A New Mills man has spoken of his experiences in the Big Brother house - and how he unexpectedly found love under the glare of the television lights.
Sam Chaloner, 24, went on the iconic reality show earlier this year and was an immediate hit with audiences.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.Sam Chaloner
And as part of his roller coaster television journey he met the love of his life, fellow house mate, Ellie Young.
He said: “It was quite a bizarre experience to be honest - as well as being the best thing I’ve ever done.
“But it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Just getting on the show was difficult enough for the self-employed construction worker - with Sam experiencing rejection a number of times before finally securing his place.
“I was originally one of the ‘rehearsal housemates’ who go in there to test the house and all the cameras out,” he said.
“But I made a good impression and within a week they told me they wanted me on the show.”
Because he was only a so-called ‘second chance housemate’, Sam couldn’t win the overall show prize of £100,000.
But, he says, he won a much bigger prize by finding love with Ellie Young, who had been in the show from the beginning.
He said: “Obviously going in there four weeks in they wanted me to spice things up a bit but to be honest it took me a week to settle in.
“After a while I started cracking onto Ellie but the other housemates didn’t like it.
“They said she was like a sister to them and that I was a player and should stay away from her.
“But we came out of the show seeing each other.”
Sam - who has already been on several shows before his Big Brother experience including E4’s Coach Trip, Ibiza Weekender and Meet the Parents - says the reaction he and Ellie have got since leaving the house has been amazing.
“People are following us more than anyone else because we are a couple,” he said.
“It has been difficult because people are now saying I have been with this girl and that girl.
“But we are moving forward together.”
‘Our lives have got a bit crazy...’
Sam admits that there were moments of boredom in the house with no television, no phone and nothing to do.
But, he says, since he and Ellie left the Big Brother their lives have gone ‘a bit crazy’.
And the pair now hope that their unexpected small screen relationship could help the couple capitalise on their new-found fame.
“Since we came out of the house things have changed a bit,” says Sam.
“We’ve recently signed a contract with Nova Management who are hoping to get us work on other reality shows as a couple.
“A lot of the reality shows now are really into pairs so we’d like to do things like that together if possible.”
And Sam also hopes the PR firm can also help him further his burgeoning modelling career.
“I want to carry on with this stuff as long as I can so maybe it can one day take over my day to day work,” he said.