Appearing on the eighth series of Big Brother in 2007, Victoria Beckham lookalike Chanelle Hayes quickly became a national talking point thanks to her tears, tantrums and explosive relationship with fellow housemate Ziggy Lichman.
As one half of golden couple Chiggy’, feisty Chanelle was propelled to stardom and soon established herself as a darling of the British tabloid press and magazine cover girl. But despite being one of the most successful BB housemates of all time, with a flourishing modelling career and even a foray into the pop world, there is so much more to Yorkshire bornand- bred Chanelle than showbiz ups and downs.
For the young mum’s life has been etched with tragedy, right from the moment she was born in prison in November 1987. Just a few months old, she was orphaned when her drug-addicted mother was brutally murdered, and she was sent to live with foster parents before later being adopted.
With the real reason for her mother’s death shrouded in secrecy, Chanelle’s teenage years were marked by an agonising quest for the truth which saw her go to extreme and devastating lengths for answers, including attempted suicide. Her rocky past has also been plagued by eating disorders, while Chanelle’s romantic history has been defined by heartache and despair. And despite doting on son Blakely, born to footballer Matthew Bates in 2010, her volatile relationship with the child’s father played out through the courts to a miserable end.
At times brutally honest and astonishingly sad, Chanelle’s story does not make for easy reading, and she is the first to admit that she is no angel. But amidst all the heartbreak are humorous, wry observations and moving anecdotes which would soften a heart of stone. And in spite of all her troubles, Chanelle has emerged a stronger, happier woman, who has finally tackled her demons and can now embrace a brighter future with confidence.
About the Author
Chanelle Hayes was one of the stars of "Big Brother "in 2008, and is a model. Veronica Clark is the author of "A Dog Called Dez," "Justice for Colette," and "Stolen Girl."