At just 22, Sara has already been the lucky runner up of several major competitions including Miss Great Britain, Miss Scotland and more recently, Big Brother. She kept us entertained all summer with her teary patriotic rants, her genuine honesty and her witty (and sometimes rather crude) sense of humour. In the next few months, Sara has huge plans to front some major modelling campaigns, become a regular on the celebrity showbiz scene and put her name on the map for Scotland!
I was lucky enough to be able to grill Sara about her time in the house and ask the pressing questions that weigh on the minds of everyone watching the popular Channel 5 programme! Like.. what’s it really like being filmed whilst on the toilet?
I absolutely loved you in Big Brother this year! Have you had a good response from fans since leaving the house?
The response from fans has been absolutely amazing! They have all been so supportive of me and I love them! I would have never made it to where I did in the process if it wasn’t for them! So thank you!
Did you ever think you’d make it so far along the process?
Not in a million years did I ever think I’d make it that far! I thought 4weeks in the house was pushing it for me as I’m very honest and sometimes that characteristic has got me into trouble however for once it actually helped me! It is the best feeling in the world to have made it to the final because it just proves to me that I should love who I am and keep moving forward! There have been times in the past when I didn’t really know who I was or didn’t like the person I was becoming, however this has definitely built up my confidence and hopefully I can help people now to do the same!
Why do you think you were so popular with the BB audiences?
I honestly have no idea why I was popular; it is a very strange but amazing feeling! Quite a lot of people have said that being honest was my strong point. I think there were several occasions in the house when people weren’t honest and it just caused confusion, dramas and tears. I personally believe if you are honest with someone you can sort the differences out and move on. Apart from that I really don’t know!
What have you been up to since leaving the house?
Since leaving the house I have just been spending time with loved ones and catching up on what I missed! I’ll admit, I’ve also been getting up to quite a bit of partying ha ha! I found out I got a 2:1 in Marketing Management when I was in the house so was very pleased and I may go onto do something with this in the future.
What initially inspired you to audition for Big Brother?
I have no idea actually! My mum auditioned for the very first Big brother 11 years ago and she got in! Unfortunately, she had to pull out last minute as my brother and I were too young and she didn’t want to leave us. Despite this, I think auditioning was just a spur of the moment thing really, although everyone has always said I’d get on well in the house. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but I guess they were correct!
Have any exciting opportunities presented themselves after Big Brother?
Yes, I have been signed to an agency and have been involved in a lot more charity work which is something very close to my heart and I absolutely love doing it. I think I’m just going to take each day as it comes and see what the future brings!
If you could go back into the house and change just one thing – what would it be?
If I could change one thing it would be to stand up for what I believed more, which might sound strange to some as I was quite outspoken and did stick up for myself quite a lot. In my regular everyday life however, I’m always sticking up for what I believe in and I feel in there my visions were clouded a bit and I didn’t know what was right or wrong. I have watched some episodes and thought back to myself, ‘ahh I wish I’d put my foot down about that’.
Twenty four hours are condensed into a one hour programme, so must be hard to get everything in without some clever editing to give it a narrative!
What do you think of the CBB house this year, as the celebrities entered the house a day or so after you all left? Have you been watching it?
To be honest I haven’t really watched CBB, simply because it makes me miss the house even more. Julian is amazing though and he’s great to watch so I’m glad he won! I’ve been speaking to Rhian as well though and she seems lovely, so if she was still in there I would have liked her to win!
So, tell us – what is it REALLY like living in the Big Brother house? Is it as glamorous and exciting as it looks on television, or is it tedious and tense in there?
That’s a hard question because I think all the drama that happens inside the house gets played around with and edited so it can make situations far more dramatised. There were some situations that never stood out to me during my time in the house, it was only watching certain episodes back that you realise it was being played upon. Twenty four hours are condensed into a one hour programme, so must be hard to get everything in without some clever editing to give it a narrative. There were times though in the house when everyone wanted to leave due to arguments and home sickness! Saying that however, no-one walked this year, which is an achievement!
Are you aware that you are being watched all the time or do you get used to it?
I completely forgot about the cameras most of the time. Occasionally it just hits you in the face and you think ‘oh no I just said that and I’m on TV’! Also Friday nights were very surreal as it was live so you could hear the outside world and this reiterated the fact it was a TV programme and a game. It was like a home to me so the cameras didn’t bother me at all in the end. Even on the toilet!
I guess being in the Big Brother house, the whole process consumes you and becomes your entire life. Are emotions amplified by the fact you are in the house?
Emotions definitely ran wild in there! The episodes I have watched back where I am crying, I have thought to myself ‘I have no idea why I was crying then!’. However in there, every little thing is times by 100! It is very difficult! It is a total emotional rollercoaster but it is worth it in the end as it does make you stronger.
Many people who have been in Big Brother before say that just getting in to the house is an achievement in itself and they feel like they have already won. Did you feel this way or were you striving to win the top prize?
Oh gosh I agree, as soon as I got in I was like ‘YAY, who cares if I leave first I’m in!!’. I think if I’d have left first I would have been gutted but yes I’d definitely agree that getting in to the house is a prize in itself! Especially as I was the only one from Scotland! It felt like a dream had come true! The prize money didn’t really mean anything to me at all, it was the thought of spending a summer away – making a whole bunch of new friends! I’m happy with the way it all worked out though and getting to the final by the public voters is first prize to me anyway!
