Love her or loathe her, we just can’t stop tuning in to see the latest outrageous outburst from Gemma Collins.
And her involvement in Dancing On Ice, on which she has already confronted the show’s Mr Nasty, Jason Gardiner, is proving must-watch TV.
From humble beginnings as a used car saleswoman, to ITV2’s The Only Way Is Essex and then storming some of the biggest shows on the box, the self-titled “GC” has become one of the most talked-about celebs.
Here Nadine Linge and Jennifer Dunkerley remember Gemma Collins’ most shocking moments, while behaviour expert Judi James explains why we can’t get enough of the OTT star.
FALLING OFF STAGE
As she announced Love Island stars as winners at the Radio 2 Teen Awards 2017, the GC went viral in one of the most hilarious celeb moments of the year – all by complete accident!
As a trapdoor on the stage of the live ceremony opened to see the Island crew emerge to collect their gong, Gemma turned around and took a tumble straight down the hole, falling through the stage and leaving viewers gobsmacked.
Luckily she (later) saw the funny side, reposting memes which mocked-up an advert for the National Accident Helpline on her Instagram page, which saw the words “Have you had an accident at work?” superimposed over a picture of herself pre-fall.
I’M A CELEBRITY
Gemma predicted she’d become the female Bear Grylls during her stint in the Jungle. But in reality, she couldn’t bear it at all – and quit after just three days.
Just getting into camp via a helicopter was traumatic enough as GC burst into tears and demanded to get out before it had even taken off.
She admitted: “Yeah, I’ve cracked at the first hurdle. But it’s like the turtle and the slug or the horse and the rabbit – the slowest one won in the end.”
Gemma hated the bugs, the tasks, the starvation – even threatening to kill herself if bosses didn’t give her a treat.
She sobbed that murderers get treated better and diagnosed herself with malaria. After constant complaining, she finally threw in the towel and said: “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here.”
In one of many Diary Room meltdowns, she lost it over BB failing to provide heated rollers for her hair, as the straighteners that contestants had been given were “frazzling” her locks.
She wailed: “This is very expensive hair and it’s f***ing frazzled because you’ve only got straighteners in here, you haven’t got heated rollers! So you better pay for me to have a new set of extensions.”
Soon the housemates decided to sacrifice their hot water for an entire day in the interests of a greater good: allowing GC to get her hair professionally blow dried.
TONY THE PONY
Celebrity Big Brother was a stressful time for the GC. But Tony The Pony provided some light relief.
Following a day-long task in which the housemates had to ruin GC’s big day, the house was given a party – including cocktails and ham rolls. Gemma really loved the ham rolls. But the birthday girl had an extra-special treat – which was 15 minutes galloping around the garden with a Shetland pony. To this day, it remains one of the happiest moments of her (and our) lives.
The Only Way Is Essex created the GC back in 2011.
Her most famous moment was in 2012 when she confronted James “Arg” Argent, who had bragged about their affair. She stripped off to her swimwear at a party and, while slapping her behind, announced: “Take a good look, cos you ain’t EVER gonna get this candy.”
Despite once telling co-star Ferne McCann that “I’m Gemma Collins, Ferne, I’m 34. I’ve earned my divaship”, the star decided she had to get rid of her GC alter ego.
She asked her fellow Towie cast members to write down their thoughts on the GC and got told “snappy” and “rude, brash and demanding”.
Gemma admitted they were right and threw the paper on to a fire to exorcise the GC and cleanse herself of the worst traits.
CELEBS GO DATING
The GC signed up for Celebs Go Dating last year in a bid to find love. And after a rocky start, it seemed she might have found romance in the shape of classic car importer Laurence Hearn.
He was so smitten, he planned to whisk her off to Paris for a date. But Gem stood him up and left him waiting at the train station, clutching flowers and chocolates. She later insisted she hadn’t “been feeling” Paris so sacked if off in favour of a spray tan and a Kardashians marathon.
Laurence forgave her and it looked like they might be making a go of it. That’s until on-off love Arg asked her out – and the GC dumped poor Laurence live on Loose Women.
While she had plenty of Essex flair, Gemma’s skills in the celebrity diving show failed to match up and she was left with painful-looking bruises to her boobs.
After getting the boot in the first episode, Gemma insisted: “That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.”
AMERICAN FOOTBALLER STYLE
The GC scored a touchdown when she arrived at the annual ITV summer party in a dress as orange as her spray tan and with shoulder pads as large as her ego.
The 80s ruffled frock had her turning heads for all the wrong reasons, but the grin on her face showed she was pleased with her NFL-inspired outfit choice, especially as it added another viral meme to her collection.
Why she is a very big draw
Behaviour expert Judi James reckons it’s Gemma’s unapologetic nature that keeps people hooked. She says: “In a world of showmances and contrived emotional breakdowns, Gemma is still the volatile star that we can’t help tuning in to see.
“She’s managed to create a brand against the odds in this airbrushed culture, and in doing so has made herself a heroine for women who aren’t a size zero with a face like a Kardashian.
“Her resilience is awesome but it’s her naked arrogance that divides opinion.
“On the one hand people might want to topple her, but on the other there will be fans cheering her on when she wins the day, as she did with Jason!”