Maggie Oliver became one of eight women to enter the all-female Celebrity Big Brother house last night [2 January], with the ex-police officer surprising reality TV fans by agreeing to take part in the programme.
Maggie played an integral role in the 2012 Rochdale grooming and sex trafficking scandal, with the detective helping to expose a child sex abuse ring by supporting the victims as she persuaded them to give evidence against their attackers.
In her launch show interview with Celebrity Big Brother’s host, Emma Willis, Maggie revealed that she struggled to not spill the beans about her appearance, and that she even wrote a letter to each of the Rochdale victims to explain her decision to take part in the show.
She said: “There’s something I would like to say as it’s a burning feeling in me that I really wanted to go and tell my Rochdale girls that I was coming on here because the last thing I want is for them to feel let down by me.
“They are very close to my heart. I have written all of them a letter, so girls, you’ll be getting a letter tomorrow morning.”
Later that evening, Big Brother’s Bit On The Side host Rylan Clark-Neal took to social media to defend Big Brother’s decision to have Maggie as a celebrity housemate.
Addressing the critics on Twitter, Rylan wrote: “People saying #CBBMaggie isn’t a celebrity…. you’re right… she’s a HERO and we’re lucky to have her. Respect x”.
Maggie fought to win justice for the Rochdale victims, hitting the headlines in 2012 when she became involved in the shocking case, which saw gangs of men groom, abuse, and traffick vulnerable teenage girls in the area.
Maggie managed to convince the reluctant victims to testify against the paedophiles in court, eventually resigning from the police force due to her disgust at how the entire case had been handled and the way that the victims were treated.
Last year, Maggie’s profile hit the headlines once again when BBC drama ‘Three Girls’ explored the Rochdale scandal, with actress Lesley Sharp portraying her in the show.
As well as Maggie, former MP Ann Widdecombe, Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ Malika Haqq, journalist Rachel Johnson, influencer Ashley James, newsreader India Willoughby, actress Amanda Barrie, and glamour model Jess Impiazzi entered the Celebrity Big Brother house last night, with the male contestants set to join them on Friday [5 January].