Daniel Hayes may not be the most recognisable name on the Big Brother VIP line up, but after playing the game so well during his 62-day stint on Big Brother 2021, he may be the one to watch.
He's chaotic, funny, and polarising, but the 48-year-old has proven that reality TV is his domain.
In his normal life, the Geelong native is a real estate agent, the creator behind the YouTube channel called Million Dollar Bogan, and a father of two children.
His rise to fame has been unique, and it's a journey filled with unexpected, jaw-dropping, and confusing twists and turns.
So, how did Daniel secure his place on Big Brother VIP? We investigate as he prepares to navigate some of the world's most infamous celebs.
How did Daniel Hayes land his first reality TV gig?
There are a few ways to land a place on reality TV; you can become an influencer or simply apply and hope for the best.
Daniel went with a different option, because his journey began thanks to his appearance on A Current Affair.
In July 2020, the real estate agent crossed the Victoria border into New South Wales and made his way to Queensland. This was during the first months of COVID-19 in the country and it caused some controversy.
During his interview, Daniel revealed that he didn't regret his decision because the policeman let him across the border.
"I don't feel like I broke the law. I felt that I was honest with him, and he let me through," he said.
Daniel was so amusing that it caught the attention of Big Brother producers, and he later admitted to The Kyle and Jackie O show that he never had to apply for the show.
"No, I didn't have my heart set on Big Brother, they [the producers] rang me up, and they asked me if I would audition after they saw a little interview I had, with myself being on A Current Affair," he revealed.
What was Daniel Hayes' time on Big Brother like?
He made a big impact on Big Brother thanks to his ability to play the game so well.
Even though he was behind some incredible moments in the season, Daniel's downfall was at the hands of Ari Kimber, the self-professed "Master Manipulator."
Ari had managed to place Daniel up for eviction beside Sarah Jane and sent him home with Christina's show-ending vote.
Speaking with New Idea, Daniel opened up about Big Brother and why it was the hardest experience of his life.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever done emotionally, physically, socially, mentally," he said.
"But it was the most incredible thing I've ever done in my life. I mean, I'm the guy who's tried to ride a motorbike to Everest and nearly died, this was harder."
Although he was basically born to navigate the politics of the house, he admitted he almost left the show to save Tilly Whitfeld.
"When Tilly got evicted, I tried to do a deal with Big Brother where I tried to meet Tilly underground in the cave.
"I asked Big Brother to give me a briefcase with $10,000 in it, and I'd take that, and then Tilly could go back into the house at midnight, and I would disappear forever from the show. And Big Brother said to me, 'Danny, you're not running this show'," he told New Idea.
What has Daniel Hayes revealed about his sobriety journey?
He may have an energising and hilarious personality, but Daniel has also weathered his fair share of demons.
In conversation with New Idea, he opened up about his battle with alcohol addiction when he was a teenager.
He explained that he grew up in an environment where alcohol was rife and that he wasn't good at controlling himself when drinking.
"I grew up in a family where there was a lot of alcohol, and I was a bad drunk," he told the publication.
"I would wake up forgetting what I'd done the night before. I remember shaking in the morning and having another beer to take away the shakes."
At just 19, and during his time in the Royal Australian Navy, he entered rehab, which was a decision made after several stints in hospital for binge drinking.
However, 30 years later, Daniel was proud to reveal he "has not had a single drink or illegal drug since [rehab]."
He has also become a drug and alcohol counsellor to help "young kids that were like me."
Is Daniel Hayes married?
Unfortunately, Daniel's marriage broke down ten years ago, and he revealed to New Idea that he wishes he could have done things differently.
"I still struggle with the fact [that] my marriage ended, and I remember the day like yesterday when we told them we were splitting up and I saw their hearts break," he said.
"I wish I had worked harder on my marriage and been a better husband and father. I feel like being on Big Brother can show my kids another side to me and one they can be proud of."