Porn star, former gang member and Miss India are among new Big Brother housemates

 

A former porn star, a plus-size model and a one-time LA gang member took their place among the new intake of Big Brother housemates.

The 16 contestants headed into their new home for the coming weeks as Channel 5 launched yet another series of the show - the fourth within the space of a year.

The opening programme saw the first contestant to enter the house, Deana Uppal, forced to nominate three of her fellow housemates to face the public vote, although she had only just met them.

After much deliberation, the reigning Miss India UK chose Conor, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Derry, Victoria, a 41-year-old plus-size model from Berkshire, and Lydia, a 25-year-old dancer from Cheshire.

Asked to give reasons for her nominations, she agonised a while before claiming Conor "didn't make enough effort to speak to me", while Victoria "has evil eyes".

Her reason for choosing Lydia was unclear.

One of the three unlucky housemates she picked will be evicted on Friday.

In the house with them is Benedict Garrett, who hit the headlines when it emerged he was working as a stripper while teaching in an east London school.

The 32-year-old former porn star, who has also worked as a nude butler, was suspended from his job and given a rap on the knuckles by the General Teaching Council for his moonlighting, which was ruled to be unacceptable professional conduct.

And producers have clearly figured yet again that sex sells, as many of the housemates are singletons looking for romance.

There were several hints at future shenanigans, with Benedict telling presenter Brian Dowling he would clean in the nude "as long as I get some favours in return".

Former Miss Edinburgh Sara McLean is the second beauty queen in a series that also includes a sex-change chef, known as Luke A, who was born a girl but began to have treatment to become a man four years ago.

He has since married, although many people he works with have no idea about his past.

Martial arts fighter Arron, who has been a model for trendy labels Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, and dancer Lydia, who has appeared in the movie Mamma Mia!, are already used to the limelight.

Well-spoken history student Scott, from Macclesfield, meanwhile believes the show will help him launch a career as a celebrity historian, as well as breaking the news that he is gay.

Former gang member Adam was born in Britain and brought up in Los Angeles, where he became a member of the LA Crips gang.

He has since sorted his life out and has gone on to help others with addiction problems.

Rain greeted the new arrivals and umbrellas were whipped out as they were introduced to the crowd.

Self-confessed foul-mouth Ashleigh from Essex left Dowling apologising "if (her) swearing has offended any of our viewers".

As well as the contestants who have already entered, there will be three other "wildcard" housemates introduced to the house at a later date.

Producers have gone for youth with their latest group, with all but three of the contestants in their 20s.

Although viewing figures are way down on the show's Channel 4 days, the programme has still proved a boon for its new station after transferring last year.

This will be the second series of Big Brother on Channel 5, but it has also screened two Celebrity versions of the show since station boss Richard Desmond bought the series and broadcast it for the first time last summer.

The wannabes

Lauren Carre, 20, from Jersey

A criminology and sociology student at Liverpool University who grew up on a farm in the Channel Islands. She was a talented gymnast at five, and represented Jersey at karate by the age of 13 and now holds a black belt in the martial art as well as three world championship titles.

Single Lauren's favourite party trick is doing the splits and she is hoping to find "some good-looking and intelligent guys in the house". She loves things to be spotless and gets "annoyed by boys not doing washing up, who don't clean the toilet". She has watched Big Brother since the first series and has always wanted to be a housemate.

Arron Lowe, 23, from Manchester

A mixed martial arts fighter who is taking time off from competing to concentrate on modelling for fashion labels such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. He aims to return to fighting - which he says he does for "the glory" - after Big Brother, and enjoys "thousands of people watching the fight, coming out with your hand in the air - like being famous".

Single Arron, who loves showing off his abs, is not looking for another relationship but says he quickly gets smitten: "I'm a sucker for love; I fall in love like a big girl." He aims to play the other housemates off against each other.

