Exclusive: Andy West on Big Brother, break-ups and Bake Off

bbspy has a chat with the BB17 finalist ahead of his new one-man show
3 comments - Posted on October 13 2016 at 05:10pm

Big Brother 2016 housemate Andy West

Big Brother 2016 finalist Andy West is about to launch his very own one-man show – so we caught up with him in an exclusive interview…

It was a genuine surprise to see Andy grace the Big Brother stage way back on launch night in June. Who’d ever have thought that a former BBC News anchor would want to spend seven weeks locked in Britain’s most famous house with a group of models and reality stars?

Eventually, he made it all the way to final night, finishing in a very respectable fourth place – and since then, he’s been busy rubbing shoulders with all sorts of famous faces (he even met THE Janice from Friends, OH MY GOD!).

Now Andy is launching his own one-man show, which will see him reveal everything about his Big Brother experience, as well as his rocky professional and personal lives. Before he takes to the stage next week, bbspy had an awesome chat with Andy about his new venture, Big Brother, and some of the other reality shows dominating telly at the moment…

Big Brother 2016 housemate Andy West

As most will know, you first gained notoriety last year when you ‘parted ways’ with the BBC after speaking out against Tyson Fury’s nomination for Sports Personality Of The Year. Why did you choose Big Brother for your return to the public spotlight?
Big Brother is such a crazy and iconic programme, I couldn’t really say no to it. I’d always been curious to see how it worked! It’s an experience, right? After being at the BBC for so long and having to bite my tongue and try to pretend to be a news robot it was freeing and exciting to do something that was dangerous and totally exposing. I enjoy taking risks and I wanted to feel alive again. Besides, I may be embarrassed about my body but I know that I’m a kind, decent person so I was never worried about people seeing me for who I am.

One of your defining Big Brother moments was getting engaged to your then boyfriend Ed… only for it all to fall apart weeks later when you left the house. Has that affected how you view your Big Brother experience?
The only thing that kept me going in the last three weeks was looking forward to my life with my fiance once I was out. But you can’t change the past. I don’t regret being proposed to and I don’t regret my ex coming into the house. I would never have survived for eight weeks if those things hadn’t happened. He’s let me down, sure, but just because he cheated on me doesn’t mean I have to let go of the happiest moment in my life. It was real at the time and in the midst of so many horrible experiences he was like an angel to me and I’m glad I’m capable of feeling so overjoyed. I’ve never felt like that before. I just hope I feel like that again.

Big Brother 2016 final - Andy West came fourth
Andy leaving the Big Brother house on final night

The biggest twist of the series was Annihilation week. If you’d been in Jason’s position – having to evict a housemate for £20,000 – would you have chosen tactically?
I decided I would never take a bribe in Big Brother, no matter what. I was staying in there unless the public voted me out and I didn’t want to do any more than nominate other people. So no I’d not have pressed the button. But Jason’s decision to get rid of Lateysha was about survival and I get that. He and Lateysha didn’t get on so I wasn’t surprised when he chose her. I was the only one who didn’t react!

How do you feel about Big Brother sidelining the public vote in general? Should it introduce a more strategic gameplay format?
To my mind, the only people who should get to decide who leaves the house is the general public. They can see the truth about people and that’s been the best thing about leaving. Most people did see things as I saw them so I realised I wasn’t going mad in there after all. When I left the house I got to see the stats on how many people were voting me out when I was nominated every week. Virtually none! One week I got less than 1% of the votes for eviction. I actually cried when I saw that because you really don’t know how you’re being perceived.

Big Brother 2016 - Andy West supports Jason Burrill in Annihilation controversy
Andy with his BB friend Jason

These days it feels like every single Big Brother task involves stirring the pot or letting housemates know what viewers think of them. Is the show now too obsessed with drama?
These questions are good! Erm… I loved the more creative and sporty tasks like reading the news or eating ducks’ tongues and rolling around in gunge. I mean, by the end of it I have to admit we did all look at each other and roll our eyes and just say ‘who cares what we say about each other, let’s just win ice cream’. It gets to the point where even the housemates don’t care about the nasty tasks because you’ve become so thick-skinned.

