Hull cabbie plans to use £4m scratchcard win to promote positive message about transgender people

Melissa Ede said she hopes her £4 million scratchcard win will further boost her high-profile social media presence and help her promote a positive message about transgender people.

The Hull cabbie has a loyal following on social media, where her thousands of followers are treated to sometimes bizarre videos she makes about her life, and she has appeared on a range of TV shows, including The Jeremy Kyle Show and Judge Rinder on ITV.

Taxi driver Melissa Ede, 57, celebrating during a photocall at Willerby Manor Hotel in Hull after her 4m Scratchcard win on New Year's Day. PA

She told a press conference in Hull how her philosophy was to "make an idiot" of herself in her clips to help give other people confidence.

"For every one person I make happy a thousand can hate me, I don't care," she said.

Ms Ede said: "I've made no money from my social media. I go out and do a video and make an idiot of myself.

"I know I make an idiot of myself. That gives people confidence, it gives people body confidence.

Taxi driver Melissa Ede, 57, celebrating during a photocall at Willerby Manor Hotel in Hull after her 4m Scratchcard win on New Year's Day. PA

"If I can stand in front of a camera in front of millions and make them feel good about themselves, if I can do it they can feel proud of who they are."

She said she gets messages from people going through cancer treatment saying her videos help them get through it.

"They can sit and have a giggle," she said.

"You portray happiness to people and that spreads and spreads."

Taxi driver Melissa Ede, 57, celebrating during a photocall at Willerby Manor Hotel in Hull after her 4m Scratchcard win on New Year's Day. PA

Ms Ede's many appearances on TV and in newspapers and magazines have seen her campaign on a range of issues relating to her transgender journey, including wanting the NHS to pay for laser hair removal treatment to stop her having to shave.

Her appearance on The Jeremy Kyle Show earlier this year featured a paternity test involving her 19-year-old daughter Emily.

She said: "My life, you couldn't even make up. A lot of it is unbelievable."

Asked about some of the stranger episodes in her life, she explained how she managed to get down to the last few hundred out of 200,000 people who applied to join a space mission to Mars and be the first transgender individual to set foot on the planet.

She thanked everyone who had contributed to a crowd-funding campaign to help her get her teeth fixed after they were "ruined by hormones and violence".

Even though the site only raised £315 of the £15,000 she had hoped to get, Ms Ede said the 26 people who had contributed were now in line for a "treat".

She said: "I've had so many people in my life turn their back on me, disown me.

"Those people can keep their position in life they've always wanted.

"The people who have stood behind through thick and thin ... now is payback time for them and they will get paid back."

Ms Ede said the people who follow her social media antics are more like friends than fans.

She said she has promised them an autobiography and also a fashion line featuring clothes and perfume.

But, she said, her campaign to be herself has taken a toll.

She said: "I'm hoping that the more people come out with stories like myself it helps people and families to understand what we go through.

"To be ourselves, to be complete we lose so much in trying to gain a life."

She said: "For God's sake, it's 2018 now, there should be no stigma left about this."

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