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List of Big Brother 8 housemates (UK)

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List of Big Brother 8 housemates (UK)

There were 24 housemates in total in the eighth series of Big Brother in the UK where they were observed by television viewers 24 hours a day and each week, one or more housemates were voted to be evicted by the general public until the winner, Brian Belo, was left.

All of the housemates that entered on the first day were female - a worldwide first for any Big Brother series; then on the third day, a male housemate - Ziggy - entered the house.[1] On 7 June 2007 it was announced on Big Brother's Big Mouth that Day 10 would see the addition of two male housemates, in replacement of the cancelled eviction.[2] These two housemates were Gerry and Seány. On 15 June, four new male housemates entered the house. They were Billi, Jonathan, Liam, and Brian.[3][4] A new housemate called "Pauline" entered the house on 8 July, supposedly from Big Brother Australia, however, her true identity was actress Thaila Zucchi, and worked as a mole for Big Brother, before being removed on Day 42 after she completed her task. On Day 59, five new people entered the Half-Way House, becoming Half-Way Housemates. A sixth housemate was supposed to enter on the same day, yet after a pre-entrance pep talk with producers, he decided against it.[5] Two housemates from the main house swapped with two housemates from the house next door, and needed to battle their way back to the main house.[6]

Amanda and Sam

Main article: Samanda

Amanda Louise Marchant[7] and Samantha Joanne Marchant[7] (born 26 June 1988) are the first set of twins ever to appear on Big Brother in the UK. Both are social-care students from Knutton,[8] Newcastle-under-Lyme and before entering the house were students at Manchester Metropolitan University. Nicknamed by the press as Samanda, the pair celebrated their birthday on Day 28.[9]

When the two entered the house, they were classified as separate housemates. Following an offer by Big Brother, the twins chose to become a single housemate on Day 69,[10] meaning that the twins nominate together, participate in tasks together and face the public vote together. Amanda shared a kiss with Brian in the early hours of day 70.[11] Despite being the bookies' favourite to win, Amanda and Sam came second and left the house on Day 94 with an overall winning voting percentage of 39.7%.

Amanda and Sam were the first housemates - since Stuart from Big Brother 5 - to make it to the final and to never have received a single nomination from their fellow housemates.

Amanda and Sam stayed in the Big Brother house longer than anybody else in the UK, 94 Days. Big Brother 8 was the longest series of Big Brother UK, and the twins were the first to enter on Launch night and second to last to leave on the final night.


Amy Alexandra[12] (born 14 March 1986) is a glamour model from Grimsby, Lincolnshire[13] who entered the House on Day 59 as a 'halfway housemate'.[14] Amy was evicted on Day 73 with 58% of the public vote.[15] Amy has since recently been unveiled as the new face of adult channel Television X[16]


Nabeel "Billi" Bhatti[17] (born 25 November 1981) is a model from Uxbridge, west London. He has appeared in several music videos, including the one for Jamelia's Beware of the Dog.[18] His model stage name is Massimo. He was evicted on day 31.[19] He now wrestles for IPW:UK.More recently it was reported that Billi has begun producing hardcore pornography for British adult channel Red Hot TV (UK) with a special series called What Billi Did Next to mark the end of Big Brother on British television in 2010. The series also stars fellow ex-housemates Darnell Swallow, Amy Alexandra and Rebecca Shiner.[20]


Main article: Brian Belo

Olawale Mohammed "Brian" Belo (born 10 July 1987 in Nigeria) is the winner of the eighth series of British reality television show Big Brother from Basildon, Essex. He celebrated his birthday on Day 42. He has recorded all episodes of previous series.[21] Winning the show meant he became the recipient of the £100,000 first prize. Brian thereby became the youngest winner of a regular Big Brother series to date, as well as the first black regular series winner and the first series winner who was not in the house from Day 1.


Carole Ann Vincent[22] (born May 1954) is a former sexual health worker, political activist and demonstrator from east London.[23] She has been arrested on numerous occasions for breaching the peace during demonstrations.[24] She was given the loudest and most positive applause from the audience on entering the house on the launch night.[24] She stood for the Respect Party in the Markhouse Ward of Walthamstow in the 2006 UK Local Election.[22] Carole revealed that she had once taken part in an episode of the debate programme Question Time, but was edited out after being warned for interrupting.[25] Carole took 5th place with 4.9% of the winning votes and left the house on Day 94.


