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Gemma Collins

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Gemma Collins
Gemma Clare Collins

(1981-01-31) 31 January 1981 (age 40)
  • Media personality
  • businesswoman
Years active2000, 2011–present
Gemma Collins signature.png

Gemma Clare Collins (born 31 January 1981) is an English media personality and businesswoman. In 2011, she began appearing on the ITVBe reality series The Only Way Is Essex, appearing until 2019. Collins went on to appear in various television shows, including I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2014), Celebrity Big Brother (2016), Celebs Go Dating (2018), and Dancing on Ice (2019). In 2018, she began starring in her own reality franchise, Gemma Collins: Diva, and a year later, she began hosting a podcast on BBC Sounds.

Early life

Collins was born on 31 January 1981[1] in Romford, London to Alan and Joan Collins (née Williams). She has an older brother named Russell. Collins attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School.[2] She also attended Frances Bardsley Academy and Raphael Independent School.[3] Before her career in television, she was a used car sales person.[4]


2011–2017: The Only Way Is Essex and Celebrity Big Brother

Collins' first appearance on television was in the ITV documentary Snobs, which aired on 13 January 2000.[5] The series focused on people who believed they were a different class. Following her appearance on the show, Collins visited an agent who told her that she 'had charisma but was too fat to be on TV'; suggesting she should lose two stone.[6]

In 2011, Julie Childs, mother of Collins' friend Amy, suggested to producers of the ITV2 reality series The Only Way Is Essex that Collins, who was a used car sales woman at the time, would be an appropriate subject.[7] They went to Collins' house and then filmed her and her friends for two weeks.[8] After going back to work selling cars for a week, she was cast in the programme and began appearing in The Only Way Is Essex from its second series in 2011; her first ever scene was selling a car to Kirk Norcross.[8] While appearing on the programme, Collins opened a clothes boutique.[9] Her mother Joan joined in the fifth series in April 2012.[10]

In April 2013, Collins released her debut autobiography Basically...: My Life as a Real Essex Girl, which became a bestseller in its first week of release.[11]

In January 2014, Collins took part in the second series of the ITV diving competition Splash!. During training, Collins suffered severe bruising and admitted she had to overcome a fear of water. She became the third celebrity to be eliminated after losing the splash-off to Michaela Strachan in the first heat.[12] In November 2014, she took part in the fourteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! on ITV.[13] After she refused to parachute into the jungle along with her cast mates, she withdrew after spending 72 hours in the jungle, which she said was due to health issues.[14]

On 5 January 2016, she entered the Celebrity Big Brother house to participate in the seventeenth series.[15] On 2 February 2016, she became the seventh housemate to be evicted, having received the fewest votes to be saved, spending a total of 29 days in the house.[7] In 2017, she returned to Big Brother, as a special guest for a shopping task, alongside fellow ex-contestants Marnie Simpson and Nicola McLean.[16]

In October 2016, Collins appeared on Sky News where she was interviewed by Kay Burley about the campaign to remove the word 'Essex girl' from the Oxford English Dictionary.[17] Collins described the definition, which stereotypes Essex girls as 'unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic', as derogatory and suggested that the meaning be changed. The expression was removed from the dictionary following the successful campaign in December 2020.[18]

In October 2017, Collins presented the BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best TV Show to Love Island and, after announcing the winner, fell through an opening in the stage.[19] The clip later went viral on social media.[20][21] In an interview with Irish News, Collins said "the seriousness of it is, it could have been really fatal".[22] After the video's widespread attention, further videos of Collins were used as memes, including scenes from her appearances on The Only Way Is Essex and Celebrity Big Brother.[7]

2018–present: Dancing on Ice and Diva

In 2018, Collins appeared on Celebrity 100% Hotter,[23] as well as the fourth series of Celebs Go Dating.[24] Collins also appeared in Gemma Collins: Diva España, a one-off reality television special aired on 29 August 2018.[25] Collins also took part in Celebrity MasterChef, and guest starred in a promotional advert for Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.[26] In June 2018, she released her second book, titled The GC: How to Be a Diva, in which she provides advice and self help for women to gain confidence.[27] In an interview on Loose Women, she admitted to using a ghostwriter.[28] Collins then collaborated with fashion website on a collection of swimwear for plus-sized women in 2018.[29]

In 2019, Collins took part in the eleventh series of Dancing on Ice, alongside professional partner Matt Evers.[30] While competing in the series, Collins had an on-screen argument with judge Jason Gardiner, who made comments about her weight and lack of commitment to the series.[7] In week 4, Collins suffered a fall during a live performance. She fell on her face, nearly breaking her jaw and neck, and injured her knee significantly.[31] Despite the fall, the couple received their highest scores of the competition and subsequently progressed to the next week.[32] In week 6, they became the fifth couple to be eliminated, following a skate-off against Ryan Sidebottom and his professional partner Brandee Malto.[33]

