A man who was born a girl has been crowned winner of Big Brother and said: “It’s great to feel accepted.”
Luke Anderson, 31, appeared shocked but delighted as he emerged victorious to claim a £50,000 prize.
The married chef, who began to have treatment to change his sex four years ago, received the most votes from viewers, ahead of former LA gang member Adam Kelly.
Known to housemates as Luke A, the South African-born Welshman hugged Adam before he found himself alone in the empty house.
Dressed in a dark jacket, shirt and tie he walked out to massive applause and said: “I’m going to miss this place.”
Luke, whose mother and father were among a crowd of cheering fans, said achieving acceptance had been a major reason for his appearance on Big Brother. “A big part of it was about acceptance,” he said. “My whole life I have been an outsider and to win this…”
He told host Brian Dowling: “It’s great to feel accepted, I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”
Luke – whose win came on his wedding anniversary – threw his arms around his wife Becki as she appeared on stage.
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Their reunion came 70 days after he first entered the house.
In a short interview, he insisted his win was ‘not about the money’ and told of his bond with 27-year-old Adam, who he described as a ‘genuine, down-to-earth, solid guy’. Former Crips gang-member Adam, from Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, appeared thrilled for his fellow housemate despite missing out on the prize.