Sara McLean, 22, from Edinburgh

A student and model who triumphed as Miss Edinburgh in 2010, she was runner-up in Miss Scotland last year (she reckons being opinionated robbed her of the title) and fourth in Miss Great Britain.

She is described as an outrageous flirt, but is argumentative and has a short fuse.

Conservative supporter Sara is a staunch fan of Baroness Thatcher, whom she believes "did amazingly for the country". Single for the past year, she reckons: "I could have a boyfriend if I wanted one. Most men think I'm really scary."

Sara does not hold high hopes for winning Big Brother. "It's a popularity contest and there are a lot of people I don't get on with," she says.

A marketing graduate, she thinks her dad, who died from cancer before Christmas, will be looking down on her.

Deana Uppal, 23, from Birmingham

The current Miss India UK earned enough from modelling by the time she was 18 to buy her own house. Money, she says, is the greatest love of her life and she doesn't trust men: "I don't believe in love as every man is or will be a cheater."

For the past year she has been based in India - where she has servants and a driver - because that is where much of her work is based - she has starred in two Bollywood films.

But being pampered by others all her life means she has no idea how to iron or cook. Single Deana says girls are jealous of her looks and she finds it easier to get on with boys. Being blunt has lost her friends in the past.

Deana, who suffered racism at school, doesn't drink and is also a black belt in karate.

Conor McIntyre, 24, from Derry

A personal trainer and massage therapist who says he is the "sexiest 24-year-old from Derry - fact" and admits: "Basically I love myself."

A talented footballer, he believes his greatest achievement was being chosen to train at the David Beckham Football Academy where he played with the likes of Becks, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard - though he thinks he's more like Joey Barton on the pitch.

His party trick is not suitable for a family audience but he says it impresses the girls, although he says many women quickly become obsessed with him. Says he is a "clean freak".

Scott Mason, 20, from Macclesfield

A history student from a privileged background, he believes the show can help him launch a career as a celebrity historian. He loves the British aristocracy and identifies with Regency rakes, admiring their cavalier attitude and recklessness with money.

Gay Scott says he has not told his family about his sexuality although they may have "gathered". The toff enjoys shooting game and would love to go to Africa to bring back "trophies".

He has had a stint as an Avon representative but failed to get any orders, and lasted at a Domino's pizza parlour less than a week because he hated the uniform. He is on the lookout for love, but has never had a lengthy relationship.

Lydia Louisa, 25, from Watford

A professional dancer who is engaged to Andy Scott-Lee, the former wannabe pop star and brother of Steps member Lisa Scott-Lee.

She attended dance classes six days a week as a child and her talent led to appearances backing Kylie Minogue and Kanye West's Golddigga performance at the Brit Awards, as well as the final 10 in auditions for the group The Saturdays. Her proudest work was appearing in the dance scenes of screen hit Mamma Mia! and sharing a scene with Meryl Streep.

She struggles to walk away from confrontations and will always "put my two pennies worth in - I pride myself on the ability to outwit my contender". Lydia is allergic to alcohol and is in the show to win it. "I don't go into something for the experience," she says.

Victoria Eisermann, 41, from London

A plus-size model who formerly did glamour work and has appeared in a number of commercials. She is also an animal rights campaigner who set up a dog rescue charity, which has housed 100 animals, and loves her pets. "I've got five dogs, I'm the crazy dog lady," she says.

She became a vegan eight years ago and reckons she is "secretly trying to turn everyone vegetarian". Another contestant who likes things spick and span, she wants the prize money "to start a vegan handbag and shoe company".

She split from her husband eight months ago.

Sheivonne Robinson, 28, from Lewisham

Currently the assistant manager of a nail varnish outlet, but formerly a hostess at the Playboy club in London, complete with bunny ears. She has also launched Playboy products by jetting off on the company's plane and met Hugh Hefner twice.

Believes she is a "professional arguer" and says: "I'm very logical and lyrically gifted - I'm taking the argument to the left and little do they know they are following."

