Former Big Brother stars Chanelle Hayes and Ziggy Lichman have said their high-profile romance would never have lasted, even without the pressures of being in the limelight.
The pair, who are among the most memorable couples in the reality show’s history, took part in the 2007 series and their on-off romance captured the hearts of viewers.
Hayes was 19 when she took part in the show while Lichman was 26. She famously left the Big Brother house after the pair had a blazing row, although they later reconciled.
At one point they were dubbed the Posh and Becks of reality TV, but their turbulent relationship crashed and burned several months after the show ended.
Appearing for a reunion on ITV’s Loose Women, Lichman said: “I have no doubt we were in love.
“It was a TV love, obviously, because we were only sectioned into that situation.”
Hayes said: “I don’t even think we knew if we were on or off, we had so many different people in our ears telling us so many different things, pushing us together, putting us against each other.”
Lichman, who had enjoyed a bit of fame before Big Brother as a member of boyband Northern Line, said: “There were lots behind the scenes that I think Chanelle will agree to which is what we were pushed into that situation.”
Asked if their relationship could have lasted were it not for their instant fame, Hayes said: “If we’d have met in different circumstances perhaps, but I would have still been a fish out of water down in London.”
Lichman admitted that seeing his ex-girlfriend on the daytime programme was “crazy” and that he still “loves her to bits”.
He said that Hayes has “absolutely smashed it, she’s held her own, she’s had a family”, praising her for making it through the “tough times”.
He added that both he and his former girlfriend are both “extremely grateful” for the opportunity that the series gave them.
They said that they speak occasionally, with the “odd phone call” now and then, and they insisted that seeing each other on the live TV show was not awkward.
In recent years, Lichman has largely avoided the limelight while Hayes, who now has two sons with two former partners, has appeared on several other programmes and has continued to have a career in the media, including working as a glamour model.