Kate Lawler: I've shaken off the shame of being on Big Brother

·4 min read
Kate Lawler said she looks back on her 'Big Brother' days and feels proud now.
Kate Lawler said she looks back on her 'Big Brother' days and feels proud now.

Big Brother winner Kate Lawler says she hadn't watched the show before applying to go on it, and has now shaken off her 'shame' at being on the programme and looks back on it proudly.

Lawler won the third series of the reality TV show in 2002 and went on to forge a successful career in DJing and as a radio presenter - but says she had to fight people's expectations of her after coming off the show.

Talking to Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast, Lawler says she'd had warnings from the show's psychologist to watch old episodes back before making a final decision to be on the show.

She remembered being offered a place in the house, saying: "I just thought to myself, I have to take this opportunity.

"Because if I'm watching the show, knowing that I'd been offered a place, and I said no, I'd probably regret it for the rest of my life. So I'm glad I took that decision."

WATCH: Kate Lawler on early motherhood, winning Big Brother and being present for her daughter

Lawler explained that her twin sister was 'an addict' of the show and was supposed to apply herself, but didn't.

She added: "When I watched the videos, I was like: 'This looks brilliant.' I thought it looked like a right hoot and a great opportunity to win some money to put myself on the property ladder."

Lawler explained she saw shows like Pop Idol and Big Brother as a national obsession and the start of the reality TV era.

"It was just great to be part of the beginning," she said. The inception of that. I look back with such fond memories. There was a time where I felt a bit of shame that I was on Big Brother, but it's come full circle now. It's vintage."

Lawler, who stepped away from her Virgin Radio job last month to spend more time with her one-year-old daughter Noa, also spoke about her decision to move away from the world of club DJing.

She said she was travelling the world and getting herself into 'terrible messes' on a 'hedonistic, absolutely chaotic, wild ride'.

Listen to the full episode to hear Kate Lawler talk about the reality of having a newborn, why it's so important to talk about it, and the recent health scare which saw her end up in hospital

"I encourage anyone to party in their 20s," she said. "But to an extent. I will sit down with Noa and have these conversations with her when she's at the age where she wants to go raving because it terrifies me to think she might get into a mess like I got myself into.

"I saw my friends hospitalised in comas because they'd overdosed. It was horrendous. So I thought to myself: 'I need to get out of this. Where's this taking me?'"

The 41-year-old said that when she got into DJing after Big Brother, it was quite hard to shake off people's expectations of the show, something which continued into her radio career, especially when she joined Kerrang! radio where listeners would give her a hard time.

On her early DJ days, she said: "A lot of people would come to clubs, expecting me to play like S Club 7, because I was in Big Brother.

"And they didn't realise that I was about to drop to dirtiest, disgusting, ear-bleeding, nose-bleeding techno set, and they would be terrified at what I was DJing."

Read more: Kate Lawler quits Virgin Radio after six years to be more present in child's life

Kate Lawler DJs at Sound Bar - Restaurant & Nightclub - VIP Launch Party in London. (WireImage)
Kate Lawler DJing at Sound Bar in London in 2006. (WireImage)
Big Brother 3 contestants (back row from left) Alison Hammond, Jonny Regan, PJ, Spencer Smith, Tim Cully and (front from left) Lynne Moncrieff, Jade Goody, Kate Lawler (winner) and Sunita Sharma. (PA Images via Getty Images)
Big Brother 3 contestants (back row from left) Alison Hammond, Jonny Regan, PJ, Spencer Smith, Tim Cully and (front from left) Lynne Moncrieff, Jade Goody, Kate Lawler (winner) and Sunita Sharma. (PA Images via Getty Images)

She said when she joined Kerrang! in 2007, the station was branching out from the metal and harder rock the magazine was known for and was playing bands like Coldplay and the Stereophonics.

She said she'd always liked rock music and had grown up with it but got 'so much abuse on text' when she first joined.

She told Thornton: "They were saying: 'You DJ techno and house music, you can't like rock.' I thought to myself what a narrow-minded opinion. How can you say that? Because somebody DJs a certain genre of music that they're not allowed to like another genre? I had to shake off that [tag]."

WATCH: Kate Lawler on being a new mum

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