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Reality TV Interview

Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace ('Big Brother 7')

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Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace ('Big Brother 7')
Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace is one of the most successful and popular Big Brother contestants of all-time. A late entrant into the series seven house, she won over viewers with her straight talking during clashes with Grace Adams-Short and Nikki Grahame. Since leaving the house, she has remained in the showbiz limelight thanks to her friendships with Charlie Brooker and Amy Winehouse and some rather revealing lads' mags photoshoots. We caught up with Aisleyne earlier this week to find out how the BB experience changed her life.

How much of a role have Guns, Gangs and Glamour played in your life?
"Not so much when I was growing up with my mum, that was more strict religion and a crazy punk life. But the rest of my life has been very much up and down. Guns and gangs were a major part of life and there was stuff I couldn't put in the book about that because of legal reasons and privacy rules. When you're living through it, it's really horrible, but it's not quite as horrible as when you get out of it and look back. It's only then that you realise, 'Oh my God! Did I really see that? Did that really happen?' I've lost people that I've loved dearly through gun crime and it kills. It really kills and it hurts me even to this day. "

Was it difficult to open up about your personal experiences?
"Oh God yeah, this wasn't some fly-by-night book. Some people knock out books in three months and I don't know how they do it. This took me two years of blood, sweat and tears. It was very much like therapy and when I finished the thing, I just said, 'That's it, I've done my therapy now. Let's not print it!' Obviously after all that hard work, I couldn't do that, but there were times when I couldn't believe how much I was opening up. It was like looking back at old wounds and I was reliving experiences and regurgitating things that I would rather forget ever happened."

Did Big Brother help you change your life for the better?
"It certainly helped me. I was already getting on the right path, but it helped me open doors and meet people that I wouldn't normally meet. When you're in a certain life group, you sometimes think certain people wouldn't every want to speak to you. To go on Big Brother and have such a decent reception from people that I don't know, good honest people and not gun totin' idiots - it was really eye-opening for me."

What are your strongest memories of your time on the show?
"It was a happy time, but it was also a reality check. I said to Nikki [Grahame] that she should 'know herself', but I actually got to know myself better while I was in there. There were extreme highs and extreme lows in there, just like life. My extreme low was when I had to choose between Spiral and Jonathan about who would enter the house. I felt so guilty that I had wrecked someone's hopes and chances of getting on the show. I felt awful and destroyed by it. That was an awful lot of pressure to put on one person. But I wouldn't change anything about my experience for the world."

Are you still a fan of the show?
"I do a daily blog for Reveal, so I have to watch it every day. However, this year I have genuinely been enjoying it. The last couple of years, I was struggling and had to fluff my blogs out. But this year, there is really something for me to get my teeth into and have a good chew on. It's the characters that are in there, they are not afraid of saying things. My only worry is that we may get left with the boring people like Kris, who don't say or do anything. People who think being good looking is enough to get by in there. I'm really sad that Angel went actually, but I think for her own health it's probably good that she went."

What's been your career highlight since leaving the house?
"I love doing modelling, but I'm going to slow down and not do the glamour any more. I've got a couple of shoots in the pipeline, but once I've done them I'm going to call it a day. Because I'm getting on now and I can't just carry on doing that. But don't write that - just say that I love modelling! I love working with Charlie Brooker, who is an absolute genius. I love writing my Big Brother column, I loved being an agony aunt and then I suppose my book is my biggest achievement. Everything else was an added bonus, but the book was something I always wanted."

How did you relationship with Charlie Brooker start?
"Well we met on a date on a Lonely Hearts site. He was looking for a blonde to marry and have kids. We've adopted four kids now, but nobody knows about it. Put that down! No seriously, I just did a show with him and 'the genius' likes 'the idiot'. I don't know how it happened, but we really get on."

You've also become friends with Mike Tyson and Amy Winehouse. How do end up meeting all these people?
"Maybe it's my motherly instinct. I want to look after everyone and love everyone. Even when people are nasty to me, I always want to reach out for them. I'm like a hippy - peace and love, man! Just because these people are famous doesn't make them weird or different. They are all just human beings."

Would you go on Big Brother again, if the producers devised an Allstars series?
"I think it would depend who I was going in with. I don't think I'd be told though, would I? Sh*t, knowing Big Brother they would definitely lie about it as well. I haven't watched a single episode of my Big Brother back because I think it would be cringey, so I don't know if I'd go back. It's an amazing experience, so I'd be stupid to say no, but there's not a definitive answer I could give you just off the cuff like that. I would have to give it a lot of thought. I wouldn't mind going in with characters that I wasn't in with before - that would be interesting. But there would be some - who I won't name - that I would refuse, point blank to go in with."

Aisleyne's book Surviving Guns, Gangs & Glamour is available to buy now.

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