MICHELLE Heaton's two-page biography introduces her as a singer, author, actress, presenter, YouTuber, personal trainer and pregnancy fitness expert.

Now the Liberty X vocalist (and Atomic Kitten 2017 tour member) is adding another string to her bow in York, playing a Geordie Fairy Godmother for the first time in Cinderella And The Lost Slipper at the Grand Opera House until January 5, as she expands her pantomime repertoire.

Mum-of-two Michelle, 39, arrived in York for the Cinderella launch at The Principal fresh from taking part in World Menopause Day in London the day before, and she was still buzzing about how that day went as she settled into a late-morning run of interviews.

"It was held mainly to try to get people to think about the menopause because every woman goes through it, and so does the man in your life in some ways too," says the Gateshead-born performer, who wrote the book Hot Flush: Motherhood, The Menopause And Me, having entered surgical menopause at the age of 36. "Partly the day was aimed at getting bosses to discuss it in the workplace," she adds.

Michelle believes it is important to capitalise on being in the public eye ever since Liberty X – or Liberty as they were first named – emerged via the 2001 talent show Popstars. "I have a voice, and whether they listen or not, people will hear it.

"Not everyone has to love everyone in the industry but the fact that you have a platform and people can hear what you say means I'm doing my job."

Michelle, husband Hugh and children Faith and AJ (Aaron Jay) live in Hertfordshire, but as her role in Cinderella proves, playing up her Geordie roots in a performance filled with such North Eastern vernacular as "pet" and "bonny lad", the Gateshead girl will never leave her. "My home is wherever my family is, but I was born in Gateshead and one of my earliest memories was of the massive crane putting up The Angel Of The North [Antony Gormley's roadside sculpture]. It just looked like a rusting plane, but it's amazing what it's done for Gateshead."

Cinderella And The Lost Slipper is Michelle's sixth pantomime. "My first one was with [Hollywood actor] Mickey Rooney, and it was his first ever UK pantomime in 2007," she recalls. "Like this year, the show was Cinderella. I played Cinderella, my ex-husband Andy Scott-Lee was Prince Charming, and Les Dennis was in the cast."

Michelle took a few years out from pantomime when living in Dublin for a while with second husband Hugh Hanley. Since returning, she has played principal boy Aladdin and principal girl Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and, for the past two years, the Evil Queen in Snow White.

York Press:

Michelle Heaton's Fairy Godmother leading the Baby Shark singalong in Cinderella And The Lost Slipper. Picture: David Harrison

"Cinderella in York is my first year as an 'older person fairy'. I'm now mature! I'm no longer a 'Disney belle' type!" she says. "I've left the dark side [playing the Evil Queen] to come to the glittering side as the Fairy Godmother. I really enjoyed playing the baddie role, but as an actress I always want to be challenged as I was an actress before I joined Liberty X.

"I studied a lot of Shakespeare and Stanislavsky at Newcastle University, so I'd like to think I'm always testing myself in the way I perform.

"Last year, I played the Evil Queen as a Joan Collins-esque baddie, where you can be as big and dramatic as you want to be, but now I'm playing 'Michelle, the Fairy God-mum', so it's more of a challenge because it has to be a character that comes out of me but has to a familiar pantomime character too.

"I come on first, so I have to set the pace for the show and I absolutely love the outfit I'm wearing [for the press launch]; I actually want to stay in it all day!"

Michelle has fun in the show taking over Just A Little part way through when another cast member has temporarily appropriated it. "I decided any use of a Liberty X song in the show should be more of a throwaway thing; otherwise it looks like I'm being self-indulgent," she reasons.

While on the subject of Liberty X, the present line-up of Michelle Heaton, Jessica Taylor and Kelli Young "potentially could be touring next year". "It's now like an extra-curricular hobby without any pressure to have hit records any more," says Michelle.

"If someone asks me what my job is now, I say 'mum, first and foremost'. Faith and AJ are most important to me in my life, but I also have to be true to myself, living my dreams on stage.

"We make it work, me as a working mum and my husband working full time."

Three Bears Productions' Cinderella And The Lost Slipper runs at Grand Opera House, York, until January 5 2019. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york.