She can down 10 tequila shots in 30 seconds and is currently single. She does not trust men, but may make exception for Peter Andre, although she adds: "Even he's a bit short."

Chris James, 21, from Luton

A doorman from Luton who also works as a bailiff, Chris says he will do whatever is necessary to triumph in Big Brother because he always wins. "I'll be the biggest two-faced person in there - I want to win," he says, and plans to buy a new BMW car.

He says he loves his work although it has not been without risks - he has been held hostage and bitten by a dog in the line of duty. Loves the paranormal and conspiracy theories, as well as going to the gym four days a week to work on his 50-inch chest.

Chris's ideal woman would have "tattoos and tongue piercings - I like a girl that's got swagger, red hair and fake boobs".

Caroline Wharram, 20, from Surrey

A university dropout whose only work has been collecting for charity in the street. Her role ended when she dropped her phone down a toilet and her employers could not contact her.

She went from private prep school to being a boarder, but got into trouble for stealing wine at a parents' evening and during a school play.

She describes herself as "weird, embarrassing and a bit of a loser", has not had a boyfriend for longer than a week and manages to repel boys - "if I try to act aloof I come across as socially inept". Caroline says she will struggle to win the series because she is irritable and blunt.

Ashleigh Hughes, 20, from Essex

Bubbly and potty-mouthed, she is a sales supervisor and part-time barmaid and hopes to become famous through her stint in Big Brother, whether she is loved or despised.

Past jobs have include selling wine stocks and commodities. "People say you can't do it because you don't have this or that, like only two GCSEs, but if you set your mind to it, you can do it," she says.

Ashleigh's dream job would be working on TV or in an airline cabin crew. She is single but loves flirting, and believes money is the ultimate source of pleasure. "Money does make you happy. It sorts out everything," she says.

Adam Kelly, 27, from Burton-on-Trent

Although he is from the Midlands, he was brought up in Los Angeles and became a member of the notorious gang the Crips. Turning his life around and getting sober at the age of 19 is his proudest achievement and he has worked as a mentor for young people in the US and wants to do the same here after returning to the UK.

He admits he seems arrogant, but says people are surprised how caring he is when they get to know him. He says he will be a leader in the house and watching a recent Celebrity Big Brother, the extreme tasks made him recall his days running with the gang. "It just reminds me of the stupid things me and my boys do," he says.

Luke Anderson, 31, from north Wales

Luke is a transgender development chef who was born in South Africa but raised in Wales. He was born female but realised he was trapped in the wrong body from an early age, and underwent surgery and hormone treatment four years ago.

Few people beyond his family know about it. He has been married for two years, and told his wife within a week of meeting her about his background. "I knew that she was the one, I was tired of chasing girls," he says.

Luke is a big gym fan and says he will get annoyed at messy housemates, "loud opinionated people, as well as chavs". He believes he can win, adding: "It is a game and I plan to play it."

Benedict Garrett, 32, from east London

He hit the headlines when it emerged he was a former porn actor and also worked as a stripper while teaching at a school in Ilford. The General Teaching Council found his dual life amounted to unacceptable professional conduct last year, but was told he could keep his job.

He hopes being in Big Brother will act "as a platform for challenging perceptions". He looks after an 18-year-old foster son, who he calls the greatest experience of his life.

Says he would hate to find himself cooped up with loud or laddish people with "lots to prove but nothing to say".

Luke Scrase, 24, from Stoke

A nightclub promoter who reckons he is a real charmer who can win anyone over, "including your girlfriend".

He dropped out of university to work in bars, but the compulsive flirt then got into the club scene. "Guys want to be me, girls want to be with me," he says. He has had only one serious relationship and describes his ideal woman as having a "tight body" and bright enough to challenge him. "If she frustrates me that's a good thing," he says.

He says he is a bad loser and will be very competitive in the house. "I wouldn't even bother applying if I didn't want to win," he says.

 

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