CELEBRITY

Big Brother’s Jamie Brooksby’s BIG transformation

We hardly recognised him!
Loading the player...

As the new season of the rebooted Big Brother Australia hits our screens, it’s had us reminiscing about some of our favourite stars from the glory days of the show.

Perhaps one of the most well-known names is that of season six winner Jamie Brooksby, who pocketed $426,000 prize money back in 2006.

WATCH: Jamie Brooksby wins Big Brother 2006

While we’re currently watching a whole new group of Big Brother housemates do the games-master’s bidding, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the reality show’s alumni. 

A breakout star is, of course, season six winner Jamie Brooksby.

The handsome 22-year-old from WA captured hearts around the nation thanks to his quirky array of headbands, ripped physique and of course that on-screen romance with co-star Katie Hastings.

For a moment in time, the country was utterly obsessed with Katie and Jamie. But like most reality romances, the pair’s relationship soon fizzled on the outside world.

These days, you might not even recognise the Big Brother star. Jamie’s swapped the peroxide blonde locks and hair accessories for a more rugged aesthetic – and we’re not complaining about it!

jamie brooksby
Then and now: Jamie during the peak of his Big Brother fame in the pages of Cleo magazine (L), cuddling his pet pooch (R). (Left: Bauer syndication | Right: Instagram)

It’s been 15 years since Jamie Brooksby starred on Big Brother so we decided to track him down and see what his life looks like now.

In an exclusive interview with TV WEEK, Jamie revealed that life has treated him well since his TV days; he now works as a property developer and divides his time between Melbourne and Brisbane.

“I look after the sales of medium to high density developments. They don’t condone headbands apparently,” Jamie explained of his role.

jamie brooksby
Reality romance: Jamie and Katie fell for each other in the Big Brother house but it didn’t last long on the outside world. (Credit: Channel Ten)

The former reality star also confirmed he was very much single. “There was someone special but it didn’t work out. I’ve been single now for about a year,” he explained.

For now, Jamie is the proud dog dad to an adorable pug called Dallas but he admitted he’d love kids one day.

“I don’t have kids but would love to someday soon,” the Big Brother alum says.

Looking back on his Big Brother experience, Jamie revealed he has no regrets – including his very public romance with Katie, which he reveals combusted as a result of the intense media spotlight following his win.

“It was a very unconventional way to form any relationship. Having said that, it didn’t make the feelings any less real. Following the show we embarked on media tours, which were overwhelming and completely alien to both of us,” Jamie says.

jamie brooksby
All grown up! Jamie now works in property and splits his time between Melbourne and Brisbane. (Credit: Instagram)

“I remember just wanting to go home and stay out of the spotlight. I would blame myself for the eventual break-up as I remember not really wanting to make a decision either way. It was a lot to take in at the time. We were also so young, I think she was 19 and I was 22.”

Jamie hasn’t spoken to Katie since their split all those years ago but looks back at their romance with fondness.

“We haven’t spoken since shortly after we parted ways but I have no ill feelings whatsoever. I hope she’s living her best life. We shared something pretty surreal and memorable. It was an unforgettable experience that changed our lives,” he explains.

jamie brooksby
Jamie and runner-up Camilla during the 2006 Big Brother finale. Jamie was just 22 at the time. (Credit: Channel Ten)

While many recipients of large TV cash prizes blow their entire earnings on frivolous lifestyle choices, Jamie has been much more strategic with his winnings, investing his money back into the property market which has in turn, set him up for a secure future.

But that’s not to say he didn’t have a little bit of fun with his well-deserved prize money.

“I was in China Town with my brothers one night shortly after the show finished. In Big Brother at the time, you would get paid $500 per week for every week you stayed in the house. I’d stayed 14 weeks, so I knew I had $7000 in the bank, I’d never had so much money! I said I’d pay for the meal and went to get some money out at the ATM. I asked for an ATM receipt and when it printed it out, it printed out my bank balance of roughly half-a-million dollars!” Jamie remembers.

“They’d just randomly deposited it like a week later without informing me. So I spent some of the money on crispy skin chicken, pepper steak, beef black bean and a couple of Tsingtao beers… Oh and a Shannon Noll CD, which I bought from a petrol station the following day cause I was a big fan. The rest went into property, so yes I still have [the money].”

Well, it doesn’t get more early noughties than that.

jamie brooksby dog dallas
Jamie is the proud dog dad to Dallas and revealed he’d love to have kids soon. (Credit: Instagram)

Jamie recently tracked down his season of Big Brother on YouTube and admitted watching himself back was tough.

“Do you know that feeling when you hear your own voice being recorded? Well, it was like that but on steroids,” he laughed.

While Jamie hasn’t been watching the revamped version Big Brother, he admitted he would be open to a reality TV return.

“It’s certainly crossed my mind. I might be showing my age but do they still air Ready Steady Cook? I’d be OK at that,” Jamie says.

Sadly Ready Steady Cook stopped airing in 2013 but Jamie has a back-up plan.

“Am I too much of a has-been to give I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! a go? I notice they’ve been pretty loose with the term celebrity these days.”

Jamie, we think you’d be perfect for it. Channel Ten, we hope you’re reading!

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now To Love.

Related stories