Have you made any lifelong friends out of the process?
Yes I’d say I definitely have made lifelong friends! Scott, Shiv, Adam, Caroline, Luke A and Becky are the particular housemates I really got along with and will keep in touch with forever. Actually I’m on my way down to see them all now!
I was so pleased that you got a genuine letter from Buckingham Palace following your declaration of love of the Royal Family, what did the letter say? And why do you love the royals so much?
I knew this question would be coming ha ha! The letter just said thank you for all my support and her Majesty really appreciates it! I was ecstatic, I wouldn’t have thought I’d ever get a letter from Buckingham Palace! I personally hold the opinion that to have a Royal family is something to be very proud of especially as today we are very modernised and so we are one of a few countries who still has a monarchy. Also I don’t think people realise how hard the Queen works and she’s 86, she never has a day off! It’s absolutely amazing! They bring so much to the country including a lot of tourism which helps us! I do not understand people who are against them, it sickens me!! (Rant over, ha ha!)
I’m happy with the way it all worked out though and getting to the final by the public voters is first prize to me anyway!
You were previously a model prior to entering the Big Brother house. Are you still modelling?
Yeah I have modelled from a young age so definitely wanting to keep that up, I have done a few shoots since leaving the BB house and have more booked so that’s something I’d love to take further.
I understand being in the house meant you couldn’t go to your graduation. Were you annoyed that you missed it, or was being in the house more exciting?
I wasn’t too bothered about missing graduation, my Lala (my granny) on the other hand was heartbroken! We are having a ‘graduation’ day in my house though soon for photos! I’m going to hire a gown especially just so my Lala can have a picture! I wouldn’t change going into the house for the world though!
Were there any downsides to being in the house?
The downsides would be that I missed my mum so much! I am so close to my mum normally and I’ve never been away from her for more than two weeks before. So after a few weeks, I really started to struggle!
You used to be a blonde, why did you decide to dye your hair brunette before going into the BB house?
I’ve been blonde since I was a little girl so though a change would be good, especially as it was initiating a new phase of my life. I ended up getting low lights at first but I never ever do things in half measures, so I simply bought a dye and stuck it on! I love my hair brown though, so I’m glad I did it!
What did you hope to get out of the experience? Did the experience live up to your expectations?
I just wanted a good summer out of it all and to make some new friends and that’s certainly what I have achieved. Much to my surprise though I have taken away much more than this! I have definitely matured during my time in the house, even though it was only for a three month period. It has let me grow up a little bit more, understand myself and learn to love the person I am. Having fans who really like watching me being, well me – is the most amazing feeling ever and it has made me far more accepting of my character!
Was there no-one in the house who you thought you could ‘date’ on the outside world?
No I was gutted when I first went in as I didn’t fancy anyone!! I was looking for a little flirt but no-one really tickled my fancy! I’d say Conor was my type if I had to pick someone, but he has a lovely girlfriend!
Has going into Big Brother meant you get more attention from the men? Do you get recognised when you are out and about?
Yes quite a lot of ‘famous’ people have been in touch which is strange and I’ve had a number of people asking me on dates but to be honest I’m not looking for anything just now. When I meet Mr Right, I will know!
I’d say Conor was my type if I had to pick someone, but he has a lovely girlfriend!
You said whilst being in the house that you thought going into Big Brother had ‘ruined your life’? Do you still feel this way?
No definitely not! I just said that in there because I was down and emotional. I think at that particular point, Big Brother had really annoyed me as they’d only given us one bottle of wine to share between ten of us and as I’ve said – everything in there is amplified and times by 100! It has been the best experience that I will ever go through in my whole life and now looking back I loved every minute of it, even the lows!
What do you hope to do after coming out of the house?
I am just letting life take its course at the moment. I believe in fate so anything that happens will hopefully lead me to something great, and if not I will go into marketing, which is what I originally planned to do. I am hard working though so hopefully something will crop up!
If you were the executive producer of Big Brother, what tasks would you make the housemates get involved in? Would you treat the housemates any differently to how you are treated?
I would give us far more alcohol! Despite me getting rather drunk on occasions, they didn’t give us enough! We were deprived! Other than that though, I’d treat everyone exactly how they did, they were fair and helped us when we were low! With regards to the tasks, I’d never ever open the blooming white room again! I hated it! I tried to climb over the wall to get away from it and got into trouble! So that would be banned if I was the producer!
If you were advising a soon-to-be housemate on how to survive the Big Brother house – what tips would you give them? What would you say?
I’d say just be yourself 100 percent and have fun! Always remember it’s not real and you’ll be out soon wishing you were back in, so try and have fun even at low points! Also, always remember to believe in yourself – don’t beat yourself up about silly little things!
You are originally from Scotland. Do you think ‘The Only Way Is Edinburgh’ would make good TV?
Yes definitely, there’s lots of drama in Scotland! It would make amazing television!
Where do you hope to be in ten years time?
In ten years time, I would love to be married and have children (although I probably need to find a man first to fulfil those goals!). I’d also love to be successful in whatever career path I decide to take, that is very important to me as I consider myself a hard worker and really do enjoy working!