Katie Hopkins was in the first ever episode of Big Brother: The Sun columnist's ceaseless publicity quest started earlier than you think

The Apprentice star, who is currently in the Celebrity Big Brother house, drinks cider and strips on Channel 4’s pilot episode in 2000

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The Independent Online

Those who thought Britain’s most prolific Twitter troll Katie Hopkins found fame on The Apprentice, think again.

It turns out the former army cadet’s quest for the limelight actually started 15 years ago, when she appeared in Channel 4’s first ever episode of Big Brother.

Hopkins, who is currently waging verbal war against Perez Hilton in the Celebrity Big Brother house, was a contestant in a pilot show for the reality TV competition in 2000.

“Katie walked into Celebrity Big Brother last week as though she was new to the experience but in fact she's done it all before,” a show source told the Daily Star.

The tabloid also published a series of pictures of The Sun columnist, drinking from a bottle of cider and baring her bottom.

The show’s long-running narrator Marcus Bentley also appeared to confirm Hopkins’ long-kept TV secret on Twitter:

Since then, Hopkins has carved a career for herself as a sort of real life pantomime villain for hire.

Over the last year, she’s expressed strong views on everyone from benefits claimants to the clinically obese.

In November, online petitions calling for her arrest amassed thousands of signatures after she appeared to post the following via her official account:

Katie-Hopkins-Twitter.JPG

She has one supporter, though, in Nigel Farage. The Ukip leader condemned a separate police probe into allegedly offensive tweets she sent about a Glaswegian nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone.