9th January 2024
After stepping foot into the Big Brother house at just 18 years old, Hallie Clarke felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. As a trans woman, she felt she had a duty to educate and inform in the long-anticipated revival of the controversial British series, and although she didn’t quite make it to the final, Hallie still made quite the impression - and educate and inform she did. In a time as tumultuous as this where the rights of LGBTQ+ folk are under attack from all angles, the importance of seeing someone as strong-willed as Hallie on our screens every night can’t be underestimated. We caught up with her about why she signed up for the show, how her opinions on her housemates have changed once the series ended, and what her plans are for the future.
Hey Hallie! How are you?
I'm good! Well, I’m ill. But how are you?
I'm good, thank you! Have you had a good Christmas?
Oh, yes I did. It was very chill. I spent a lot of time with family instead of focusing on content, but yeah, it was good. It was very intimate, which was nice. How was yours?
Mine was all good, thank you! But I'm sorry to hear that you're unwell. I hope it's not the C word.
Oh, don't even bring up the C word!
So, let's start then - can you remember why you applied for Big Brother?
Funnily enough, a couple of months before it was announced that Big Brother was coming back, I had been speaking to my family and I’d said if Big Brother ever came back, I would love to go on. It's not like Love Island where you go to find love, it's a TV show where you literally go on there to show the world who you are. So I thought being a young trans woman, it's a perfect opportunity to go on there, show who I am, breakdown stigmas and inspire other young trans people. I was 17 when it was announced, and I turned 18 in the December. I was like, you know what? Fuck it. Why not just do it? And like I said, the thing that was going through my mind the most was me being young and trans. It's such an inspiring thing to have, it's kind of unique. So I thought let me just do it. I went for it, got it, and the moment I walked through the doors and we found out in episode one that Olivia got put up for eviction, it made me realise that your time here can be cut short and so I sort of snapped and realised I need to make it loud and clear that I'm trans ASAP because the whole point of me being on here is to show trans visibility.
What were you hoping to get out of the experience?
I've always wanted to work in the TV world, reality TV and all of that stuff. And I was very vocal about that in the House. I would love to work with brands - I just feel like any trans person in any space of any brand would be so empowering. We're seeing a lot more trans individuals and I love it.
Yeah, and it's needed now more than ever.
It really is. Especially with what the government are doing. Trans visibility is really needed because it’s gonna open people's eyes and make them realise trans people are more than what they see in the media. There’s something so beautiful about being trans. No trans story is the same, we all have such a different journey and it's so unique and I just think the more the world sees of us, the better.
That’s so true. And the more trans people that are given platforms, the less weight they have on their shoulders to represent the whole community. You can just be you. It's so important to show that trans people are just normal people living their lives - they're not perfect, for better or worse, they're just out there living.
Exactly. And I thought that Big Brother showed that. It showed that all these different types of people can live in the same house and get along. We're the same people. There's nothing different about us and I think Big Brother did an amazing job of inclusivity. There was an amputee in there. There were people of all different ethnicities. There was me being a trans woman. There was gay people. There was Kerry and she has MS. It was really good. I think they've done an amazing job at being so inclusive and just showing so many different sides of people.
I think they did such a great job of casting it this year. It made for such good TV because there was a fear that it was going to be Love Island-type people, but it really wasn't.
I had that fear as well. I was scared that I was going to go on the show and it was going to be very influencer-esque. There's nothing wrong with Love Island, but Big Brother isn't Love Island. It's very much just people from all walks of life. With Love Island, you have to fit in this certain box to be on the show, whereas Big Brother is just completely different. They're two separate worlds.
Someone like Yinrun had like 20 Instagram followers when the show first aired, and that’s so good. That's exactly how it should be.
Yeah, it was similar for me. As soon as I got out my followers went through the fucking roof. Because you don't realise when you're in there, you think this could be a flop - people could not even be watching. Then we came out and realised how big it had been. It's mad.
Are you proud of yourself and everything you did whilst you were in the house?
Yes, I'm very proud of myself - as of now. When I was in the house, it was different. When I was up for eviction, I went to Big Brother and I had a nervous breakdown because I was nervous that I hadn't made my community proud. I didn’t know if I represented trans people well enough, spoke about it enough, brought awareness to it as much as I wanted to. I said to Big Brother there's more for me to give in here. I'm not ready to leave. And so I was scared that I'd also made a tit of myself and it made people not like me - which evidently a lot of people didn't like me because I got booted out. In there it was hard for me to be proud of myself, but then coming out of the house I literally get such lovely messages and DMs and it warms my heart so much. Or people saying you’ve inspired me so much that your confidence has taught me to be confident. And that makes me proud. Because I just want everyone to know that they are their own kind of beautiful. Don't let society tell you what's beautiful and put you in this box, and for me to have shown people they can be confident in who they wanna be, that's what makes me proud.
Can I just say - you didn't make a tit out of yourself at all.
I did have a lot of stroppy moments! But so did everyone. That's the thing about Big Brother - no one's going to be perfect 100% of the time.
Were you happy with your edit?
You know what - I actually haven't watched it back.
I haven't watched!
You can’t bring yourself to watch it?
