SHE was this year’s X Factor finalist everyone seemed to hate, whose public persona was shattered further when it was revealed her grandmother was a prostitute.
Surprising then that Katie Waissel is in such a chirpy mood when we catch up ahead of her visit to the city on the X Factor 2011 tour.
“What colour are your eyes,” she asks.
Black with touches of blood red.
“Interesting. Very Harry Potter-esque.”
According to her Twitter profile last night she’d been “dreaming of San Pedro” - a Madonna fan then?
“I love Madonna. She’s definitely an inspiration, from an artistic point of view and a business point of view.”
Katie Price is also a canny businesswoman but I imagine you don’t aspire to being her.
“God, you’re funny, Simon.”
It’s the medication.
The 25-year-old has 108,000 followers on Twitter, which must be satisfying after the hatred you experienced on the show.
“Yea, well, it’s nice. They’re my Waissel Warriors.”
What has been the reaction to her in the street since the series ended?
“It’s been really lovely. People come up to me and give me a hug and they talk like they really know me.”
Katie recently released her self-titled debut album on iTunes, although was recorded before she entered the X Factor.
She claims there wasn’t a sense of urgency to cash in on the exposure from the seventh series, which averaged 16 million viewers each week.
“You can’t rush art,” she says, simply.
The tour, which will be seen by almost a million people, also features 2010 winner Matt Cardle, plus finalists Rebecca Ferguson, One Direction, Cher Lloyd, Mary Byrne, Wagner, Paije Richardson and Aiden Grimshaw.
Who is your best friend and who would you like to punch in the face?
“(Laughs) I don’t want to punch anyone in the face. Not unless they want to punch me in the face. Why, what have you heard?
“It’s fun because there are different ages and different personalities. It’s like school. You get on with some more than others,” she adds, citing the girls as her closest X Factor friends.
“It’s been really good fun, I’m looking forward to Nottingham. I’ve been to Nottingham before.”
“No, boyfriend’s will tend to take me to Europe.”
How dare you!
“(Laughs) I didn’t mean it like that. My cousin was at Nottingham uni and it was fun. I like the one-way system.”
It’ll be an opportunity to meet some of your Waisselites, or whatever you call them.
“What do you mean Waisselites!? It sounds like a brand of crisps. They’re my Waissel Warriors, cheeky.”
Don’t be surprised if you see her in Danny’s Tattoo Studio across the road from the arena as she’s seems to be collecting them.
“I’ve got eight. I recently had a peace sign and a number 24 on my wrist.”
You’re 25 now.
“I know but it’s not my age, it’s just my number.”
Is that because of Jack Bauer?
“Err, no. Even though he’s really hot.”
He’s old enough to be your dad.
“He’s still like, old person hot. Anyway, I’ve got a heart on my hand, a star on my ankle, piano keys, wings on my back, a feather on my hip and Nothing Is Impossible on my other wrist.”
That’s not strictly true, is it?
“But it is. Say something that’s impossible.”
Climbing through a brick wall.
“You just make a hole in the brick wall. Or what if the brick wall was made out of sponge bricks? Or food?”
But it’s not, it’s made out of reinforced concrete.
“You’re such an idiot.”
Get one done on your forehead.
“Can you imagine? Apparently there is this fluorescent ink which you can’t see unless you put a black light on it.”
Do that then.
“No. You get a tattoo on your forehead. And I’ve got a homage to my grandpa on my left foot.”
There’s no homage to her 82-year-old grandma, who admitted she was working as an escort.
“Whatever she decides to do she decides to do,” says Katie.
“As long as she’s safe. That’s my only worry.”
She describes the media attention surrounding her at the time as “ a bit intense.”
“Imagine that was your grandma and you’re trying to make something of yourself.
“But she’s still my grandma at the end of the day.”
The X Factor 2011 tour comes to the Capital FM Arena on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7.30pm. Tickets are £32.50, from the venue box office, call / 0844 338 0000 or visitwww.theticketfactory.com