Chantelle Vivien Houghton (born 21 August 1983) is an English television personality, glamour model, media personality, television presenter, columnist and novelist. She was the first 'non-celebrity' to feature in the Channel 4 reality television show Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.
She emerged as the winner of series 4, beating 10 celebrities: (Michael Barrymore, Maggot, Samuel Preston, Pete Burns, Traci Bingham, Dennis Rodman, George Galloway, Rula Lenska, Faria Alam and Jodie Marsh), winning a prize of £25,000.
Following a much-publicised on-screen courtship, Houghton married former fellow Celebrity Big Brother 2006 contestant Samuel Preston of The Ordinary Boys in August 2006. The couple announced their separation in a joint statement on 27 June 2007, and divorced on 21 November 2007.
In October 2007, Houghton was named "TV's latest reality millionaire" and experts reported that her wealth easily exceeds £1 million.
Houghton was born in Wickford, Essex, to Allan and Vivien, and has an older brother, Gregg. She has a daughter. She attended Bromfords School in Wickford, the same school that Big Brother 8 winner Brian Belo attended. She left school at 15 with seven GCSEs, then worked in a bank and as an insurance telesales rep. Houghton is a vegetarian.
After various friends suggested she would make a good model, Houghton entered a 2001 competition run by a Motorcycle News magazine, and after winning it became a promotions girl. Wanting to be like her heroine Katie Price, she undertook some glamour modelling, started out by having her mother take some topless shots in a local park. In 2003, she entered a Daily Star competition as a page three girl, which she did not win, but appeared once in the tabloid newspaper.
She appeared as a Soccerette model on Sky TV's Soccer AM show, and worked for a lookalike agency, portraying Paris Hilton. In 2005 she competed in a Miss Greater London beauty pageant, where she lost to Jenny Velasquez who took the crown and went on to compete in Miss England.
Celebrity Big Brother 2006 / Ultimate Big Brother 2010
Houghton entered the house on day one and became the first non-celebrity to enter Celebrity Big Brother. She was told by Big Brother that her cover story was that she was a member of a fictional band called Kandy Floss. According to Big Brother, Houghton was the lead singer. Their singles were "I Want It Right Now", "Come Back" and "More More More". "I Want It Right Now" was their biggest hit. Had she failed to convince them, she would have been evicted from the house. She successfully fooled her housemates and survived to the end of the show. In her Big Brother profile page Houghton described herself as a "bright, blonde bimbo" (despite not being a natural blonde). She said, "I look like Paris Hilton, not on purpose but it's just the way it turned out".
On the first evening, Houghton reported a potential problem: she had previously met Jodie Marsh's brother while out clubbing. Happily for her, her fears proved unfounded.
On 8 January (day four), Big Brother set a task to the group to rate themselves by how famous they thought they were. The celebrity they thought was the most famous stood on the No. 1 podium and the person they considered the least famous stood on the No. 11 podium. Houghton had to avoid being put in the No. 11 podium to prove she had fooled the real celebrities that she was famous and to stay in the house. Houghton survived the task, being chosen to stand on the No. 9 podium, ahead of Samuel Preston and Maggot. She was then called to the diary room to discuss her identity with Big Brother. This was simultaneously shown on a television screen in the lounge, in front of the other housemates.
Houghton was nominated for eviction on Day 21, but was saved from eviction by the public as the other two nominees (George Galloway and Dennis Rodman) left the house in a double eviction. While in the house, Houghton established close bonds with Jodie Marsh, and Preston.
Houghton won the show on 27 January with 56.4% of the public vote, ahead of Michael Barrymore on 22.7%, earning her £25,000 (the celebrities were reportedly paid fees of up to £150,000 each).
Houghton re-entered the Big Brother house for Ultimate Big Brother, following the conclusion of Big Brother 2010, and to signal the end of Big Brother on Channel 4. She entered the house with her ex-husband Preston. During the show, Houghton reformed the fake band Kandy Floss with fellow Ultimate Big Brother housemates Victor Ebuwa and Nadia Almada for a task. Houghton survived eviction on Day 11 and subsequently landed third place on the finale with 20.51% of the finale three-way vote on Day 18, finishing behind Nikki Grahame and winner Brian Dowling.
Houghton's mother stated she was to be represented by publicist Max Clifford. However, he replied on TV that she had not signed with him but he did 'help out in an advisory position'. Houghton was said to have £500,000 worth of offers for modelling, TV appearances and interviews. Clifford believed that her fame would be brief but explosive: "I think it will be a very exciting five or 10 minutes. Maybe we can stretch it to 15."
Houghton has also appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show and is good friends with former Big Brother contestant Chanelle Hayes. She also had her own post Big Brother show called Chantelle: Living the Dream. Houghton's first magazine cover was weekly celebrity magazine, Sneak magazine.
Houghton has appeared as a guest on several TV shows since winning Celebrity Big Brother. These include:
- The Friday Night Project on 10 and 17 February 2006 as a co-presenter to Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins, replacing Debra Stephenson, due to her heavy filming schedule for Coronation Street
- TV3's The Brendan Courtney Show when she jetted in-and-out of Dublin in a matter of hours.
- Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats, as a contestant on 10 March 2006
- ITV1's The Mint, as a guest
- BBC's The Weakest Link, as a contestant on 5 May 2006, which also featured sometime reality TV stars Michael Barrymore and Russell Grant; and Big Brother's Big Mouth on 17 August 2006, during the final week of the seventh series of Big Brother.
