Katie Waissel is looking forward to The X Factor tour, despite her stormy time on the show

There’s a smile on Katie Waissel’s face that would give the Cheshire Cat a run for his money.

After 12 months of soaring highs and crashing lows, it seems nothing can get Katie down as she warmly greets everyone when she arrives at Now’s Alice In Wonderland themed shoot.

It’s all despite her having been branded ‘the most hated woman in Britain’ after she made it to The X Factor’s live stages and favourite Gamu Nhengu didn’t.

Katie’s fellow contestants Storm Lee and Matt Cardle both branded her ‘fake’ and, as if the public backlash wasn’t enough, it also emerged that her grandmother Sheila was working as a prostitute.

But Katie is unbowed.

‘I’ve been gigging all over the country and the response has been wicked. I can’t wait to do The X Factor tour,’ she tells us.

‘The show is such a bubble while you’re on it, so I was scared about the reaction I’d get, but I’ve had so much support and love from my fans – the Waissel Warriors!’

At one point, Katie was possibly the most hated woman in the country, but she just battled on.

‘The X Factor made me grow a big pair of steel balls!’ she says.

‘There were times when I got really low and thought: “This has gone too far. Do I really want to put my family and myself through this?”

‘But I saw the love and support of people and thought: “I can’t quit. People are looking to me to be strong.”‘

Read the full interview with Katie Waissel in Now magazine dated 31 January 2011 – out now!

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