You haven’t exactly seen eye to eye with Hughie and Ryan inside or outside the house… how are things between the three of you now? And which of your housemates have you kept in touch with?
I’ve kept in touch with Laura and Jason most. I love Jason and we’ll stay mates. He’s looked after me. As for Hughie and Ryan, I don’t really feel like we’re relevant to each other now so I just find it a bit tiresome and weird when things pop up. I’m so busy with so many exciting things now and everything’s going so well that I really don’t have time to think about the past and I’ve drawn a line and decided not to react anymore. They’re just enjoying their moment so I wish them the best of luck and hopefully they’ll turn it into something more long term. That’s a tough thing to do after Big Brother. I really hope they get what they’re working for.

Big Brother 2016 - Andy West hosts BB News in task
Andy hosts the BB News task

Rumours suggest that there will be some sort of ‘All-stars’ series of Celebrity Big Brother next year – which former housemates would you like to see return?
I’d love to see Jodie Marsh go back in with George Galloway and Pete Burns. I was chatting to her last week and she has a few choice words for them. That would be an amazing rematch!

Since your return to the outside world you’ve been keeping busy meeting all sorts of celebs. What has been your post-Big Brother highlight so far?
Oh wow, yes, I’ve been meeting and interviewing loads of famous faces for the papers and my new YouTube channel. The best thing has been meeting fans in random places and hearing such lovely, warm words about how I handled myself in the house. I wish I’d known how much support I had. I’ve loved getting to know Sinitta and being hooked up on some amazing dates with her eligible bachelor friends. Oh, and having a chin wag with Rylan at the BBBOTS studios about everything that went on with my ex. He gave me some great advice and such a lovely hug. He’s a really warm-hearted guy and so talented.

It’s talent contest season, with The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing both in full swing. Who are you backing to win both shows? And what do you make of Honey G?
I wanted Bratavio to do well in X Factor because they made me smile, and they’ve gone in week one, and I wanted Will Young to win Strictly and he left the show today! So I’m gutted! I met Bratavio and I told them how disgusted I’ve been by the bullying and nastiness they’ve received. Okay, their performance wasn’t as great as I’d hoped, but that wasn’t their fault! They were told what to sing. I’ve heard them both sing live and they’ve got great voices.

Honey G? I met her too. She genuinely believes she’s a world class rapper. I worry the show is making her into a laughing stock, but I must say her week one performance wasn’t as car crash as many people expected. She still has a lot to prove if she wants to be Missy… not a miss.

Big Brother survived its move to Channel 5… do you think The Great British Bake Off has a long-term future on Channel 4?
People don’t like change but the show will go on. Channel 4 aren’t stupid and the BBC will find some other way of recreating the format. For me, the show had gone a little flat anyway so I think it needs a stir and shake.

Next week you’re launching your own show, ‘Andy, Can You Come To The Diary Room’. What made you want to do a one-man show and what can attendees expect from it?
Yes I am! Next week’s show is like a special preview show and is something I intend to maybe take out on the road next year! Basically, it’s a way for Big Brother fans to get a sense of what it’s like in the house while meeting some big reality TV names! They’re going to be announced very shortly. You’ll find out the truth about how the show works from the inside. I’ll have some revelations about my housemates and I’ll be explaining how it feels to get engaged on national TV and find out the truth minutes after going back into the real world.

Poster for Andy West's one-man show Andy, Can You Come To The Diary Room

You’ve promised to reveal insider Big Brother info “that show bosses would never want you to know”… can you give us a taster and tell us one of BB’s secrets?
Haha no… you’ll have to come see! It’s at the Phoenix Artist bar on Wednesday October 19th at 7pm. Tickets are very short now, but get in quick (click here to buy)!

Finally, what other projects have you got in the pipeline?
I’m writing a book on dating, I’m interviewing celebs for the national papers, I’m meeting TV channels about various opportunities, writing columns for Gay Times and Entertainemnt Daily…oh loads of things – my head is bursting. But it’s amazing and I’m really busy and happy. I can’t ask for more. Thank goodness! It’s tough leaving the BB house and making a go of things but I’m lucky I was a presenter and journalist before walking into the house so I’ve had that to build on now.

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3 comments on this article

  1. Brekkie says:
    Thu 13 Oct Reply !

    This makes Kerry Katona’s one woman show sound appealing.

  2. Louise says:
    Fri 14 Oct Reply !

    To me, he seems to be the one ‘working’ to gain something. Even more so than Ryan and Hughie. I’m sure he can be both kind and decent, but obviously also a bit of a meanie

  3. LOL says:
    Fri 14 Oct Reply !

    ” Oh, and having a chin wag with Rylan at the BBBOTS studios about everything that went on with my ex.”

    LOL! The same Rylan who had an affair with Dan?

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