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Model Paul Hamilton escapes Celebrity Big Brother basement after falling ill


Model Paula Hamilton has escaped the Celebrity Big Brother basement after falling ill.

The 51-year-old was one of six contestants banished to the basement, where there is no running water and no windows, when the show started last night, but she was moved up to the main house after becoming unwell.

A show insider said: "After receiving advice from the Big Brother doctor, the decision was taken to move our former supermodel from the dank CBB basement to the glorious world above. She is a new luxury housemate. It's a real rags to riches story."

The latest series of the Channel 5 show started with jockey Frankie Dettori and X Factor flop Rylan Clark entering the house and immediately banishing half their housemates to the basement.

They sent Hamilton to the basement because they thought she would be more irritating than actress Tricia Penrose, who was allowed to go to the house proper.

They also sent Neighbours actor Ryan Maloney, former Coronation Street star Sam Robertson, ex-footballer Neil "Razor" Ruddock and US reality TV couple Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt to the basement.

The pair decided to let ex-EastEnders and Footballers Wives star Gillian Taylforth, glamour girl Lacey Banghard and former Steps singer Claire Richards join them in the main house.

One absentee is comedian Jim Davidson who was due to appear but failed to feature after being arrested and questioned by detectives over allegations of sexual offences, which he denies.

Clark has been installed as favourite to win the show by bookmaker William Hill, with Dettori next.

The contestants will spend the next few days holed up in the custom-built property in full glare of TV cameras, with a winner emerging later this month if they can prove popular enough with viewers and their own housemates. The series is expected to last three weeks, with the first eviction due on Wednesday.

It is the fourth series of Celebrity Big Brother screened by Channel 5 in the space of 18 months after it resurrected the show which was dumped by Channel 4.

Ratings have fallen since it left its original home with the most recent series drawing an average of 2.3 million viewers, the lowest audience yet.

It was almost three million down on the 5.2 million average for the first series in March 2001.