Nasty Nick Bateman, the legendary Big Brother villain, is enjoying life in Australia 23 years after coming to fame on the show’s inaugural series.
The 55-year-old reality star was an initial housemate when the programme first aired on Channel 4 back in 2000, but he was kicked out by producers for breaching the rules and’manipulating’ nominations.
His antics on the show sparked uproar from fans and his fellow housemates, despite his insistence that his acts were ‘quite modest’ in comparison to how reality TV has evolved since.
‘I think I was pretty tame compared to what most contestants have got up to on the vast amount of reality shows [around today],’ he said on Friday’s episode of Lorraine.
‘Gameplay, it was just part and parcel of the fun, but it was fairly innocuous and sweet looking back at it.’
He admitted the experience was ‘quite difficult’ being thrust into the spotlight, going from being a ‘nobody’ to suddenly having the whole country know ‘everything about you’.
After Big Brother, he went on to publish a book and feature on numerous TV shows before returning to the house for Ultimate Big Brother in 2011, however he soon left to Australia to start a new life.
‘I’ve been here [Australia] 12 years. It’s just much nicer – blues skies all the time great weather, great food,’ he smiled. ‘It’s refreshing and it’s just nice to be somewhere where you’re happy.’
Even though he admits that not everyone knows where they’ve seen him before, he is nonetheless identified on the other side of the planet.
‘There’s a lot of English people but they sometimes think I’m from The Bill or Coronation Street,’ he laughed, while noting he has no regrets regarding his time on the show and the fame it brought him.
‘No, you can’t have any regrets. Regret is a very negative thing to have,’ he said. ‘You can’t change the past, all you can do is change the present or the future.’
When it came to the relaunch, Nick emphasised that its success would be determined by the casting, and he hoped that producers would take a leaf from the older episodes rather than more modern reality shows.
‘It’s about the characters on the show. If they get the casting right, they can make it a success,’ he pondered. ‘If they get the casting wrong like Love Island here there’s nothing between their heads.’
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV1.