for STV including the 2009 documentary special Scotland's Always Had Talent and a year later, Midnight, a pre-recorded special edition of The Hour.

Her programme for BBC Alba "Is Mise Michelle McManus" was shown on Christmas Day 2011 [36] with a second programme for BBC Alba "Michelle at the Mod" broadcast on Christmas Day 2013 [37]

In September 2010, McManus was one of the performers for Pope Benedict XVI at a ticketed Mass of the Feast of Saint Ninian in Bellahouston Park, as part of the Pope's state visit to the United Kingdom.[38]

McManus is currently a columnist for the Glasgow Evening Times,[39] and was a judge for the papers Glasgow's Star Turn talent contest in 2012.[40]

2012–present: Return to music and Loose Women[edit]

In September 2012, McManus was featured on the single by Mànran, "Take You There" as the official single of the 2012 STV Children's Appeal.[41][42] It reached number 70 on the Scottish Singles Chart.[43]

Since 2012 McManus has performed her one-woman shows at the Edinburgh Festival.[44] This trilogy of shows, comprising "Michelle at the Musicals", "Reloaded" and "Pop Goes the Idol", was co-written by McManus with Bruce Devlin.[45] During 2013 - 2017 she toured "Musicals" and "Reloaded" in Scotland and Northern England.[46][47]

McManus paid tribute and sang two songs at Martyn Hett's funeral on 30 June 2017. Martyn was one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Bombing on 22 May 2017.[48] In late 2017, McManus recorded a cover version of "We All Stand Together" along with Choirs with Purpose in an attempt to reach the Christmas number one spot on the UK Singles Charts.[49]

In January 2018, McManus was a guest panellist on Loose Women.[3]

Personal life[edit]

McManus married Jeff Nimmo on 23 September 2017.[50]


Michelle McManus discography
Studio albums1
Music videos3

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions[51] Certifications
(sales threshold)
The Meaning of Love 1 3 64
  • UK: 250,000+


As lead artist[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
2003 "All This Time" 1 1 2 The Meaning of Love
2004 "The Meaning of Love" 7 16 29
2012 "Take You There"
(with Mànran)
70 Charity single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.

As featured artist[edit]

Year Title Album
2017 "We All Stand Together"
(Choirs with Purpose featuring Michelle McManus)
Charity single

Promotional Singles[edit]

Year Title Album
2007 "Just For You" Non-album single

TV appearances and filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2005 You Are What You Eat Herself[53] After her time on the show, McManus releasead a diary Michelle's Diary in 2005.[54]
2007 Still Game Herself[55] McManus appears in the 2007 episode "Second's Out" as herself
2009–2011 The Hour Co-host[56] Initially appearing as a guest-host, McManus was made permanent co-host in September 2009.
2009 Scotland's Always Had Talent Host[57] McManus hosts STV's main Hogmanay programme, leading into the New Year.
2010 The Midnight Hour Co-host[58] McManus once again hosts STV's main Hogmanay programme, alongside Stephen Jardine.
2011— STV Children's Appeal Co-host McManus appears on "The Big Live" as a presenter and reporter, usually in amongst the studio audience.
2013 Swing into 2014 Host[59] McManus once again hosts STV's main Hogmanay programme, from The Tron Theatre in Glasgow.
2018–present Loose Women Guest panellist McManus was a guest panellist on Loose Women on 22 January 2018.


