S Club 7 star Jo O’Meara reveals past struggles with gambling

·2-min read
 (ITV)
(ITV)

Former S Club star Jo O’Meara has opened up about her past secret gambling habits in hope of raising further awareness about dealing with addiction.

The 43-year-old pop singer, who shot to fame in the 90s, admitted that she used gambling as an “escapism” while she worked hard on her music career and dealt with being in the limelight.

Speaking about her former gambling habits on Lorraine, O’Meara explained that her bandmates usually expected her to be among the slot machines.

During the ITV morning show, O’Meara said: “It became a bit of a thing. With the band, it was so busy and so hectic, I just used it as a bit of escapism to run away with myself for a little while.”

She added: “It would just let me forget about everything for a while, because all I could concentrate on was the task in hand, getting the three leprechauns or the three lemons in a row.

 (GamCare)
(GamCare)

“It wasn’t about the money so much as about trying to beat the machine to get what I wanted it to do. It was the buzz.”

O’Meara also admitted that she knew how easy it was to become an addict, but was luckily able to quit gambling.

The former pop singer has spoken for the first time on TV about her gambling addiction in hope of raising awareness of the issue. It came shortly after O’Meara appeared in a video created by GamCare to highlight the pressures of gambling.

S Club 7 shot to fame in the 2000s (PA)
S Club 7 shot to fame in the 2000s (PA)

In the original video, the singer was joined by footballer Peter Shilton, alongside his wife Steph Shilton, to discuss the impacts of gambling. The video was created to mark GamCare’s 25th anniversary.

O’Meara was in her early twenties when she was propelled to fame in the music group S Club alongside, Bradley McIntosh, Hannah Spearritt, Jon Lee, Paul Cattermole, Rachel Stevens and Tina Barrett.

The group split in 2003 but went on to reunite for several comeback appearances. During O’Meara’s Lorraine interview, the singer suggested that she’d be open to performing again with her former group.

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