Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: Big Brother’s Daniel: “I fight every day to stay sober”

The cunning housemate gets candid about his battle with alcohol.
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He is one of the biggest players in the Big Brother house, already known for doing whatever it takes to avoid eviction and stay safe. But there is more to housemate Daniel Hayes than meets the eye.

Chatting to New Idea, the 48-year-old makes a heartbreaking admission about his battle with alcohol addiction when he was just a teenager, describing himself as a “blackout drinker”.

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“I grew up in a family where there was a lot of alcohol and I was a bad drunk,” he tells New Idea. “I would wake up forgetting what I’d done the night before. I remember shaking in the morning and having another beer to take away the shakes.”

Daniel, who was in the Royal Australian Navy at the time, was sent to rehab when he was 19 after being hospitalised several times due to his excessive drinking.

Fast forward 30 years and Daniel happily reveals he “has not had a single drink or illegal drug since [rehab]”.

Of course, he admits going sober isn’t easy and still to this day, he has to work hard to battle his addictions.

Big Brother Daniel
Big Brother’s Daniel has got candid about his addiction with alcohol. (Credit: Channel seven)

“I have an addictive personality. I see myself as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict – I’m in recovery still to this day … I’ve had to work on myself and continue to do that every day.”

After transforming his life by sobering up, Daniel became a drug and alcohol counsellor in an effort to help “young kids that were like me”.

He now works as a real estate managing director, and is a very proud father to two children from his previous marriage, who constantly inspire him.

big brother daniel
Danny is one of the biggest players in the Big Brother house. (Credit: Channel Seven)

And, while his kids play a very big role in Daniel’s life, he still feels like he “failed them” after his marriage broke down 10 years ago.

“I still struggle with the fact [that] my marriage ended, and I remember the day like yesterday when we told them we were splitting up and I saw their hearts break,” he says.

“I wish I had worked harder on my marriage and been a better husband and father. I feel like being on Big Brother, I can show my kids another side to me and one they can be proud of.”

Big Brother daniel family
Daniel is constantly inspired by his children. (Credit: Instagram)

Daniel adds that being separated from his kids while in the revamped house is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.

“You’ve got time to reflect, and I realised how much I miss them and how much more I need them in my life.

“In normal life, you run around escaping feelings, but in the house, I felt everything tenfold, so even though I spend time with them [a lot], it made me realise [that] I want to spend even more time with them.”

For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!

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