Page 3 egend Melinda Messenger ringing in incredible 23-year showbiz career

Gorgeous Melinda Messenger is ringing in an incredible 23 years in showbiz…and she owes it all to Page 3.

The Swindon-born beauty, 49, shot to fame as a topless model in 1997.

After becoming a regular in the red-top tabloids, she was able to carve out a career as one of TV’s most popular presenters.

Recalling her early days, Melinda said: “I did it because I was offered it.

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“I knew I’d never experience anything like it again, so I took the first job with a sense of adventure.

“It was fun, but scary. I started out just ­before the likes of Nell McAndrew, but the whole thing lasted no more than four months. That’s all.

“There was no internet back then and I still can’t figure out why I became so popular.”

Being a Page 3 girl helped Melinda earn big money.

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At the height of her fame she was paid a whopping £25,000 just to pose with a Pot Noodle.

She added: “It was definitely a lucrative career. Back then there was less availability and no internet, and so the money came in.”

Melinda went on to host shows including Cowboy Builders and Live From Studio Five, and she’s a regular on reality shows.

It’s estimated her years in the spotlight have made her a millionaire.

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And it’s not just Melinda who has used her assets to earn big money.

Katie Price, who was nicknamed Jordan during her years on Page 3, built up a £45million fortune as one of Britain’s most talked-about glamour girls.

Landing a spot on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! turned her into a household name.

She then cashed in with lucrative endorsements, more TV shows and a string of book deals.

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Another Page 3 ­favourite to earn big is Sam Fox, who went on to become a pop star. Her debut single Touch Me (I Want Your Body) reached No.1 in 17 countries.

Page 3 can also be a gateway to high-profile acting work.

Lucy Pinder, who was discovered by the Daily Star, has appeared in a string of ­horror flicks.

And Linda Lusardi used her profile to become a television ­actress.

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She had roles in shows including Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Brookside and The Bill.

Kelly Brook has also gone on to big things since first wowing the nation with her sexy look.

Over the years she’s had TV and film roles, presented a string of hit programmes and now has her own show on Heart FM.

Other Page 3 girls to make it big include Nell McAndrew, Jodie Marsh and Jayne Middlemiss.

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