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Houghton in 2011
|Born||Chantelle Vivien Houghton
21 August 1983
Wickford, Essex, England
|Occupation||Television personality, glamour model, media personality, television presenter, columnist, novelist|
|Television||Celebrity Big Brother (2006)
Ultimate Big Brother (2010)
|Samuel Preston (m. 2006; div. 2007)|
|Alex Reid (2011-2012)|
Chantelle Vivien Houghton (born 21 August 1983) is an English television personality, glamour model, media personality, television presenter, columnist and novelist. She was the first 'non-celebrity' to feature in the Channel 4 reality television show Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.
She emerged as the winner of series 4, beating 10 celebrities: (Michael Barrymore, Maggot, Samuel Preston, Pete Burns, Traci Bingham, Dennis Rodman, George Galloway, Rula Lenska, Faria Alam and Jodie Marsh), winning a prize of £25,000. Following a much-publicised on-screen courtship, Houghton married former fellow Big Brother contestant Samuel Preston of The Ordinary Boys in August 2006.
Houghton was born in Wickford, Essex, to Allan and Vivien, and has an older brother, Gregg. She has a daughter. She attended Bromfords School in Wickford, the same school that Big Brother 8 winner Brian Belo attended. She left school at 15 with seven GCSEs, then worked in a bank and as an insurance telesales rep. Houghton is a vegetarian.
After various friends suggested she would make a good model, Houghton entered a 2001 competition run by a Motorcycle News magazine, and after winning it became a promotions girl. Wanting to be like her heroine Katie Price, she undertook some glamour modelling, started out by having her mother take some topless shots in a local park. In 2003, she entered a Daily Star competition as a Page Three girl, which she did not win, but appeared once in the tabloid newspaper.
She appeared as a Soccerette model on Sky TV's Soccer AM show, and worked for a lookalike agency, portraying Paris Hilton. In 2005, she competed in a Miss Greater London beauty pageant, where she lost to Jenny Velasquez who took the crown and went on to compete in Miss England.
Houghton entered the house on day one and became the first non-celebrity to enter Celebrity Big Brother. She was told by Big Brother that her cover story was that she was a member of a fictional band called Kandy Floss. According to Big Brother, Houghton was the lead singer. Their singles were "I Want It Right Now", "Come Back" and "More More More". "I Want It Right Now" was their biggest hit. Had she failed to convince them, she would have been evicted from the house. She successfully fooled her housemates and survived to the end of the show. In her Big Brother profile page Houghton described herself as a "bright, blonde bimbo" (despite not being a natural blonde). She said, "I look like Paris Hilton, not on purpose but it's just the way it turned out".
On 8 January (day four), Big Brother set a task to the group to rate themselves by how famous they thought they were. The celebrity they thought was the most famous stood on the No. 1 podium and the person they considered the least famous stood on the No. 11 podium. Houghton had to avoid being put in the No. 11 podium to prove she had fooled the real celebrities that she was famous and to stay in the house. Houghton survived the task, being chosen to stand on the No. 9 podium, ahead of Samuel Preston and Maggot. She was then called to the diary room to discuss her identity with Big Brother. This was simultaneously shown on a television screen in the lounge, in front of the other housemates.
Houghton was nominated for eviction on Day 21, but was saved from eviction by the public as the other two nominees (George Galloway and Dennis Rodman) left the house in a double eviction. While in the house, Houghton established close bonds with Jodie Marsh, and Preston.
Houghton won the show on 27 January with 56.4% of the public vote, ahead of Michael Barrymore on 22.7%, earning her £25,000 (the celebrities were reportedly paid fees of up to £150,000 each).
Houghton re-entered the Big Brother house for Ultimate Big Brother, following the conclusion of Big Brother 2010, and to signal the end of Big Brother on Channel 4. She entered the house with her ex-husband Preston. During the show, Houghton reformed the fake band Kandy Floss with fellow Ultimate Big Brother housemates Victor Ebuwa and Nadia Almada for a task. Houghton survived eviction on Day 11 and subsequently landed third place on the finale with 20.51% of the finale three-way vote on Day 18, finishing behind Nikki Grahame and winner Brian Dowling.
Houghton also had her own post Big Brother show called Chantelle: Living the Dream.
In May 2006, she signed a £300,000 deal with Random House to publish her autobiography. It was released in October 2006 called Living the Dream which sold 50,000 copies. Extracts from the book were read out by Simon Amstell on edition of 14 February 2007 of Never Mind the Buzzcocks which caused Preston, who was a guest on the show, to walk off the set.
Houghton has written several columns in magazines, most notably as OK!s BB7 columnist and New!s BB8 columnist. Before becoming New!'s BB8 columnist she had another column in the magazine entitled "I Want It Right Now" in which she shared make up and fashion tips.
In June 2010, Houghton fronted a campaign for PETA 'Fight Impotence. Go Vegetarian'. On 24 August 2010, Houghton was the second housemate to enter the Ultimate Big Brother house behind winner of Big Brother 2010, Josie Gibson, to compete for "Ultimate Housemate". Her ex-husband Preston was the third person to enter the house. Houghton finished third behind runner-up Nikki Grahame and winner Brian Dowling.
Houghton has appeared as a guest on several TV shows since winning Celebrity Big Brother. These include:
After their honeymoon, the couple moved to Preston's flat in Brighton. In a later 2008 interview with Piers Morgan, Houghton admitted that Preston had told her one-month after the wedding that he had not wanted to marry her. The couple continued giving interviews to various magazines, with Houghton losing weight and colouring her hair brunette to look more like Preston's former fiancee Camille.
Ten months later, on 27 June 2007 they announced in a joint statement that they were ending their marriage. "After much soul-searching and tearful discussions we have sadly decided to end our marriage," they said in the statement. "We hope we can always remain friends and still love each other but we both think we put so much pressure on one another to make our marriage work that it has ended up destroying our relationship. No one else is involved in our decision." The couple divorced in November 2007.