In April 2019, Collins began filming for her own reality series, Gemma Collins: Diva Forever.[34] The series premiered on 7 August 2019 on ITVBe.[35] The pilot episode premiered to a total of 673,038 viewers, and was the most watched episode on ITVBe in that week.[36] Diva Forever was subsequently renewed by ITV for a second series,[37] but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, production was suspended.[38] As a result, Collins filmed a new reality series, Gemma Collins: Diva on Lockdown, from her home in Brentwood.[39] In August 2019, Collins began hosting a podcast on BBC Sounds, titled The Gemma Collins Podcast.[40][41] In September 2019, Collins released her debut perfume, Diva Pink.[42] In August 2020, Collins began hosting a second podcast on BBC Sounds entitled The Gemma Collins Love Lounge.[43]

In September 2020, Collins announced her collaboration with fashion company InTheStyle, debuting her first plus-size collection with the brand.[44] In October 2020, Gemma Collins: Diva Forever & Ever premiered on ITVBe.[45] Collins also collaborated with Zymurgorium, a distillery in Manchester, to launch her own premium gin liqueur as part of the company's 'FlaGINgo' range.[46] In November 2020, Collins partnered with the online casino PlayOJO to launch a faux fragrance, in order to raise awareness that problem gambling is the 'addiction with no smell'. She admitted that the campaign was close to her heart having previously been around addicts in her life.[47]

On 11 December 2020, Collins released a charity single, a cover of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" alongside her Celebrity Big Brother co-star Darren Day, with proceeds from the single going towards Rethink Mental Illness.[48] The music video was released at the end of Gemma Collins: Diva for Xmas, which aired on 9 December 2020.[49] In February 2021, Collins appeared on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, where she discussed her early life, career, relationships, and miscarriages, as well as her struggles with her weight and online trolling.[50][51] Collins also appeared as a special guest on the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK to judge the Snatch Game segment of the show.[52]

Personal life

Collins became engaged to Rami Hawash on 25 December 2013 but the engagement was called off a few weeks later.[53] Collins briefly dated James Argent in 2012; the pair reconciled in December 2017 and have been in an on-and-off relationship ever since.[54][55]

Collins suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome. In January 2012, she suffered a miscarriage.[56] In 2020, Collins suffered a second miscarriage, which she initially suspected to be a heavy period.[57]


As herself
Year Title Notes
2011–2019 The Only Way Is Essex Series regular
2014 Splash! Contestant; series 2
2014 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Contestant; series 14
2016 Celebrity Big Brother Housemate; series 17
2017 Sugar Free Farm Participant
2017 Big Brother Guest housemate
2018 Celebs Go Dating Main cast
2018–present Gemma Collins: Diva Lead role
2018 Celebrity MasterChef Contestant
2018 All Together Now, Celebrities Finalist
2019 Dancing on Ice Contestant; series 11

Guest appearances


  • The Gemma Collins Podcast (BBC Sounds, 2019)
  • The Gemma Collins Love Lounge (BBC Sounds, 2020)


  • Basically...: My Life as a Real Essex Girl (2013)
  • The GC: How to Be a Diva (2018)