I could bring myself to watch it. It's just that it's very time consuming! I was in there, so I know what happened. I've seen a lot on TikTok and Instagram, so I don't necessarily think if I watch it I'll be surprised by anything. After I got out, I watched it since then. And I watched the second episode where I came out as trans because that was one of my favourite moments on the show. I think that's one of my most beautiful moments. That’s the only episode I’ve watched!
Did your impression of anyone change after you'd left?
Immediately after I left and saw Chanel had nominated me, I was very confused because me and her were close. She told me reason she nominated me, and we had talked about it. I just felt a bit betrayed. So I was shocked by her, but then now we've spoken and basically she told me that Big Brother wouldn't accept her first nomination, hence why she was crying her eyes out on that nomination. And she had to nominate me because I was the only other person that she had a valid reason for. So yeah. Do you know what - I feel like it's after I left that it became very explosive.
It did. You got out just in the nick of time.
Yes, I did. I consider it a blessing though, because I feel like if I had to do Noky and Trish’s Halloween task, I would have had a meltdown because it's a very uncomfortable situation to be put in. I don't think a few housemates understood that they had to do it - it wasn't a choice, they had to do what Big Brother asked them to do. That's the whole point of being in the show. So I couldn't have done what they've done.
What did you make of the whole Paul versus Trish and Noky situation?
Oh, see when I was in there I didn't see any of that. With ITV, they have to make a good show, so they're gonna like stir up a storm. I knew that Noky and Paul weren’t the closest of friends because they didn't see eye to eye on a few things. But it didn’t feel as intense as what it was on the TV. But bare in mind, half the time in there I felt like I was living under a rock because they would be like oh this and this and this happened - and I'm like when the fuck did that happen? The Noky and Trish thing - I don't really have an opinion on it, to be honest. I think if I was in there and I had felt uncomfortable with the behaviour, I would have called it out. However, I wasn't in there, so I don't feel like I can comment. That's the thing about me. I don't want to get shot down by any of the housemates. So I know some of the housemates don't get along, but I've made it clear that my friendships with housemates shouldn't affect my friendships with other housemates. Because I genuinely do have love and care for everyone. Apart from one person.
Who's the one person?
Have you spoken since?
Yes. So we spoke up until I was tagged in a video on TikTok of him misgendering me.
Oh really? Oh my gosh.
No, that's not on.
Yeah. So we were speaking - we were on good terms, and when I got out the House, I never looked at press. Weeks had gone by, people were commenting and tagging me and stuff on TikTok with articles that people have screenshotted. And Zach had a lot to say about me in the press as well, which I didn't appreciate. And then there was a video at the finale where he puts the camera on me and he goes, ‘Here he is’. And that's when I was like, yeah. You know what? It's done. We're over.
Yeah, that's so fair.
Yeah, and the other housemates understand where I'm coming from completely because even if it were a slip of the tongue - he's only known me as Hallie. So there's no need for him to slip up unless there's something on his mind.
Yeah, and it's just basic common courtesy, isn't it? Like, it's so easy to get it correct. It's not hard.
Exactly. Yeah. And if you realised you fucked up in that moment, you should turn around and apologise because I didn't even notice it at first until I was tagged in TikTok and that's embarrassing for me because I was right there.
Yeah, that's really bad. I’m sorry that happened. When you first went in, did you have any thoughts about who might win and did that change? And were you happy with Jordan as the winner?
Yeah, I was. I was beyond happy with Jordan as the winner. My top three were Jordan, Yinrun and Olivia. They kept changing as the weeks went on. But Yinrun stayed always in my top three. I thought she had it in the bag. On eviction nights, you would hear just love and support for Yinrun. And she's also just so genuine and she's so kind and warm-spirited. You can't say anything bad about Yinrun. She's just such a warm soul. And so I thought that she had it in the bag. And then I thought Olivia. And Jordan towards the end because I saw the amount of love that he was getting online. I think he's just hilarious, his dry humour, the way he comes out with things. He's just brilliant. And Olivia, I feel like she went on such a journey in there. As the weeks went on, we peeled so many more layers of her.
Yeah, definitely. Olivia had her moments but she was a fantastic housemate by the end.
So those two being the final two, I was very happy. I was shocked that Yinrun left fourth.
I feel like with Yinrun, she almost peaked too early. From the very beginning, people were like Yinrun's the winner. She's gonna do it. I feel like the person who's the favourite right at the beginning, it's really hard to keep that momentum going. So what have you been up to since the show finished airing?
Since leaving I've actually been really busy. I've just been meeting lots of amazing people. I've been to so many events and I've had so many opportunities. Where I've met such amazing people who were part of the entertainment industry and have given me so much guidance and support. For Not A Phase, which is a trans charity, and all together they raised £42,000. To be a part of something that special is brilliant. I would love to continue doing things like that. And I've been doing a lot of social media, TikToks and Instagram. I've just been living my life.
So what's the plan now then? Where do you want this to take you?
I would love to do lingerie work - like lingerie modelling. I think a trans woman being on the face of any brand would be so empowering for other trans women to see. But I’d also love to go down the makeup route because I'm actually a makeup artist. I just think the world is my oyster. And I have no particular plan. I should make one, but I'm just seeing where the world takes me.
Yeah, I think that's so fair. Just see what happens, see what opportunities come your way. I mean, you've got a cracking personality and you're a beautiful girl, so I definitely think you're gonna achieve amazing things!
Thank you so much for this interview Hallie!
Thank you too, and a Happy New Year.