EXCLUSIVE: Celebrity’s pandemic agony

An Australian celebrity has opened up about the mental anguish he has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noah Boddy, (main picture) who featured in the third series of reality TV show Big Brother screened by Network 10 in 2003 said his mental health had been affected by restrictions imposed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been especially hit hard by the government mandate requiring people to wear masks,” Mr Boddy said.

“Because of the mask I need to wear, nobody recognises me as having been a Big Brother star.”

The 43-year-old who works part-time at a Brisbane newsagency said he had struggled since appearing in the reality TV show.  

“Being picked to enter the Big Brother house was a dream come true,” Mr Boddy said. “I had never really done well as school and after leaving I had a series of jobs.

“At the time I applied to be on Big Brother I was 25 and working in the food industry as a senior retail promotions officer – basically I wore a chicken suit and stood outside a pizza shop waving a placard featuring the day’s special offers.

“But my life changed when I was picked to enter the Big Brother house. Suddenly I was somebody and I started to plan by post-BB career.

“Unfortunately I was evicted by a vote of viewers at week two of the 12-week season after that incident in the shower with the zucchini.

“But at least when I walked down the street people recognised me. Well, at least for a week or so.”

Mr Boddy defended his description of himself as a “celebrity”, saying it was totally justified by Australian TV standards, and admitted nobody had actually recognised him since 2003 and that was the sole source of his mental health “struggles”.

“That’s beside the point. The fact is I was on reality TV, on Big Brother no less,” he said. “Surely that counts for something?  

“I’ve thought of wearing a name badge pointing out my connection with Big Brother but the boss wouldn’t allow it.

“I’m not after pity, and the last thing I want is to be viewed as some sort of glory-seeker, or to appear in some cheap tabloid story with a headline such as ‘Celebrity’s pandemic agony’.

“I just want people to know of my plight and the fact that I am not the only one struggling with PRTS or post-reality television syndrome,” he said.