  1. ^ @OnlyWayIsEssex (31 January 2019). "🎉Happy Birthday Gemma! 🎉 It's @MissGemCollins 38th birthday! There's no one quite like the GC and we love her 😻😻 #TeamGC #TOWIE" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Aitkenhead, Decca (8 September 2017). "Towie's Gemma Collins: 'I felt more beautiful before I went on TV. I get so much criticism now'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Gemma Collins was bullied and beaten before she found fame". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ Knight, Kathryn (6 April 2018). "TOWIE cast's real jobs: What do the likes of Amber Turner, Pete Wicks and James Lock actually do for a living?". OK! Magazine. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  5. ^ Banks-Smith, Nancy (13 January 2000). "Peeling the plums". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  6. ^ Kelly, Helen (11 February 2021). "'How did you get that?' Gemma Collins stunned as Piers Morgan uncovers first TV appearance". Daily Express. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d "Gemma Collins: Everything you need to know about The GC". Heat. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b Meyler, Piers (6 January 2014). "TOWIE's Gemma Collins' top job tips for youngsters". Brentwood Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  9. ^ Ingram, Paige (25 January 2020). "What we really thought when we reviewed TOWIE star Gemma Collins' Brentwood boutique". Essex Live. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  10. ^ Fletcher, Alex (12 April 2012). "'The Only Way Is Essex' axes Dino and Georgio, hires Gemma Collins mum". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Gemma Collins autobiography 'Basically' is a bestseller!". 28 May 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  12. ^ "TOWIE's Gemma reveals unfortunate Splash! bruising". ITV News. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  13. ^ "I'm a Celebrity lineup confirmed: Michael Buerk, Kendra, Craig Charles". Digital Spy. 11 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Gemma Collins leaves the I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! jungle". 19 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  15. ^ Welsh, Daniel (6 January 2016). "Biggest Reality TV Repeat Offenders, Including 'Celebrity Big Brother' Contestant Gemma Collins, Kerry Katona and Katie Hopkins (PICS)". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Marnie Simpson and Gemma Collins are entering Big Brother 2017 for a special task". Metro. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  17. ^ Percival, Ash (26 October 2016). "Gemma Collins Wants You To Know She Is A 'Massive Fan' Of The Dictionary". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  18. ^ Marsh, Sarah (5 December 2020). "'Essex girl' removed from dictionary following campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Gemma Collins fell down a trap door at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards". The Independent. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Gemma Collins 'considering suing the BBC' over dramatic stage fall". Evening Standard. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  21. ^ "New! Magazine". Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Gemma Collins could have fallen into Strictly Come Dancing". Irish News. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Gemma Collins tries to ditch the neon in Celebrity 100% Hotter". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Gemma Collins Stood Up Her Date In Paris And Everyone Is Fuming". Grazia. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Gemma Collins: Diva Espana - what time is it on TV?". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Gemma Collins joins cast of Orange Is The New Black in Litchfield Prison". Metro. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  27. ^ "A fun read? Towie's Gemma Collins discusses her new guide to being a diva". The Irish News. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  28. ^ Pearce, Tilly (27 June 2018). "Gemma Collins admits that her book was ghost-written after Now Magazine interview". Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  29. ^ Bourne, Dianne (14 May 2018). "Gemma Collins channels Baywatch in new Boohoo swimwear range". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  30. ^ Harp, Justin (6 November 2018). "Dancing on Ice reveals Gemma Collins' professional partner". Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  31. ^ "Gemma Collins' Dancing on Ice injuries revealed in full after that nasty fall". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  32. ^ "Gemma Collins suffers 'horror fall' live on Dancing On Ice". Heart. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  33. ^ "It's Happened – Gemma Collins Has Left Dancing On Ice". Huffington Post. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  34. ^ "Gemma Collins to start filming reality show Diva Forever". Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Gemma Collins to start filming reality show Diva Forever". FemaleFirst. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Gemma Collins: ITV wants more Diva Forever". FemaleFirst. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  38. ^ "Gemma Collins forced to shut up Essex boutique amid coronavirus pandemic". Metro. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Gemma Collins to continue filming for reality show despite coronavirus pandemic and it's called Diva on Lockdown". Metro. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  40. ^ Darvill, Josh (14 August 2019). "The Gemma Collins Podcast launches on BBC Sounds". TellyMix. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  41. ^ Rosseinsky, Kate (14 August 2019). "Gemma Collins launches 'no-holds barred' podcast with BBC Radio 1". Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  42. ^ Curtis, Liam (5 September 2019). "Gemma Collins flaunts new Diva Pink perfume on ITV's Diva Forever". Reality Titbit. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  43. ^ "The Gemma Collins Love Lounge". Listen. 5 August 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  44. ^ "Gemma Collins highlights her weight loss in bodycon dress to toast VERY exciting news". Hello. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  45. ^ "Gemma Collins looks sensational as she teases upcoming theatre tour". Entertainment Daily. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  46. ^ "Zymurgorium launches the Diva of all gin liqueurs". Zymurgorium. 23 October 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  47. ^ "Gemma Collins on her new 'fragrance' Compulsion". PlayOJO. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  48. ^ "Gemma Collins to release Christmas single Baby It's Cold Outside this week". Official Charts Company. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  49. ^ "Gemma Collins & Darren Day To Enter Christmas Number 1 Race With 'Baby It's Cold Outside'". Capital FM. 8 December 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  50. ^ Critchell, Matthew (4 February 2021). "'It's shocking and emotional viewing': Gemma Collins reveals all in TV interview". The Echo. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  51. ^ Hogan, Michael (11 February 2021). "How Piers Morgan helped Gemma Collins to revamp her image - and stopped her releasing a sex tape". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  52. ^ Damshenas, Sam (14 December 2020). "Gemma Collins confirmed to judge Snatch Game for Drag Race UK season 2". Gay Times. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  53. ^ "Gemma Collins is engaged to Rami Hawash – and it involved Christmas pudding!". Closer. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  54. ^ Ross, Alex (26 February 2019). "Gemma Collins DUMPS Arg after he 'fat-shamed' her in shocking messages 😱". Heat. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  55. ^ Elliott, Sam (4 February 2021). "Gemma Collins and James Argent 'back together and talking about marriage and having children'". OK!. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  56. ^ "Gemma Collins opens up about polycystic ovaries-related weight gain as she posts throwback snap". Heart. 10 June 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  57. ^ "Gemma Collins reveals she suffered miscarriage in lockdown". Hello. Retrieved 14 October 2020.

External links