SHE is known across Britain as the glamour model who’s rarely out of the newspaper gossip pages.

But on to the 350-strong crowd who greeted her at Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre on Saturday night she is an “inspiration”.

After appearing in lads’ mags, starring in her own reality TV show and releasing a department store’s-worth of products, Katie Price is part way through a 15-date speaking tour.

Before the evening I had no idea what to expect. My only prior experience of her was a well-thumbed edition of Being Jordan - her first of four autobiographies - that slumped on the school library’s shelves.

So it was a shock to find myself warm to the woman who flinched when she was called “famous” - and told her slick-haired comperes she prefers “celebrity” because it doesn’t imply global recognition.

Like Marmite, Katie Price seems to divide people.

But the Wyvern crowd, which was roughly 95 per cent female, adored her.

Before the show I spoke to Corsham woman Christine Reilly, 64, who said: “I think she’s absolutely fantastic - as a mother, wife and businesswoman. She’s an inspiration.”

Over two-and-a-half hours, the Swindon audience heard the model grilled on everything from her Brighton childhood and time on The Sun’s Page 3 to taking anti-anxiety drugs and discovering her mother had been diagnosed with a terminal lung disease.

Potty-mouthed Katie, who has five children, also spoke movingly about her profoundly disabled first-born, Harvey.

And she reserved some of her strongest words for the industry that made her famous, advising girls against going into glamour modelling.

She said: “I think it was different back in the day. You had calendars, where you got to travel all around the world.”

Katie, who pelted out new single I Got You, said that she still hoped to make a film of her life and planned to release more music.

Asked in the dying minutes of the evening to define herself in three words, she said: “Perfect little package.”

And for the audience that cheered, clapped, cried and hollered, that’s what she was.