Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Drag queen Courtney Act beats anti-gay Ann Widdecombe to be crowned Celebrity Big Brother winner

The British public backed the RuPaul's Drag Race star in Friday night's final.

By Will Stroude

Courtney Act has scored a victory for lover and tolerance after beating Ann Widdecombe to be crowned the winner of Celebrity Big Brother.

The drag queen and singer – real name Shane Jarek – won almost 50% of the vote during Friday night’s grand final to score victory in the Channel 5 reality series.

Courtney’s win came after a rocky few days in the house which had seen her criticised by fellow housemates for openly challenging Widdecombe’s anti-gay views.

In the end, the final came down to a vote between Courtney and the 70-year-old Conservative MP and Shadow Home Secretary, who voted against every piece of LGBT rights legislation she came across during her 23 years in Parliament.

After learning of her victory, a shocked Courtney told host Emma Willis it was “amazing” that she’d been backed by the British public.

“My inspiration coming into the house was that teenage boy who didn’t quite know where he belonged or how he fitted in and feeling inspired by the Spice Girls – and not knowing what that meant but knowing if it was ok for them to be different then it was ok for me to be different,” she explained.

“I guess it’s validation that it’s ok to be different.”

The former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant also addressed her popular ‘bromance’ with former housemate Andrew Brady, praising the reality star’s attitude towards housemates from across the gender and sexuality spectrum.

“He’s just so comfortable with everybody and everything,” Act said of Brady.

“If more straight guys were more like him, the world would be a better place.”

While the night was a celebratory one, Ann Widdecombe’s awkward exit interview left a bad taste in the mouths of many viewers.

Quizzed by host Emma Willis about whether spedning time with housemates including Courtney and transgender newsreader India Willoughby had any effect on how she viewed LGBT people, Ann replied simply: “No”.

The ex-politician continued: “Look, you don’t reason yourself to a position over a long number of years and then suddenly in the course of a couple of conversations decide ‘oh dear I got that wrong’.

“What I’m pleased about coming second is it’s an endorsement of free speech.

“Whether people agreed with me or not isn’t the point. I exercised my freedom to say what is unfashionable.”

You did indeed, Ann, And you know what? The British public decided they didn’t agree with you. Long live Queen Courtney!