Big Brother winner Nadia Almada has praised the show for helping her to appear "purely as I am", as opposed to today's "toxic conversation" about transgender identity.
The Portuguese-born star won the show's fifth series in 2004 after securing 74% of the public vote, keeping her trans identity secret from other housemates while viewers had been told.
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Appearing with fellow Big Brother alumni Kate Lawler and 'Nasty' Nick Bateman on This Morning this week, Almada described her time on the show as "the best summer holiday ever".
She added: "It was just stepping away from everyday life. Getting into a situation where I'm purely as I am rather than labelled as a trans woman."
"I was more than just a transgender woman, but also a person with a personality," Almada said to presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary, who both have their own Big Brother connections.
Hammond was a contestant on the show in 2002, while O'Leary hosted the spin-off chat show Big Brother's Little Brother.
Almada said her time on the show "transcended" the idea of her being labelled as a trans woman and suggested that some of that approach could be useful today.
"There's a whole toxic conversation right now about trans-ness and all of that. We need to see people for who they are essentially rather than labelling everyone with gender, race, religion," she said.
Almada added: "It was just an awesome experience. I still have people coming to me and saying that, for the first time ever they could have someone to relate to."
Big Brother has been off air since Channel 5 cancelled the show in 2018, but it's due to return to screens in 2023 courtesy of ITV.
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O'Leary has advised the new version of the show to return to its roots as a social experiment in order to avoid the pitfalls that have caused other reality TV programmes to struggle in recent years.
He added: "I think it needs to be diverse in the people that are in the house, diverse in its thought. I think it needs to have a lot of separation between Love Island and less of a popularity contest and more of a social experiment with a popularity contest chucked in."
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