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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Big Brother's Nichola Holt quizzed
Nichola Holt
To watch coverage of the forum, select the link below:

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As the second series of Big Brother gets underway, you have a chance to speak to one of the original participants.

Nichola Holt from Bolton became known as the wild, colourful one in the Big Brother house. Indulging in naked clay painting and proclaiming "I want to be really rich and really famous", she became known for her straight talking and individual style.

She was the fourth contestant to be voted out of the house. Since leaving, she has released a pop single and been involved in a range of projects, including TV shows.

She is now concentrating on her first love - fashion design - and is currently working on her own range of clothes.

What are the new housemates going through? What can they can expect when they get out?

Nichola joined us for a live forum on Tuesday and answered a selection of your questions.


Highlights of interview:


Newshost:

Welcome to this News Online forum. Our current News Online poll on reality TV suggest that some 84% of people are bored of reality TV. But schedulers carry on regardless. We have ITV's Survivor and Channel 4's Big Brother 2 starting just this week.

With us today is Nichola Holt - she was in the Big Brother house last year. She was the fifth person to leave the house - if you count Nasty Nick. She has since released a single and she is also launching a dress selection. Nichola welcome to BBC News Online. Eighty four per cent is a pretty big figure that are bored with reality TV. What about you?


Nichola Holt:

Definitely yeah. I have tried to stop turning the TV on now because there is so much reality TV on the television now - it is a bit much.

I think the first Big Brother was good because it was new and it had not been done before in England. There was all the excitement with Nasty Nick and it was a good programme. Since then the offshoots from Big Brother - there has been loads of different programmes on television and it just gets too much. I can imagine that a lot of people who do watch a lot of TV are pretty much bored of it by now.


Newshost:

Have you seen any of the others like Survivor?


Nichola Holt:

Just little bits. Every night I am flicking through the channels and my boyfriend tells me to turn it off. I do get sucked in to watching it so I try to avoid television quite a lot. I have watched little bits of Survivor and other bits of this and that but like I say I do try to avoid it.


Newshost:

We have lots of questions for you. Fraser from Essex asks what exactly have you done since Big Brother and what does your future hold?


Nichola Holt:

I have done loads of stuff. First of all I did the record which was a flop but it was good fun to do. I have been doing lots of personal appearances. I am going on a trip to Romania to do some artwork with the orphans out there to help decorate the orphanages and maybe do some artwork with the street kids. So I will be doing that next month. I have been to Australia doing some work with Big Brother in Australia. I am off to Africa in two weeks - I am going to the festival for the eclipse. I am off to America. I am also currently working on my textile collection. So loads of different things. I have been doing some things for charity - I have been making dresses out of Yellow Pages and I have working doing stuff with rubbish with other kids.

So it has just been a mixture of all sorts of different things. I have been pulled in every direction possible. But now is the time to get down to my work. I have moved out of London to a studio in Hertfordshire and I am working on a knitting and embroidered collection. I am very busy at the moment but it should be ready around Christmastime.


Newshost:

How did you feel when the single flopped?


Nichola Holt:

I wasn't that bothered really - I was a little bit gutted but I had loads of fun doing it. It is not what I really wanted to do. I went on Big Brother hopefully to get more contacts for my textiles but nothing really came of that. Once you come out the house there is so much going on - I did get pulled in the wrong direction sometimes. But there are opportunities for you and you don't know until you have tried it.


Newshost:

Patrick B from London says that the clothes you made in the house were so wonderful and strange, he doesn't know why you didn't go down that career path immediately after you left the house.


Nichola Holt:

Yeah, that is what I am thinking now. But my head was just spinning when I came out the house. Being on Big Brother was big enough but coming out the house was another experience again. There were so many things going on and I couldn't settle down to do anything. There was so much being offered to you and you think you have just got to take it whilst it is there because it might not last for ever.

It is ten months later now and I feel I am ready to knuckle down and really get stuck into my work. I am so involved now in the work I am doing at the moment - it is so colourful. Everyone will see when it comes out that it is going to be really good fun.


Newshost:

Where are launching it?


Nichola Holt:

I am not sure yet. What I am going to do is get the collection together and approach a few designers. I need some advice because I have never gone into production before and obviously I need to find people - either a company that is interested. I might even open my own shop or open just a market stall. It just all depends on where I get the funding from and if I can get anybody interested.


Newshost:

Nicholas Dalby from Leeds asks what you think about Tom and Claire's baby that is on the way?


Nichola Holt:

I find it really exciting. I knew they had been together for a while now because I have been out with them a few times since Big Brother. It was really nice to see them together because they are very much in love. It was only last week when I was on my way to Scotland that I found out that she pregnant because Claire was supposed to be coming to Romania with me. But I am delighted for them.


Newshost:

Nicholas also wanted to know if all eleven of you were watching Big Brother 2 on Saturday?


Nichola Holt:

I didn't as I was out at a party. I know Sada was watching it and I have no doubt that Caggy was watching it - I think Caggy would be tuned in constantly. I have seen little bits in the newspapers obviously because you can't get away from it - once Big Brother starts it is in your face 24 hours a day. But I won't be watching it all I don't think - I might watch to see who wins.


Newshost:

Kirsty from Peterborough wants to know if you think there will be as much interest in Big Brother generally as there was last year?


Nichola Holt:

I have been asking quite a few people because I still get approached by people who remember me from last year. I have been asking people because I am interested myself to see if it going to be as big. But I don't think it is going to be as good because it was just perfect last year - with Nasty Nick and Craig - just the mixture of people who were in there and the bickering that went on. I think the characters were really strong last year because we were all so different and I think it is difficult to repeat that.


Newshost:

Gavin Scott from Edinburgh wants to know if you think the guys in the house this year will behave differently to you lot last year?


Nichola Holt:

I think the people in the house this year know exactly what is going on. I was clueless really because I hadn't watched any Big Brothers before and I didn't know what I was applying for - I had an idea obviously and eventually I found out what was going on.

I think all those going into the house this year will know from what we have experienced what is going to happen to them. I think they will do whatever they can to either get work or get more publicity - but good luck to them.


Newshost:

Jay Bedford from Croydon says that last year the most interesting people were voted out of the house first and she wants to know why that was and will it happen again this year?


Nichola Holt:

Sometimes when you get a group of people together and some people are a bit more outspoken than others then I think that does affect the group. I think some of the people in the house were intimidated by Sada? I think Sada is very well spoken, she holds her ground well. The men got intimated by her and I think Mel got intimated by her because Mel found her a bit of competition. I think they couldn't cope with Caggy because she is just way out and wacky and just wanted some fun. When you are a strong character people get intimidated by you and also they want you out the house because they want the attention on them. I think it is just a clash of energies.


Newshost:

James of London wants to know what advice you would give to the new contestants about their time in the house but also afterwards when they leave?


Nichola Holt:

In the house what I would do is just flirt with everyone. I wish I had done that now. I would have tried to get off with everyone because I think that is the only way to stay in the house. Also try and enjoy it as well and not take things too seriously. When you come out the house just get yourself a really good agent that is all I can advise because you will need them.

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