Main article: Chanelle Hayes

Chanelle Jade Hayes (born 11 November 1987) is a student from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, studying Spanish, music and English at NEW College, Pontefract. She was adopted at a young age, after her mother was murdered. Chanelle started a relationship with fellow housemate Ziggy in the house, though they split up and got back together several times during the series. Chanelle was tested by Big Brother and had the highest IQ in the house, scoring 114. On Day 61, Chanelle left, but re-entered the house after seeing a psychologist. She re-entered the House on Day 89 as part of a task, however she had to leave minutes later. On 6 August 2009, Chanelle was rushed to hospital after taking an overdose of pain killers and red wine. On 21 July 2010 she gave birth to a son Blakely, whose father is Middlesbrough FC footballer Matthew Bates. She also dated Jack Tweed throughout her pregnancy.


Charley Kazim Uchea[7] (born 30 June 1985) is an unemployed self-styled 'it girl' from Lewisham, southeast London. She is a former lapdancer from Stringfellow's Nightclub (although she was fired twice for her over ostentatious dances)[26] and first cousin to Fulham footballer Kieran Richardson. Charley's entry was speculated by the British tabloid press. She has been fired from every job she's ever had.[27] She was negatively received by the live audience on the launch night.[28] Charley celebrated her birthday on Day 32.[29] It was revealed that on Day 40 Charley had used the word "nigga", although in contrast to Emily (see below) this was not broadcast on the highlights show. Charley was incredibly unpopular with most of the public due to her aggressive and argumentative nature but was very interesting to watch, making good television. She was fake evicted on Day 45, and put back after her interview.[30] It was rumoured that she had been signed up by agent John Noel, who takes care of Big Brother's Davina McCall and Dermot O'Leary, and ex-housemate Jade Goody, causing some people to believe that this is why both Davina and Dermot are such big fans of hers. This rumour was refuted in a statement by Big Brother, where a spokesman explained, "No housemate selects an agent until they have been evicted from the house... A number of different agents have represented evicted housemates over the time, and many have represented more housemates than John Noel... No decision has been made on representation for Charley and that will not happen until she is out of the Big Brother house".[31] During her time in the house Charley argued incessantly with a lot of her fellow housemates, particularly Channelle whom she described as a 'posh spice wannabe'. She also had confrontations with both Billi and Gerry. Charley was evicted on Day 59 with 85.6% of the public vote.


David Parnaby[32] (born 1981) is a-28 year-old Sales Adviser for Scottish Power from Ayr[33] who entered the House on Day 59 as a 'halfway housemate'.[14] David was evicted on Day 66 with 37% of the vote.


Emily Elizabeth Parr[7] (born 15 April 1988) is a drama student from Bristol. She was removed from the house after she uttered the phrase: "are you pushing it out, you nigger?", when talking to her fellow housemate Charley. She was called to the diary room to discuss this with Big Brother during the early hours, and had to leave without any further contact with the other housemates.[34]

Since her Big Brother stint, Parr has been landing small film roles and working in theatre based in the South West. In 2008, she landed a brief uncredited role as Amelia, a prostitute in the horror film, The Wolfman.


