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When Nadia Almada first teetered into Channel Four's Big Brother house on impossibly high heels, in the summer of 2004, TV viewers in Britain had probably never seen more than a few minutes of any real transsexual person on their screens before.

Activists and lawyers at the time were nursing Britain's Gender Recognition Bill through Parliament, and there was momentary concern about what kind of person this unknown quantity was.

They needn't have worried.

Within days the young Portuguese woman soon had people's attention, as her immense personality, piercing laugh and manifest vulnerability took viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions, in which her transsexual background was sometimes the focus but often pushed to the background by other dramas.

Nadia won that fifth series of Big Brother in a landslide victory that carried millions on a wave of emotion, sharing her dramatic realisation of public acceptance.

In 2010 Nadia returned to Big Brother for a celebration show with other popular or controversial housemates. The return was not such a happy event.

Three weeks after that event she agreed to give an in-depth interview and talks here about her childhood, changing gender, those television experiences and much more too.

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