Inside Roxanne Pallett and Ryan Thomas’ Big Brother ‘punch row’

Emma Willis makes ‘subtle dig’ at Roxanne Pallett

Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett and Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas became embroiled in one of the UK’s biggest TV scandals when she accused him of “punching” her during their time in the Big Brother house.

The pair took part in Celebrity Big Brother 2018 for the reality show’s final series on Channel 5 and Ryan was issued with a formal warning when the 40-year-old claimed he hit her “like a boxer punches a bag” during a play fight.

In the kitchen, Ryan could be seen approaching Roxanne while throwing punches in the air. She then squeals: “Ow! Woman beater; you idiot.” He replied: “Did it? Sorry.” She then jests: “I was going to ask if you wanted your washing on, but I might shrink them instead.”

Once alone in the bedroom, Roxanne said: “Big Brother, that hurt. Can you call me to the Diary Room, please?”

When secretly speaking in the Diary Room, she said the incident made her feel “really uncomfortable”.

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Ryan was slapped with a formal warning and made to sleep in a room away from the rest of the house.

Later returning to the Diary Room, Roxanne tearfully said she didn’t feel safe and couldn’t believe producers were letting him stay in the house.

She once again looked distressed when speaking to fellow housemates Ben Jardine and Dan Osborne. Wiping tears from her face, she said: “This is why women don’t say anything because it’s turned around.”

Ryan then said to the boys: “I would never, ever, ever do anything like that, I know what she’s doing to me.”

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Ryan, who now shares two children with TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh, denied all allegations insisting there was “no malice, no hurt or anger” behind his actions.

However, Roxanne claimed to producers that Ryan was trying to “manipulate” the housemates into thinking that she had “made it up” and “[tarnished her] reputation by saying this is an act”.

Viewers flocked to Ryan’s corner and the incident prompted more than 25,000 Ofcom complaints, making it the most complained-about TV show of the decade.

Roxanne later admitted she got it wrong and decided to leave the house on Day 17.

During an interview with Emma Willis, Roxanne said she had become the “most hated girl in Britain” and that the backlash had been “a lot to deal with”.

She concluded by saying that all she could do was “own it, accept it and apologise”.

She apologised to Ryan in a number of interviews, telling Jeremy Vine: “[It was] an overreaction to what wasn’t a malicious act.

“I was sensitive and emotional and mistook what was playful – I apologise for it, I shouldn’t have questioned his motivation.”

Ryan went on to win the show and said he was “glad” the Big Brother house had “24-hour surveillance”.

He said in his exit interview: “It was a sign of affection… there was nothing in it.

“As it unravelled, as it became bigger and bigger, then it scared me. We all know how something like that can stick on a man.”

The incident left a mark on Roxanne and she relocated to the US in November 2019. She is now married to firefighter and Married at First Sight star Jason Carrion and they had a baby boy in 2021.

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