Paris Hilton thinks it is hard ‘playing up to the image’ of being an airhead – but insists she is not as stupid as people think.

The 27-year-old heiress said she created a ‘character’ for her MTV show The Simple Life.

She told GMTV: “For five seasons I was stuck doing this character. It was kind of hard always having to play that character when it’s not who I am.

“I know exactly who Gordon Ramsay is, I know exactly who Gordon Brown is. I was just eating in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in LA so I know that he’s like a chef.”

She added: “I just say jokes but people think I’m serious which I think is funny and I think I kind of play up to the image sometimes because – whatever – it’s entertainment.”

Paris is in London to launch a new show called British Best Friend on ITV2.

The show, which begins on ITV2 on Thursday, sees 12 young hopefuls battling to become Paris’s official ‘best friend’.

The contestants complete various tasks and at the end of each show Paris dismisses the person she thinks is the least capable of being her ‘BBF’.

The first episode sees Paris fly to London to meet the contestants, who stay in a mansion complete with pink carpets and photos of the US socialite on the walls.

“There’s a lot of advantages to being my best friend because I’m a lot of fun, I travel the world, I have a great time, especially when I come to London,” she said.

But Paris said she would not consider fellow party-girl Amy Winehouse for the role.

“I love her music but I don’t know if I could handle that lifestyle,” said Paris.

The winner from the group of contestants – made up of 11 women and one man – has yet to be announced, but Paris claimed they were now ‘best friends’.

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