Chantelle Vivien Houghton
21 August 1983
(m. 2006; div. 2007)
|Partner(s)||Alex Reid (2011–2012)|
Chantelle Vivien Houghton (born 21 August 1983) is an English television personality, glamour model, and columnist. In 2006, she competed in the fourth series of the Channel 4 reality series Celebrity Big Brother. Houghton was sent in as a non-celebrity with the task of persuading her celebrity housemates that she was famous. She emerged as the winner of the series, winning a prize of GB£25,000. Following a much-publicised on-screen relationship, Houghton married former fellow Big Brother contestant Samuel Preston of The Ordinary Boys in August 2006.
Houghton was born in Wickford, Essex, England, to her parents Allan and Vivien, and has an older brother, Gregg. She attended Bromfords School in Wickford, the same school that Big Brother 8 winner Brian Belo attended several years later. She left school at age 15 with seven GCSEs, then worked in a bank and as an insurance telesales representative.
After various friends suggested she would make a good model, Houghton entered a 2001 competition run by Motor Cycle News magazine, and after winning it became a promotions girl. Wanting to be like her heroine Jordan, she undertook some glamour modelling starting out by having her mother take some topless shots in a local park. In 2003, she entered a Daily Star competition as a Page 3 girl, which she did not win, but appeared once in the tabloid newspaper.
Houghton appeared as a Soccerette model on the Soccer AM show for Sky Sports and also 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.
Celebrity Big Brother 2006 / Ultimate Big Brother 2010
Houghton had originally applied to be in Big Brother 6 and was a stand-by for that series but was never called up, however producers decided to use her for the upcoming celebrity version as a "Fake Celebrity".
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 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 final 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 14 February 2007 edition 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 Big Brother 7 columnist and New!'s Big Brother 8 columnist. Before becoming New!'s BB8 columnist she had another column in the magazine entitled "I Want It Right Now" in which she shared makeup and fashion tips.
Houghton has appeared as a guest on several TV shows since winning Celebrity Big Brother. These include:
- Channel 4's The Friday Night Project on 10 and 17 February 2006 as a co-presenter to Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins, replacing Debra Stephenson, due to her heavy filming schedule for Coronation Street.
- TV3's The Brendan Courtney Show when she jetted in-and-out of Dublin in a matter of hours.
- Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats, as a celebrity contestant on 10 March 2006
- ITV1's The Mint, as a special guest
- BBC's The Weakest Link, as a celebrity contestant on 5 May 2006, which also featured some reality TV stars Michael Barrymore and Russell Grant; and Big Brother's Big Mouth on 17 August 2006, during the final week of the seventh series of Big Brother.
- CBBC's Comic Relief does Beat the Boss, alongside Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne and comedian Joe Pasquale
- ITV's GMTV, for an interview in November 2007
- ITV1's Call Me a Cabbie as a trainee in 2007
- BBC One's Hotel Babylon as the girlfriend of Chris Moyles.
- BBC Three's Snog Marry Avoid? on 16 February 2009
- Big Brother spin-off show Big Brother's Bit on the Side for Channel 5.
- Come Dine With Me for Channel 4, broadcast from 10 to 14 October 2011
Houghton announced her engagement to Preston on 11 April 2006. In an exclusive £300,000 deal each with OK! magazine, they were married on 25 August 2006 at Dartmouth House in Mayfair, London.
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 to give interviews to various magazines, with Houghton losing weight and colouring her hair brunette to look more like Preston's former fiancée 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.
- Day, Julia (27 January 2006). "Chantelle banks exclusive interview". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
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- "Celebrity BB: Chantelle wants it right now". Manchester Evening News. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
- Reuters Staff (22 November 2007). "Big Brother's Chantelle and Preston divorce". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
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- Piers Morgan: The Dark Side of Fame - BBC One, 26 October 2008
- "THE SOCCERETTES HALL OF FAME 2005/06". Sky Sports. 24 May 2006. Archived from the original on 25 February 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
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- "Katy Guest: Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!". The Independent. 5 February 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "All the latest TV news and gossip from reality TV, soaps, cult and dramas". Entertainment.uk.msn.com. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
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- Results of The National Television Awards 2006 Results and Nominations
- McCafferty, Nicola (2 June 2010). "We found this picture of Chantelle really, really funny... | OK! Magazine". OK!. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Duncan, Amy (21 September 2010). "Chantelle scores lingerie deal but still waits on Preston | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Chantelle's ShowBiz Life Begins..." ShowBiz Ireland. 8 February 2006. Retrieved 8 February 2006.
- "Hotel Babylon press pack". BBC Press Office. 20 December 2006.
- "Friday 19 August | Celebrity Big Brother's Bit On The Side". Channel 5. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Celebrity News, Gossip and Photo Galleries - HuffPost Celebrity UK". Celebrity.aol.co.uk. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Chantelle and Preston get engaged". BBC News. 12 April 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "Chantelle 'marries Ordinary Boy'". BBC News. 26 August 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- "Chantelle Houghton: Preston never wanted to marry me". Now Magazine. 25 October 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "Big Brother couple end marriage". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- "Rav Wilding on split with Chantelle Houghton: 'I've been stitched up!'". The Mirror. 28 April 2011.
- Percival, Ashley (9 July 2012). "IT'S OVER! Chantelle Ends Alex Relationship". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 21 October 2018.