When Chantelle Houghton walked into the Celebrity Big Brother house three weeks ago, she was an office temp from Essex. Her brushes with celebrity had, until then, been limited to three appearances at nightclubs and corporate bashes as a Paris Hilton lookalike.
But after she left the Channel 4 reality show as the winner on Friday night, her elevation to true celebrity was confirmed when her former lookalike agency, Fake Faces, said they are now looking for a Chantelle Houghton doppelganger.
The 22-year-old's days as a double of the Hilton heiress appear over. Advertisers, magazine editors and TV executives queued to offer contracts to Britain's newest celebrity, and her publicist, Max Clifford, said she could soon be a millionaire.
"The public has really got behind her," he said. "What you see is what you get. She is lively, bubbly and seems down to earth. She has a tremendous opportunity now, including modelling, magazine spreads, presenting, endorsements, that kind of thing. It will be easy to make her £1m."
Chantelle entered the CBB house with the task of convincing house-mates, including 1980s pop star Pete Burns and Respect MP George Galloway, that she was a real celebrity. She told them she was a singer in a girl-band called Kandy Floss, whose one hit was, "I Want it Right Now".
Despite singing an out-of-tune version to them, reading the lyrics from a sheet, they were convinced. When the housemates ranked themselves in order of celebrity, they placed Chantelle ninth out of 11.
With one eye on her post-Big Brother career, the programme makers, Endemol, has already recorded a version of the song. Bookmakers offer 9/2 that she gets to number one - a sharp riposte to the headline in yesterday's Sun: "Nobody Wins Big Bruv."
Chantelle's win earned her £25,000. She will repay her mother, and says plans to spend the rest on "make-up, clothes and orange lipstick".
One real celebrity, the comedian Michael Barrymore, returned for the show from New Zealand. After Stuart Lubbock died in his pool in 2001, an inquest gave an open verdict, but media pressure forced his move.
But Barrymore, now facing more legal action over the incident, emerged as runner-up, walking out of the house to chants of "We love you" from the crowd. Burns was booed as he left.Reuse content