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Celebrity Big Brother: Drag queen Courtney Act crowned winner

Courtney Act waving to the crowd after winning Celebrity Big Brother Image copyright Getty Images

Drag queen Courtney Act has been crowned winner of Celebrity Big Brother.

The RuPaul's Drag Race star was the huge favourite going into the final and beat rival Ann Widdecombe into second place.

Courtney - real name Shane Janek - said it was "slightly ironic" she had won the "Year of the Woman" themed series.

During her time in the house, she's been praised for the way she's discussed gender and sexuality.

At the start of the live final, Courtney was up against Ann Widdecombe, Jess Impiazzi, Wayne Sleep and Shane Lynch.

'It's ok to be different'

It came down to a vote between her and former Conservative MP Ann - with Courtney looking genuinely shocked at being named the winner.

"I don't know what this means, is this real life?" she asked host Emma Wills.

Image copyright Getty Images

She then revealed how much it meant, saying it was "amazing that the public has voted for me."

"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.

"I guess it's validation that it's ok to be different."

Courtney has particularly been celebrated for her approach to fellow contestant India Willoughby, who is transgender, and admitted having a "phobia about drag queens".

Speaking to fellow housemates, Courtney acknowledged why India might feel that way.

"I think the thing she struggled with is that people might see me and see her and think that we are the same thing.

"She'd never identified as a drag queen. Drag is more performance-based, hers is about gender identity. She was never a man but she had a male body."

Second-placed Ann Widdecombe was also somewhat confused by the final result.

"I am thoroughly bemused. Apparently, I'm the runner-up in Celebrity Big Brother. Do you know how many times I've turned this programme down?"

Image copyright Stuart C. Wilson

Ann's faced criticism for speaking openly about being against gay marriage - which didn't go down well with Courtney.

During her time as an MP, the 70-year-old voted against every pro-LGBT legislation.

And speaking to Emma Willis, she said she wouldn't be changing her views.

"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."

Image copyright Getty Images

With the serious issues out of the way, Courtney also spoke about her bromance with fellow housemate, Andrew Brady.

Asked how much of a crush she had on him, Courtney replied: "As much as he wants."

Praising Andrew for his attitude, she said: "He's just so comfortable with everybody and everything.

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

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