TV

India Willoughby before Celebrity Big Brother as newsreader Jonathan Willoughby

India Willoughby before Celebrity Big Brother as newsreader Jonathan Willoughby
(Picture: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

India Willoughby burst onto the TV scene with a stint on Celebrity Big Brother this week, as the only transgender celebrity in the all-female house.

But her time on the celebrity version of the show is of course not the first time the 52-year-old has found herself in the news.

Previously a regional newsreader called Jonathan Willoughby, India became Britain’s first transgender newsreader in September 2016.

She had worked for ITV regional news for 10 years before quitting to undergo £14,000 gender reassignment nearly three years ago.

Dated: 03/10/2016 Transgender TV newsreader India Willoughby, who has been welcomed back to the same channel where she worked as a man five years after resigning to undergo gender reassignment, having presented ITV regional news for over a decade as Jonathan Willoughby (pictured here). See story and video by North News
India decided to undergo gender reassignment after seeing a reflection of herself in 2010 (Picture: North News)
India Willoughby before Celebrity Big Brother as newsreader Jonathan Willoughby
(Picture: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock)

And in 2016, she returned to the broadcaster, who gave her old job back to her.

India had said that while working as Jonathan Willoughby she caught her reflection during an interview and decided it was time to ditch the slicked back hair and undergo a transition.

India Willoughby before Celebrity Big Brother as newsreader Jonathan Willoughby
India Willoughby as Jonathan Willoughby before her surgery (Picture: ITV)

After five years of leading a double life, India decided to make her transition permanent and had the full £14,000 gender reassignment surgery at an NHS hospital in Brighton.

CBB eyes revealed for housemates
India Willoughby has officially entered the Big Brother house (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

After India’s surgery in September 2015, she decided that she wanted to go back to her ‘dream job’ of broadcasting.

She returned to ITV Border on 22 September 2016 and spoke of her delight to be back into her former role, previously having worked for BBC’s Inside Out North East.

India also appeared on Loose Women way back in October 2016, winning praise from viewers after admitting that, for a long time, she lead a double life in two different cities.

She revealed she dressed as a woman for her job in PR in Newcastle, meaning that she would spend five days a week at work as a woman and the weekends back in Cumbria with her son in jeans and a football shirt.

India Willoughby before Celebrity Big Brother as newsreader Jonathan Willoughby
India Willoughby was praised for her appearance on Loose Women in 2016 (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

‘I spent weekends as Jonathan in one city and I lived as the real me in Newcastle,’ she revealed to the panel. ‘Two lives, two cites, two wardrobes – that went on for five years.

‘It was Sliding Doors. I was running two lives parallel – you can imagine the mental pressures of doing that.’

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What are India’s social media details?

Twitter: @IndiaWilloughby

Instagram: indiawilloughby_real

Celebrity Big Brother came back to our TV screens on Tuesday night.

This year’s all-female line-up features the likes of Made In Chelsea star Ashley James, soap actress Amanda Barrie, former politician Ann Widdecombe and Boris Johnson’s younger sister Rachel Johnson.

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