Megan McKenna is a changed woman. When she rose to fame on TOWIE back in 2016, she was a feisty, flirty firecracker with a face full of fillers and no end of drama-fuelled storylines.
But the Megan we meet today admits that despite being one of the main characters on the Essex reality show, she didn’t enjoy her time there. In fact, the star, who had her fillers removed four years ago, says the constant on-screen rows with her co-stars made her feel “miserable”
Luckily, Megan’s current career as a singer has proved to be much more fulfilling. Her first album, Story of Me, was released in 2018 and she went on to prove her doubters wrong by winning The X Factor: Celebrity the following year.
And she visibly lights up when she tells us about her recent tour with Tom Jones, which saw her perform to 22,000 people.
“He’s such a superstar,” says Megan, who was chatting to us at the shoot of entertainment show Getting Lippy, presented by Slingo.
“He was so nice and warm and we had a little chat backstage, too.”
Things are going very well in Megan’s personal life, too. The 30-year-old, who previously dated the likes of TOWIE bad boy Pete Wicks and recently jailed Stephen Bear, tells us she’s totally smitten with Millwall FC footballer Oliver Burke, 26, and feels “positive” about her life.
Here, the star, who has also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and Ex On The Beach, reveals why she got rid of her fillers, how it feels to be skinny-shamed by trolls and why there’s only one other reality show she would consider doing…
Hi, Megan! You seem very loved-up at the moment – how did you and Oliver meet?
Yes, I am! We have mutual friends and our first date was just so lovely – we’ve been inseparable ever since. We literally do everything together and I’m so happy. He’s such a lovely person and I’m really positive about everything – my life and my relationship.
That’s great. You had your fillers removed a few years ago. How do you feel now?
I’m really comfortable with the way I look. Before, I was in a different environment. In the world of reality TV you get all these things for free and you think, “Oh, I’ll get that,” and you get wrapped up in it and a bit of body dysmorphia. I also want to be taken seriously with my music and I don’t want to look like
a blow-up doll – it’s not nice.
Do you ever have Botox?
No – and I’ve got wrinkles on my forehead to prove it! To be honest, I’m happy with the way I look right now. So many people are having things removed – even the Kardashians – and people are becoming more natural and having their bums and boobs taken out. You’ve just got to love your body the way it is, and I love my small boobs.
You’ve been trolled in the past for being slim. How does that make you feel?
I’m naturally slim. I’m a size 6-8 and I eat a lot. I think people think it’s OK to troll you about your weight and it’s getting to a point now where it’s a little bit frustrating. Would you call someone fat? Yet it’s OK to call me anorexic, or to say I look like I’m dying. The comments I get sometimes, I think, “Christ, they’re really mean.” I don’t understand it. I like my body.
You’ve always been open about your various health issues. How are you now?
I’ve always struggled with my stomach. I’ve got IBS, I’m coeliac and I have a wheat allergy. I’ve always been in and out of hospital appointments. I think people need to realise I’m not one of those yo-yo dieters or starve myself. I’ve just had issues with my stomach and I naturally have a fast metabolism. I do have issues with my bowels and it’s not the best.
We haven’t seen you on our TV screens for a while. Do you have any reality shows lined up?
I probably would never do anything like TOWIE again, but I’ve always loved performing so I’d be open to dancing – something like Strictly. I’d give it a go.
Do you regret your time on TOWIE?
I don’t regret anything, but for me it was the arguing every day. It really took its toll on
me and made me feel miserable. I was one of the main characters on the show, so all the angles were coming at me and the storylines were my life, so I felt I had
a lot to carry.
So you’d never go back if they asked you?
No way! It’s just not for me. Good luck to everyone who is on it, but I didn’t exactly have the easiest ride on TOWIE.
Who do you keep in touch with from the show?
Literally Arg [James Argent]. I see Gemma [Collins] out and about, but I’d say Arg is the
only one I call up.
He’s loved-up at the moment…
Yes, and he looks insane. I’ve always had a really good friendship with Arg because we knew each other from before TV. His sister and my dad played at the same squash club and now she’s a tennis player. So I used to go there every weekend and watch my dad, and Arg and his family would be there too.
Going back to your music career, you performed at Glastonbury last year. Will you be going back this summer?
No, I think they like you to leave it a while before they ask you back again, but I hope I’ll return to perform some day. I was recently on tour with Tom Jones, as I opened for him throughout all his UK shows. It was so cool and he said that he really liked my voice. For Tom Jones to say that to me was mega!
Megan McKenna was speaking at the shoot of brand new entertainment show ‘Getting Lippy’, presented by Slingo. Follow @GettingLippyTV on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook to view the episode with Megan
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