Transgender boxing promoter Kellie Maloney has entered the Celebrity Big Brother house.

The former UKIP candidate and manager of Lennox Lewis revealed last Sunday that she is transgender, and has begun to transition.

Maloney attracted criticism earlier this week when she said: “I’m not homophobic, I have gay friends… I still don’t think that children should be brought up in same-sex marriages.”

This evening she entered the Celebrity Big Brother house at the launch of the 14th series, alongside ‘White Dee’ from Channel 4’s ‘Benefit Street’, Audley Harrison, boxing heavyweight champion, Claire King, actress, and  ex-Gladiator David McIntosh.

Maloney was cheered by the crowd as she was announced as a contestant by host Emma Willis, and the hashtag #cbbkellie was trending on the night.

Leaks yesterday suggested that Maloney would be “one of the most highly paid contestants ever” on the show.

A source told the Sunday People: “Kellie was top of the list – she was the one that everyone working on the show wanted.

“They all think she will make Celebrity Big Brother a must-watch. Having her signature is being seen as a huge victory for Channel 5 bosses, she is part of what they see as a brilliant line up.”

Maloney had caused controversy previously by coming out against same-sex marriage, and saying she would ban pride marches.

She also told the BBC in 2004 that she would not campaign in the London borough of Camden, because there were “too many gays”.

Maloney is the latest in a line of transgender housemates, following Big Brother 5 winner Nadia Almada, and Celebrity Big Brother 2013 contestant Lauren Harries.

Other reports suggested that Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst is set to enter the house, though she denied the claims.