Big Brother’s first female winner Kate Lawler has revealed how the housemates were plied with booze throughout their stint in the house.
Kate, who won the then-Channel 4 show in 2002 and now works as a Virgin Radio DJ, said she barely remembers her time in the house thanks to the alcoholic fog.
“It’s hard to remember what the house was actually like – first because it was 18 years ago, but also because we drank so much alcohol while we were in there,” she told the Guardian.
“The producers genuinely did not limit how much alcohol we were drinking, which looking back is kind of irresponsible, but at the time it wasn’t seen that way. They just plied us with alcohol and watched what happened.”
With Big Brother celebrating its 20th anniversary this week – and Davina McCall presenting the throwback series Big Brother: Best Shows Ever – Kate said she had no idea how successful the show would be.
“I remember being on a train just before I went into the house and seeing people reading articles about the new series of Big Brother. By then, it was a national obsession,” she recalled.
But when she was crowned the winner of the third series, Kate felt overwhelmed by the options available to her.
She was offered a boob job paid for by a potential front page exclusive, but turned it down – along with a part in the touring edition of Summer Holiday: The Musical when she “[couldn’t] even sing”.
“The trick to having a successful post-Big Brother career is partly luck and partly hard work,” Kate went on.
She snapped up roles on Channel 4’s breakfast TV show, as well as ITV’s Celebrity Wrestling, which was canned for poor ratings.
“All these TV shows that I loved, which I thought might get me my own TV show, didn’t work out,” said Kate.
“I disappeared from TV for a few years, because the opportunities just weren’t there… You’d read all these articles that said: ‘What are the winners doing now?’ and it would feel demoralising.”
Kate learned how to DJ and had a fun few years before moving into radio, which she says is now her “dream job”.
“For years, I didn’t really talk about Big Brother. I was cracking on with my career. But, as time has gone on, I’ve realised how huge the show was. Now, I look back at it with affection and nostalgia,” she added to the newspaper.
It comes after last night’s Best Shows Ever had viewers begging for telly bosses to bring back a new series of Big Brother.
And it seems their luck could be in, as the official Big Brother Twitter account has become active again after 19 months lying idle and has promised to keep fans up to date with the latest news.
*Big Brother: Best Shows Ever continues tonight at 9pm on E4
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