Gerasimos Vallerios "Gerry" Stergiopoulos[35] (Greek: Γεράσιμος Βαλλέριος Στεργιόπουλος) (born 13 February 1976)[36] is a 31-year-old, originally from Patras in Greece. He moved to the UK in 1995.[37] In his entry video, he claimed to be 29 years old. He has three degrees (BA, MSc, MPhil,) in History of Art, Classical Archaeology and History from Edinburgh University and is half-way through a PhD on the influence Bronze Age Art had on Contemporary sculpture, to be submitted to the University of Athens. In 2002 he contributed a chapter to a book entitled Cult and Death, about Archaeology and ancient history.[35] His subsequent career was entirely in the commercial Art world including training at the paintings department of Sotheby’s Olympia and working a well-known private gallery in St James, London. He was the 13th housemate to enter the Big Brother house, the second boy after Ziggy. He kissed fellow housemate Seány on 18 June during a game of Truth or Dare, sharing the first gay kiss of UK Big Brother.[38] Gerry was evicted in Week 11, after requesting from the winners of the 'guru task' - Ziggy, Tracey and Amanda & Sam, to choose him for eviction over Carole who had received 50% of the votes that Friday night.[39] However, after Gerry's departure, Tracey and Ziggy both revealed that they would have chosen to evict Gerry regardless of what he had asked. Following his 80 days at the Big Brother house Gerry appeared on Big Brother's Little Brother, The Friday Night Project, 8 out of 10 Cats, Richard & Judy and other TV shows. In October 2008 he released a dating manual for women, Treat Them Keen, and Keep Them Keen by Random House publishers. The book was favourably reviewed by the Daily Mail,[40] The Sun[41] and Closer, as well as the ITV daytime show Loose Women. In October 2009, the Italian Translation of the book entitled “Trattali male”[42] reached Number 8 in the Italian non-fiction Best Seller list.[43] His official website is[44]


Jonathan Durden (born 1957) entered on Day 17. He is a millionaire, businessman, and journalist from Islington, (originally, Loughton) London. He has written articles for the MediaGuardian[45][46] and MediaWeek[47] and was also president of PHD Group,[48] before resigning[49] to become a partner in creative agency Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy.[50]

Durden postponed his wedding to appear on Big Brother,[51] saying he had never seen the show before.[52] He joined in the third week of the show and left 18 days later, after being informed his 104 year old grandmother had died.[53] He did not come back for the final night. Host Davina McCall said the reason that he did not attend was because he was "grounded". However, it has since came out that he had just come out of rehab and couldn't face the crowds.[54]

In July 2008, he released his first novel,[55] published by independent publishers, Adelita. The novel, entitled, Essex, Drugs & Rock ’n’ Roll, was accompanied by a mild television promotional campaign, funded by Durden himself.[56]


Jonathon Abner (Jonty) Stern[57] (born 1971) is a Senior Visitor Assistant at the Museum of London[58] who entered the House on Day 59 as a 'halfway housemate'.[14] Jonty was voted 6th with 3% of the vote when the first count of the night was taken[59] and left the house on Day 94. He was also the only original Halfway Housemate to make it to the final week. Jonty appeared on a September 2009 non-celebrity/regular episode of The Weakest Link, where he was voted off third.

He has appeared on various "Big Brother" spin-off shows over the years, including doing a weekly spot called "Big Brother’s Unseen: Seen" with comedian Christian Manley during Channel 5’s 2011 series of "Big Brother’s Bit on the Side".[60]

Jonty has written various stories on Protagonize, a fun site for writers which anyone can join.[61]

Welsh Studies graduate Jonty is a qualified Westminster guide and runs his own guided tours[62] in London. He also works for Sir John Soane's Museum.

Always politically interested, he has stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate in council elections in the London Borough of Barnet.[63]

Jonty is technically a lord (but, he smilingly adds, only in the microstate of Sealand, of which he is a big supporter).


Kara-Louise Horne[64] (born 25 February 1985) is a student from North London[65] who entered the House on Day 59 as a 'halfway housemate'.[14] She was private school educated, and believes private school is better than state school, and does not like 'common people'. Kara-Louise was evicted on Day 87, along with Tracey, in a double eviction.


Laura Jane Williams[66] (born September 1983) is a nanny from the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales. She was evicted on Day 38.[67] In her 38 days in the house, she spent over 400 hours in bed (which was over half of her time in the house).[68]


Lesley Brain (born 13 February 1947) is a retired head-hunter from Gloucestershire.[69] She is currently living off capital from her previous business.[24] She is the oldest non-celebrity housemate to join the UK Big Brother House so far. Lesley voluntarily left the House on Day 11[70] and has published a book on her experiences, "A Minority of One - Lesley Brain's Story of Her Time in the Big Brother House".


