Michelle was born in Royton, in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, Greater Manchester.
She was interested in singing, acting and modelling from a young age, and initially appeared as an extra on soap operas such as Brookside from 1999 after leaving school. She later entered the TV sound-alike contest Stars in Their Eyes as Emma Bunton and competed in ITV's singing competition Popstars, before focusing on modelling. Before becoming a model, she worked as a care assistant at the Royley House Nursing Home in Royton. In June 2002, she won the Rochdale Observer Face of the Year competition, held at the local Liquid Rock Nightclub in Rochdale, which allowed her to have free modelling by DK Model Management in Sheffield.
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