Courtney Act beats Ann Widdecombe to win Celebrity Big Brother
Courtney Act has won Celebrity Big Brother, beating ultra-conservative Ann Widdecombe.
Courtney, who was more frequently known as Shane Jenek when inside the house, won the 2018 edition of the reality show with 49% of the vote.
The drag star was an early frontrunner on the show and the favourite to win for the bulk of Celebrity Big Brother.
However, due to a surprise surge in popularity, former MP Ann Widdecombe briefly took over as the bookmaker’s favourite in the final 10 days of the show.
As the show entered its final full day, Shane became the favourite to win again in an impressive comeback after more than a week of slipping popularity.
In the public vote, Shane/Courtney gained more votes than Boyzone member Shane Lynch, reality star Jess Impiazzi and dancer Wayne Sleep.
Ann Widdecombe finished the show in second place.
Wayne Sleep was the first housemate to leave the show on Friday, finishing in fifth place.
In a previous episode of the reality show, the 69-year-old revealed to his fellow housemates how he couldn’t come out as gay whilst his mother was alive.
Jess Impiazzi finished in fourth place, with Shane Lynch placing third.
During a challenge on Celebrity Big Brother, Shane described themselves as a: “genderqueer, pansexual, polyamorous, vegan, atheist, feminist, blonde Australian.”
Throughout their time in the famous house, Shane prominently spoke out about many LGBT+ issues.
This began early in the show, starting with a tense discussion about marriage equality with fellow housemates India Willougby and Ann Widdecombe.
Shane said that prior to entering the show, they had researched Ann Widdecombe’s voting record as an MP.
During her 23 years as a Conservative MP, Ann consistently voted against gay rights including marriage equality and the right for gay and lesbian couples to adopt.
This stark contrast between Shane and Ann was a source of friction between the pair, which increased dramatically during the last week of the competition.
Tensions rose during an episode last week as Shane began to discuss Ann’s voting record and opposition to marriage equality with Amanda Barrie, who is in a civil partnership.
As a result of this argument, most of Shane’s fellow housemates nominated them for eviction.
Much of Shane’s time during the show was spent with former Apprentice star Andrew Brady, as the pair formed a close – and highly flirtatious- friendship.
Andrew and Shane attracted much of the viewers’ attention after Andrew kissed Shane and admitted to having a crush on Courtney Act.
The vote to decide the winner of Celebrity Big Brother had lasted three days, opening shortly after Tuesday’s eviction of Ashley James, Malika Haqq and Amanda Barrie.
The 2018 version of Celebrity Big Brother has been called ‘the Year of the Woman’ and has been heavily focused on gender.
This is to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s partial suffrage in the UK.
The genderfluid drag star has previously said that they did not think it would be right for them to win this year’s show.
Earlier this week Shane said: “I don’t think it would be fair for me to win the year of the woman.”
Shane rose to international fame as Courtney Act after their appearance on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where they placed as a runner-up.
Since their time on Drag Race, Shane has released several albums as Courtney and has had a successful touring career.
Shane is now the 21st winner of the show, which is expected to be cancelled after its summer series.
They join former winners Julian Clary, Katie Price and Rylan Clark-Neal in holding the title of Celebrity Big Brother champion.