Liam Andrew McGough (born 20 July 1984)[7] is a tree surgeon from Lanchester, County Durham. In the third week, Seány, Jonathan and Carole (the three people nominated for eviction that week) had to decide who out of the remaining housemates would win £100,000 - they unanimously decided Liam.[71] He celebrated his birthday on Day 52. He was voted to go into the Half-Way House by Shanessa on Day 63. Liam was voted 3rd with 19.1% of the overall winning votes and left the house on Day 94.


Nicky Maxwell (born 3 June 1979) is a 27 year-old bank worker, born in Mumbai but now living in Watford. She was adopted at the age of 1 from Mother Teresa's orphanage.[72] In her audition tape she said that she did not like men because of their "bullshit".[24] However, she kissed fellow housemate Liam on 18 June during a game of Truth Or Dare, and has admitted to having feelings for him.[73] On Day 5, she celebrated her birthday in the house. She became close friends with Charley, and Tracey, and was named as 'sneaky Nicky' by Gerry, and Liam. She was evicted on Day 52.[74]


Seán "Seány" O'Kane (born 14 February 1982) is a charity worker. He was born in Northern Ireland, but currently resides in London.[75][76] He appeared in the 2002 movie Bloody Sunday.[77] He took leave from his job as a race relations worker in order to attend the verdict of the trial of Michael Jackson; while there he was shown on Late Night with Conan O'Brien screaming at Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, during a comedy segment.[78][79] He has also stated that he converted to Islam in 2003, and practised the religion for a short time,[80] but stopped after believing it to be in conflict with his homosexuality.[81] He kissed fellow housemate Gerry on 18 June.[38] Seány was the second person to be evicted from the Big Brother house, as he left on Day 24. He was visibly shocked as Davina announced live that he had received the most votes from the public and that he would be leaving the Big Brother House.[82]


Shabnam Paryani (born 15 November 1984) is from North London. Shabnam was put up for eviction against Emily in the first round of nominations, but remained in the house following Emily's removal by Big Brother. The following week Shabnam faced the public vote along with Carole and Tracey, and on day 17 became the first housemate to be evicted by public vote.


Shanessa Reilly[83] (born 1980) is a 27-year-old care assistant and stripper from Cardiff[84] who entered the House on Day 59 as a 'halfway housemate'.[14] Shanessa won the task of jumping out of a box close to the time of 8:10pm and became an official housemate on Day 63, selecting Liam to go to the Half-Way House. Shanessa was evicted on Day 66 with 38% of the vote.


Tracey Anne Barnard[66] (born 5 June 1970)[24] is a cleaner from Cambridgeshire.[85] On Day 7, she celebrated her birthday in the house. Tracey was evicted on day 87, after receiving 38.4% of the vote. In August 2008, Tracy came out as gay.


Main article: Zachary Lichman

Zachary Sami "Ziggy" Lichman[66] (born 5 January 1981) is a model from North London, and a former member of the boy band Northern Line.[86] He was the first male to enter the house, entering on Day 3. As part of a nomination twist, Ziggy was the only person to nominate in Week 1.[86] Ziggy has had a relationship with Chanelle in the house, starting with a kiss on 8 June,[87] and allegedly having sex on 19 June,[88] though they have split up and got back together several times during the series.[89][90][91][92][93] He was temporarily reunited with his dog, a Shar Pei named Molly, for a task on Day 55.[94] It has been reported that he has been sent death threats over his treatment of Chanelle.[95] Ziggy was voted 4th with 15.3% of the winning votes and left the house on Day 94.


Main article: Thaila Zucchi

Thaila Lucia Zucchi (born 1981) is an actress from Swindon. She was one of five members of the now defunct pop group allSTARS*. As an actress, Thaila has starred in numerous television shows, including the Channel 4 series Balls of Steel, The IT Crowd and Star Stories. She entered the House on Day 40 under the fake identity of "Pauline", a 26-year-old part-time waitress from Walla Walla who participated in the Australian series of Big Brother.[96] As Big Brother's mole, she was not eligible to win.[97] She was voted the most fake housemate for a task set by Big Brother. She was sent to the diary room and congratulated housemates on uncovering her true identity[98] before then leaving the House. She then presented the spin-off series, Big Brother's Big Mouth between 17–20 July, a week after her time in the house.



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