X-Factor finalist and actress loses battle with cancer

Kerry McGregor followed her dreams despite breaking her spine aged 13
Kerry McGregor followed her dreams despite breaking her spine aged 13
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AN X-FACTOR finalist who devoted much of her time to helping charities has died after a battle with cancer.

Kerry McGregor, who just weeks before her death was appointed as ambassador of the UK’s national bladder cancer charity, passed away at her home in West Lothian yesterday.

The 37-year-old mother appeared on the third series of the show in 2006 and went on to enjoy chart success, as well as earning acclaim as an actress.Her success was all the more remarkable as she had seen her dreams of becoming a dancer shattered at the age of just 13 when she broke her spine falling from a tree.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair from then on, she was always determined that her disability would not stop her living life to the full.

In 2006, she became a household name after reaching the finals of X Factor, where she was mentored by Sharon Osbourne.

She said that Osbourne, who also fought cancer, had “been great to [her] previously, and even more so now”. Commenting via her Twitter page last night, Osbourne wrote: “So sad about Kerry McGregor’s passing. Much love and respect to her and her family.”

As an actress Kerry had roles in the Channel 4 series The Book Group, and in 2008 was cast in the last ever series of Grange Hill.

She stayed in Pumpherston with her partner Dean Robertson and their son Joshua.

Her manager Ewen Gallacher yesterday issued a statement on behalf of her management team.

“It is with deep sadness we announce Scottish singer, songwriter and actress Kerry McGregor has passed away at home today, following a battle with cancer.

“Kerry continued to support various charities throughout her illness and was recently appointed as ambassador for the UK’s first national bladder cancer charity. Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends at this time.”

As a child, she was very keen on ballet and drama, before focusing on acting and singing after her accident. In 1997 she took part in The Great British Song Contest, the UK selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, in which she came second.

At the age of 31 she applied for X Factor and went on to release the number one dance hit, Freedom, with the band QFX. Following her success, she was able to do more work for good causes. She helped several charities, writing part of a book for teenagers who find themselves suddenly confined to a wheelchair after being asked to contribute by the Spinal Injuries Association. She performed with McFly at a charity concert for Cash for Kids in Glasgow, and promoted a fashion label for wheelchair users, Wheelie Chix-Chic. Deborah Lord, a spokeswoman for Action on Bladder Cancer said the charity was “deeply saddened” by Kerry’s death.