Big Brother star Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace was treated to a blast from the past when Big Brother Best Shows Ever re-aired an episode from her series this week.
And 16 years after she sky-rocketed to reality TV fame, the 41 year old stunning blonde readily admits she has a lot to thank the series for.
Before appearing on the show, Aisleyne was estranged from both of her parents and living in hostels.
Casting her mind back, she exclusively told OK! online: “I was already on the right path, I was already trying to save up and I worked any job that I could and I was trying to save up a deposit for a flat even though I come from hostels and had nothing.”
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The straight-talking TV star, who recently invited NHS nurses to live in her flat for free, admitted she is thankful for the doors Big Brother opened for her, as she said: “I am so, so grateful for the show, it definitely helped phenomenally.”
After coming third in the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, Aisleyne built up a successful career and fortune from investing in property and various jobs including acting and glamour modelling.
But, her new-found fame after being praised for her no-nonsense attitude didn’t just help her career, as Aisleyne admits she felt “empowered” and “loved” after the social experiment show.
When asked what she learned from appearing on Big Brother as a 25 year old, the reality star told us: “That I’m a loveable person, because I was estranged from my mum and dad and that kind of, you know… It makes you feel unloved but I feel loved now. I know that sounds really corny but it just made me feel like: ‘No you’re not a bad person, you’re alright mate!’
“It helped me know myself, little girl,” she added before laughing and insisting she couldn’t help but quote her catchphrase.
Aisleyne continued: “It definitely changed my… It empowered me. I don’t know how, but I think just by everyone being so nice all the time…
“It gave me a lot more confidence and a lot more patience with people.”
As Davina McCall and Rylan Clark-Neal discussed Aisleyne and her other housemates including Nikki Grahame, Grace Adams-Short and Pete Bennett on the new highlights show, to celebrate the programme's 20th anniversary, Aisleyne admitted she couldn’t help but cast her mind back to the surreal experience of being in the house.
She said: “I haven’t seen any of my episodes, only clips, so it was so surreal, I got goosebumps.
“It was so nostalgic, I felt like that was my home for three whole months and wow, it was just phenomenal, strange and hilarious because I don’t know where I was going with my fashion sense and I don’t know where my eyebrows were!
“But, I’m quite proud of what I saw, I wasn’t ashamed of my behaviour so I was quite happy with it.”
And, like many of us, the former Big Brother housemate revealed she would love to see more of her series.
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“They should definitely play my whole series because it’s been voted best series ever by the public, I just wish they would,” she admitted.
But, if Big Brother was to revive, Aisleyne told us she would only go back to the house on two conditions.
When asked if she would return to the show where she found fame, the straight-talking blonde said: “Babe, if they put enough zeros on the cheque, I would. Or if someone was acting up and I had to go into the house and tell them about themselves I’d do that.”
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