  1. ^ http://www.celebsnow.co.uk/celebrity-pictures/where-are-they-now/michelle-mcmanus-330624
  2. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/ladym_mcmanus/status/596772266081439747
  3. ^ a b https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/tv/michelle-mcmanus-returns-daytime-tv-14187156
  4. ^ Michelle McManus Biography Contactmusic.com
  5. ^ a b Michelle McManus Biography sing365.com
  6. ^ Michelle McManus Wins ‘Pop Idol’ popdirt.com
  7. ^ Wilkes, Neil (23 January 2004). "Pete Waterman: 'Michelle is rubbish'". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  8. ^ Lyons, Beverley; Fullerton, Lee-Ann (4 February 2004). "The Razz: Michelle's 'big cruiser' attack". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror.
  9. ^ Shepherd, Fiona (13 February 2004). "An emotional wreck". The Scotsman. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  10. ^ Tyndale, George (28 December 2003). "TV show's big mistake". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  11. ^ Hanley, Lynsey (16 February 2004). "CD reviews: Viktoria Tolstoy and more". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Michelle - The Meaning of Love". entertainment.ie. 23 February 2004. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  13. ^ ""All This Time" UK Chart details". Chartstats. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/search/singles/all%20this%20time/
  15. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3387601.stm
  16. ^ Michelle Mcmanus – All This Time Music Charts
  17. ^ "''The Meaning of Love'' UK Chart details". Chartstats. 28 February 2004. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  18. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/scottish-albums-chart/20040222/40/
  19. ^ Michelle McManus – The Meaning Of Love Music Charts
  20. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ ""The Meaning of Love" UK Chart details". Chartstats. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  22. ^ Michelle McManus – The Meaning Of Love Music Charts
  23. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/scottish-singles-chart/20040411/41/
  24. ^ English, Paul (4 September 2010). "Michelle McManus: How I fought back from Pop Idol rejection to sing for the Pope". Daily Record. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  25. ^ "You Are What You Eat: Michelle's Diary: Amazon.co.uk: Michelle McManus: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  26. ^ "Michelle McManus – The Lifeplan Workout Film Review (Movie) Michelle McManus, Dax Moy". Futuremovies.co.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  27. ^ "Memphis? It's worse than Glasgow for fry ups.. I had to live off fruit for 3 days; POP IDOL MICHELLE ON HER BATTLE FOR SUCCESS. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  28. ^ https://www.list.co.uk/event/542469-the-vagina-monologues/
  29. ^ Euro Solution | Release information|Michelle McManus: Just For You (limited mail-out)[dead link]
  30. ^ "Michelle McManus : Home". Michelleofficial.co.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  31. ^ Hendry, Steve (29 July 2007). "Still taking the pizza". Sunday Mail. HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  32. ^ "Pop Idol Michelle's Fringe show". BBC News. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  33. ^ "Michelle McManus". Starmanagement.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  34. ^ [1] Archived 9 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ "BBC News – STV drops magazine show The Hour". Bbc.co.uk. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  36. ^ BBC. BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018jq2x/broadcasts. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  37. ^ BBC. "Michelle at the Mod". BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  38. ^ ROME REPORTS TV News Agency (20 August 2010). "Susan Boyle and Michelle McManus will sing for the pope during his visit to the United Kingdom". Romereports.com. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  39. ^ http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/author/profile/73626.Michelle_McManus/
  40. ^ Custom byline text:  By MATTY SUTTON (30 July 2012). "Acts set to battle it out in final of our Glasgow's Star Turn talent contest". Evening Times. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  41. ^ "Details of the charity single – Take You There by Mànran featuring Michelle McManus. | Latest News | About Us | STV Appeal | STV Campaigns". Campaigns.stv.tv. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  42. ^ "It's The Big Live – The climax of the STV Appeal 2012 is here | Home | Entertainment | STV". Entertainment. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  43. ^ a b http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/scottish-singles-chart/20120902/41/
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Tickets Edfringe. Archived from the original on 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  45. ^ Daily Record http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/celebrity-interviews/michelle-mcmanus-shes-sharing-highs-5368893. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. ^ Culture Stirling http://culturestirling.org/events/michelle-mcmanus-reality-musical/. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  47. ^ Waterside Arts Centre https://watersideartscentre.co.uk/whats-on/1834/11/01/?category=comedy. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  48. ^ http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/martyn-hett-funeral-stockport-live-13261536
  49. ^ http://www.itv.com/news/2017-11-23/pop-idols-michelle-mcmanus-joins-superchoir-for-charity-christmas-number-one-bid/
  50. ^ http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/687555/Pop-Idol-Michelle-McManus-Lorraine-ITV
  51. ^ Michelle McManus Music Charts
  52. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 363. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  53. ^ Mini Michelle? Archived 18 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine GMTV, 23 February 2007
  54. ^ You Are What You Eat: Michelle's Diary (Paperback) amazon.co.uk
  55. ^ Singer Michelle’s a Still Game star! Evening Times, 22 June 2007
  56. ^ Michelle McManus joins The Hour on a permanent basis Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine STV – The Hour, 30 September 2009
  57. ^ STV announces Hogmanay line-up celebrating Scottish talent Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine STV, 15 December 2009
  58. ^ STV has announced its Hogmanay line-up of comedy and entertainment STV Entertainment, 22 November 2010
  59. ^ Swing into 2014 with Michelle McManus on STV STV Shows, 31 December 2013

External links[edit]