Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: Big Brother season 3 winner Reggie Bird throws her hat in the ring for an All-Stars season as she talks life after the show

Bring back Reggie!
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Australia will remember her as the loveable fish and chip shop owner who won season three of Big Brother back in 2003.

And now, in an exclusive interview with Now To Love Reggie Bird says she’d be keen to take part in an All-Stars series of Big Brother.

“I’d love to go back into the house with past housemates,” she tells us.

READ NEXT: Meet our Big Brother All-Stars wish list cast

“I think the true-blue, die-hard Big Brother fans would love to see that happen,” the mother-of-two adds.

The early noughties TV star is onto a winning idea and there certainly wouldn’t be a shortage of famous faces from the past eager to join an All-Stars line-up, including season six winner Jamie Brooksby, who previously told us he’d love to return to reality TV.

In 2006, the American series of the show experimented with an All-Stars season, rounding up 20 former BB stars.

Reggie says she’s watching the revamped season of the show but doesn’t feel like the audience is getting to hear enough of the cast’s backstories.

“I’m liking it but I’d love to see more of getting to know who the housemates are. I feel like it’s too fast and we don’t really know their true personalities. It had to come back with a bang and I think they’ve done that,” the 46-year-old says of the updated format, which is currently airing on Channel 7.

Reggie found fame on season three of Big Brother as the humble fish and chip shop owner.

(Image: Channel 10)

Reggie is perhaps one of the most iconic names from the original incarnation of the show and made history as the first female winner of the Australian series.

It’s been 17 years since she pocketed the $250,000 prize money and Reggie jokes she’s still the same down-to-earth person Australia fell in love with all those years ago “just with more wrinkles and a beer gut.”

The reality star certainly hasn’t lost her trademark sense of humour, despite life delivering several cruel blows over the years, including her 11-year-old son Lucas’ Cystic Fibrosis diagnosis.

Then and now: She was just 29 when she won the 2003 series with Chrissy Swan landing second place. These days, Reggie is the proud mother of two children and works for an online mental health platform.

(Images: Channel 10, Instagram)

The debilitating illness affects the lungs and digestive system. Sufferers have a faulty exocrine system which results in a thick mucus on the lungs, digestive system and airways.

At present, there is no cure for the life-threatening disease and the life expectancy is around 37 years.

“It truly is a s–t disease. I’d give anything for him not to have it,” Reggie tells us.

“He has endless medication everyday to help him digest his food and to break down the mucous that sits in his lungs. He also has physiotherapy everyday and twice a day when he gets sick.”

“There is no rest from Cystic Fibrosis – you cannot miss a day of physio or taking your tablets,” Reggie explains.

Reggie’s 11-year-old son Lucas suffers from Cystic Fibrosis.

(Image: Supplied)

“It’s mentally and physically draining on Lucas so I have to stay strong for him. It’s a constant battle to try and get weight on him so he has to drink supplements and have a diet high in calories and fat. I hope he will live past the 37 years of expected time,” she says.

On top of managing Lucas’ illness and looking after her 13-year-old daughter Mia, the single mother is also legally blind, has a hole in her heart, suffers from endometriosis and also has Pyrrole disorder – a biochemical imbalance involving an abnormality in haemoglobin synthesis. Symptoms can include bowel dysfunction, poor stress control and mood swings.

“I need a new body,” Reggie laughs.

“I’m now legally blind with an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. I only have 9 degrees of central vision left, no peripheral and no night vision.”

“It’s a bit more of a battle to get around. I haven’t driven a car for 12 years and I walk or use buses, taxis or friends to get me places.”

“I hope he will live past the 37 years of expected time.”

(Image: Supplied)

While she’d love to return to our screens, Reggie knows only too well the traps of reality TV stardom after she lost all of her Big Brother prize money to a conman and paying for a divorce lawyer to split from her first husband Adrian.

After losing her prize money, she also struggled to find employment.

“I couldn’t get a job for about two years after the show as no one would take me seriously,” she admits.

Reggie is currently based on the Gold Coast and works for an online platform called StarShell, which helps protect students from cyber bullying.

“It’s a mental health and well-being program which blocks bullying and trolls using Artificial Intelligence. It would actually be great for the current housemates to use because it would block out all those nasty comments they receive on twitter or Instagram etc,” Reggie notes.

“They are great kids,” Reggie says of her 13-year-old daughter Mia and 11-year-old son Lucas.

(Image: Supplied)

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