Hero's welcome home for Capital's BB winner

THE family of John Loughton are planning a party when he returns to Edinburgh after winning Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.

The 20-year-old, from Pilton, beat circus performer Emilia Arata, 18, to win the Channel 4 reality show.

John, was reported to be handing a slice of his 50,000 winnings over to mum Donna McColl.

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The Stirling University student and youth politician admitted to being shocked at his win, and said he thought TV bosses had made a mistake when his name was called.

Donna, 38, and his granddad Eddie McColl travelled to London to watch the show. Mr McColl said: "I was totally stunned. I think it was a bombshell for all of us. Any one of them could have won. We were at the back of the crowd. It was very tense – we didn't want to listen to the results. We couldn't believe it when they said his name. He definitely enjoyed himself in there. We've only seen him for about an hour. He was still a bit stunned. He hasn't had time to think about what he'll do next. But I think he'll finish his degree first. We're planning a bit of a party when he comes home on Thursday night."

He said they had booked the lounge of the Norhet Bar, in Davidson's Mains, for the celebration.

John received 54 per cent of the vote to Arata's 46 per cent, after guaranteeing his place in the final on the very first night.

Viewers of the broadcaster's latest twist on its signature reality show had been voting since last Friday for the winner. But the programme has not received the cult following that has built up around the show in the past.

Last year's Celebrity Big Brother opened with 7.1 million viewers on Channel 4 alone.

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But Celebrity Hijack launched earlier this month with a combined total of 3.4 million viewers on Channel 4 and E4.

Apart from the simultaneous transmission on both channels for the launch, the show was then only broadcast on E4. Channel 4 bosses decided to change its format after last year's race row involving Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty.

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This year the housemates were 12 young people chosen for their intelligence and talent, while the celebrities took it in turns to take over the role of Big Brother.

Little Britain's Matt Lucas was first to take control of proceedings, while others included Jimmy Carr, Joan Rivers, Brian Sewell and Ian Wright.

John, chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament, became the favourite to win after passing a secret task set by Lucas. Viewers saw him squirm as he was directed through a hidden earpiece to do whatever Lucas ordered.

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