PSI - Caroline O'Shea Interview
Caroline Spills the Beans on her experiences on Big Brother
BIG BROTHER star Caroline O'Shea revealed last night how she spiralled into a drug abuse nightmare that left her on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Speaking frankly about her life before she hit our screens on the Channel 4 show, the outrageous blonde admitted she threw away a successful career as a mortgage consultant after taking Ecstasy. She embarked on a drug-fuelled whirl of clubbing and vowed to make it as a singer with Nineties rave band PSI. When that failed her world fell apart. Caroline, 37, said: "I reached the point where I'd given up everything. I couldn't laugh any more and I couldn't cry. I was numb.
Masking pain ... as an unhappy saleswoman . "I was frightened that if I cried they were going to have to put me in hospital because I would never stop crying." "It was only the chance to appear on Big Brother as one of ten strangers sharing a house riddled with cameras that pulled her life around."
The Brummie blonde says: "I felt my life was stagnating and that I had to do something very dramatic - and quickly because of my age. "Let's face it, I couldn't have done anything more dramatic than that show." And although she was kicked out of the house on Friday, missing out on the £70,000 prize money, it looks like the wannabe's last-ditch attempt to find fame has succeeded.
Taken as red ... Caroline longed to be a star. She is in talks with record companies to release her single, Prince Charming, which she recorded secretly before the show started. And she may do a Christmas duet with dance band, The Vengaboys. Caroline said: "I really just want my one chance - and I think this is it." It was all so different back in 1979 when Caroline left school in Birmingham with just one O-level.
One of six children born to Irish parents, Michael and Mary, Caroline tried a series of jobs, including a stint as a sex aids saleswoman, a cleaner in a gay club and a police constable. Eventually she landed a job as a mortgage advisor and became top saleswoman despite her lack of qualifications. But her high-flying lifestyle hid an eating disorder which left her desperately unhappy. "Caroline said: "I was sleeping around. It was a whole period of unhappiness in my life. I was 10st and really overweight." "I thought, 'What I've got to do is reach the point of repulsion.' So I stayed in one Christmas and I ate myself stupid.
"I had a massive jar of chocolates and I ate the lot. I didn't wash or bathe for three days and I was absolutely covered in chocolate. "I grew all my body hair - under my arms, my legs, everything. Then finally I'd done it. I'd eaten myself into oblivion. I was this big lump of lard."
But things were set to get worse. Caroline went out to a rave, took one Ecstasy pill - and vowed to give up her secure life to become a pop star. Lined up ... at pal's wedding. She said: "I was 27 before I took my first drug. I decided I couldn't have a professional job and be a rave queen."
Caroline slimmed to a skinny 7st and became a dancer at Birmingham club Que, before joining PSI as a singer and dancer. Although the band played huge rave venues, their single flopped and Caroline's dream faded.
She admitted: "I'd made this big decision to give up everything that I had to get to where I wanted to be. I thought it would be easy. I thought I'd release a single and get on Top Of The Pops - I was that naive.
"My car was gone, my money was gone. "I went through real hardship for seven years, I really struggled to do what I wanted to do, to become a star. I sent off stuff to record companies. I bombarded stars with letters, I even chased Boy George down the M6 and wrote a letter to Eurythmics star Annie Lennox. "But I never got that break and it really broke my heart. I had an emotional breakdown - I had a crack-up.
"I reached the point where I had given up everything." Now Big Brother has given her the chance she craved. Caroline says the response has been incredible since she was booted out of the East London house last Saturday after an incredible 900,000 viewers voted to have her evicted.
She said: "I have been mobbed everywhere I go. When I went to London nightclub GAY. on Saturday I was gob smacked when the whole crowd turned to me and said I was the new gay icon. "Every single person who spoke to me said I was honest and was just myself on the show, and they loved me for it.
"I may have been naive but I wasn't prepared to treat people like s*** to win." Now Caroline plans to move to London with fellow inmate from the Big Brother house, Nicola Holt, and pursue her career. "She said: "I would love to do a duet with George Michael after he asked us out for a drink." Caroline admits there were times she thought she would crack under the pressure of her three weeks in the house. But she has no regrets.
She said: "For the lows that I had in there, I also had the time of my life equally. "There was a part of me that wanted to stay and be there until the end, but looking back now, I thank God I'm out."
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