Chantelle Houghton may not have been famous before Celebrity Big Brother but that didn’t stop her from winning – however, her seemingly fairytale reality TV experience, which also included falling in love with fellow housemate Samuel Preston, wasn’t all positive afterwards.
The former NatWest bank worker had a unique CBB experience as she was tasked with convincing a house full of celebrities, from Jodie Marsh to the late Pete Burns, of her fame. The elaborate challenge involved Chantelle telling the contestants that she was the lead singer of a fictional pop group (Kandy Floss…with a K).
Once she passed with flying colours Chantelle unexpectedly ended up striking up a romance with the Ordinary Boys frontman and the pair quickly married, but divorced after just over a year.
The now 40-year-old has spoken about the impact that her 2006 reality show stint had on her life.
For the Channel 4 series, which reboots on ITV just next month, she wore her hair long and peroxide-blonde which eventually took its toll.
‘Because I was so blonde, and due to the pull of the extensions, I ended up with so many bald patches,’ she revealed.
The star had to take action to revive the damaged hair: ‘I had the extensions all taken out, went dark and just do weekly Kerastase treatments on my hair and take care of myself now.’
While speaking to The Sun, Chantelle opened up about taking a break from the spotlight.
‘I needed to step out of the spotlight for my mental health,’ she candidly shared.
‘I was going through a really awful time. I was abused for a very, very long time.
‘I lost myself in a lot of misery and I’m getting myself back bit by bit and enjoying being the person I always was.’
Chantelle, who shares daughter Dolly with Katie Price’s former husband Alex Reid, also struggled with her weight.
She admitted: ‘I wasn’t eating, or only eating when I was starving.’
Now, she has overhauled her lifestyle, eating non-processed foods, and feels much better.
The TV personality also reflected to Metro.co.uk on a serious incident with a stalker that occurred following her series six win.
‘When I was on Big Brother the first time, there was a lady from Coventry that used to write letters to my mum saying that she had this connection with me,’ she recalled.
‘She was getting quite intense. Then she offered to give me one of her Ferraris.
‘One day my mum opened the door, and this lady was standing there, and she asked if I was home, and my mum was like “who are you?”’
She continued: ‘Then my mum realised it was ‘that lady’ and it got heavy because she said she was in love with me, and she was going to leave her husband…. So my mum had to call the police. Very weird.’
Big Brother starts on Sunday October 8 at 9pm on ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX.
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