- CBBC's Comic Relief does Beat the Boss, alongside Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne and comedian Joe Pasquale
- ITV's GMTV, for an interview in November 2007
- ITV1's Call Me a Cabbie as a trainee in 2007
- BBC TV Drama Hotel Babylon as the girlfriend of Chris Moyles.
- BBC Three's Snog Marry Avoid? on 16 February 2009.
Houghton presented her own dating show, Chantelle's Dream Dates, where she gave girls on the street a makeover and got them to date one of three male contestants, similar to Davina McCall's show Streetmate.
In May 2006, she signed a £300,000 deal with Random House to publish her autobiography. It was released in October 2006 called Living the Dream which sold 50,000 copies. Extracts from the book were read out by Simon Amstell on 14 February 2007 edition of Never Mind the Buzzcocks which caused Preston, who was a guest on the show, to walk off the set.
Houghton came second in The Independent's 'Britain's Happiest People' list.
Houghton has written several columns in magazines, most notably as OK!s BB7 columnist and New!s BB8 columnist. Before becoming New!'s BB8 columnist she had another column in the magazine entitled "I Want It Right Now" in which she shared make up and fashion tips.
In 2009, she had a brief cameo and small appearance in the ITV drama Whatever It Takes.
In June 2010, Houghton fronted a campaign for PETA 'Fight Impotence. Go Vegetarian'. On 24 August 2010, Houghton was the second housemate to enter the Ultimate Big Brother house behind winner of Big Brother 2010, Josie Gibson, to compete for "Ultimate Housemate". Her ex-husband Preston was the third person to enter the house. Houghton finished third behind runner-up Nikki Grahame and winner Brian Dowling.
In September 2010, Houghton was named as the new face of La Senza underwear range.
In April 2011, Houghton appeared on an episode of Celebrity Total Wipeout on the BBC.
On 19 August 2011, Houghton appeared on Big Brother spin off show "Bit On the Side" for Channel 5.
Chantelle was a participant in a celebrity week of cooking reality show Come Dine With Me for Channel 4, broadcast from 10–14 October 2011.
She released a workout DVD in December 2010 and in December 2011, she released 'Fake it by Chantelle' which is a range of false eyelashes.
In December 2012, Chantelle was named the face and brand ambassador of Easilocks Hair Extensions.
Chantelle a appeared in a photo shoot in Closer Magazine on 19 February 2013, it was accompanied by an interview talking about her new bikini body.
In May 2013, she launched her own dating website for single parents (www.datewithchantelle.com).
On 11 July 2013, Houghton appeared on Big Brother spin off show "Bit On the Side" for Channel 5 for a second time.
She wrote a weekly column for New! Magazine from April 2012 - August 2015.
On 3 December 2014, Chantelle launched her own line of hair extension range called 'Chantelles'.
On 31 March 2015, she appeared in a photoshoot on the cover of NOW Magazine alongside an interview detailing her weightloss, workout regime and diet plan.
On 6 January 2016, she appeared on a TV. She was on an episode of the Channel 4 documentary series 'Bodyshockers' The show filmed the journey of the removal of her breast implants.
She appeared in The Sun newspaper on 1 August 2016. She did a photoshoot and interview talking about her addiction to lip fillers.
On 2 August 2016, she did an interview with NOW Magazine talking about the online bullying she faces due to he addiction to lip fillers.
Since splitting from Preston, Houghton reinvented herself and has been described as "the new Katie Price." Houghton appeared on the scene with dyed blonde hair with extensions, fuller looking lips and had a breast enlargement. In April 2009, she revealed that she thought her new breasts (which had gone up from a B cup to an E) were too large and that she needs physiotherapy owing to their weight. She did not have her implants removed, however, and went on to model for Ultimo.
After their honeymoon, the couple moved to Preston's flat in Brighton. In a later 2008 interview with Piers Morgan, Houghton admitted that Preston had told her one-month after the wedding that he had not wanted to marry her. The couple continued giving interviews to various magazines, with Houghton losing weight and colouring her hair brunette to look more like Preston's former fiancee Camille.
Ten months later, on 27 June 2007 they announced in a joint statement that they were ending their marriage. "After much soul-searching and tearful discussions we have sadly decided to end our marriage," they said in the statement. "We hope we can always remain friends and still love each other but we both think we put so much pressure on one another to make our marriage work that it has ended up destroying our relationship. No one else is involved in our decision." The couple insisted their relationship was genuine and denied they had rushed into marriage. "We know people will think we married too quickly on the back of Big Brother but the truth is that, what anyone thinks, we did have a whirlwind romance but we were genuinely in love with each other at the time and we will never regret our time together. We both believe in marriage and we never treated our vows or our commitment to each other lightly. We've spent hours and hours discussing whether we can salvage our marriage, give it another go, try harder, anything rather than give up. But we now both agree that we should go our separate ways. We are both young and we still have our lives in front of us. The last two weeks or so have been very upsetting and sad for us and our friends and family and we appreciate their support."
The rumours of the final breakdown to their marriage were confirmed on 21 November 2007, when London's Reuters News Agency announced that Houghton had been granted a decree nisi at First Avenue House. Preston did not contest the petition, and neither appeared in court for the ninety–second hearing.
On 17 June 2012, Houghton gave birth to a baby girl named Dolly, with her then-fiancé, cage-fighter Alex Reid.