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Chantelle Houghton, 40, was crowned the winner of Celebrity Big Brother back in 2006 when she won the hearts of the nation with her charming personality.
The irony was that Chantelle was the only housemate of the series who was not actually a celebrity – longtime fans will recall she had to trick her fellow housemates into believing she was part of a pop group called Kandy Floss.
To her surprise, it worked and the former Pairs Hilton impersonator soon formed friendships and even fell in love in the Big Brother house.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk ahead of the show returning to screens, Chantelle said: “I’m so glad it’s coming back.”
She added: “You have to just be yourself because if you go in there – just go in with your eyes open.
“Try not to second guess anything and just go in and just be yourself.”
She continued: “And then you can’t have any regrets if you have just been yourself being true to who you are.
“If everybody hates you then there’s not really much you can do about it.”
Addressing how to cope with being disliked, Chantelle explained: “Rely on your closest friends and your family and obviously the show will have like mental health support but just sort of have to expect the unexpected.
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“I know when you’re going into something like that, that is a possibility that people might not like you – it’s all very well but when you get this opportunity, all of that sort of goes out the window.
“It’s such a once-in-a-lifetime offer you know, very few people that get offered a place.”
Presenters AJ Odudu and Will Best are welcoming a new generation of housemates for this year’s series.
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Branded the Ultimate Social Experiment, bosses have warned viewers can expect several “twists and turns”.
The show aired in July 2000 with Davina McCall as a presenter for the first decade followed by Brian Dowling and Emma Willis.
Davina said: “I spoke to AJ, I had to remind her that I used to do the show when it started. It was quite daunting, so I wanted to give her my blessing. I know that I didn’t need to, but I wanted to pass on the baton.”
Big Brother: The Launch airs Sunday, October 8 at 9pm on ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX.
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