Vicky Pattison: ‘If my body offends anyone, I feel sorry for them’

Reality star Vicky Pattison has always been open about her struggles with body image. When she chatted to me for OK!, she talked about fighting her haters,  being unlucky in love and her relationship with Spencer Matthews

Vicky Pattison often gives the impression of being one hell of a tough cookie. But the Loose Women panellist recently showed her vulnerable side when she broke down in tears on the ITV chat show.

Talking about her experience as a victim of online trolls, she sobbed: ‘I try so hard to put on this persona, this brave face that you’re strong and that the things people say don’t affect you.’

The 28 year old had been mocked by body-shamers over a set of bikini snaps taken in Majorca when she was wearing a blue and pink lace two-piece and was unaware of the

photographer’s presence. After hitting back at her haters, she said: ‘I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with negativity on social media.’

The former Geordie Shore party animal famously slimmed down from a curvy size 16 to a slim 8 in recent years. However, since winning I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here! last year, her gruelling workload has made it tricky to maintain her toned physique.

Her relationships with men have proved just as problematic over the years. A ‘toxic and horrible’ romance with Geordie Shore’s Ricci Guarnaccio and a short-lived affair with ‘horrendous, snaky, conniving’ Stephen Bear from Ex On The Beach left her heartbroken. More recently, she enjoyed a few dates with TOWIE’s Mario Falcone and a brief fling with Made In Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews, but although she tells OK! she’s sworn off bad boys, she’s ‘scared’ of taking her friendship with Big Brother’s Alex Cannon to another level – despite being in love with him.

Kelly Brook, her fellow team captain on Channel 5 dating show It’s Not Me, It’s You, has become an unlikely ally for Newcastle-born Vicky, who’s in the process of moving into her new Essex home. ‘I’ve fallen in love with her a bit,’ she says. ‘We joke that we’re both jealous psychopaths but it’s not that much of a joke – I can be a jealous psycho at times.’

Insisting she’s ‘just a normal girl’, the canny business woman – with her own clothing range and nutrition ranges – seems perfectly placed to launch a lifestyle book. The Real Me: Fashion, Fitness And Food Tips For Real Women – From Me To You is packed with down-to-earth advice, shocking true anecdotes, exercise plans and beauty hacks.

Here Vicky, who’s reportedly being lined up for ITV2’s I’m A Celebrity… spin-off show, tells OK! About her body idols, her new rules on romance and her Hollywood ambitions…

Vicky, you got so much criticism over the Majorca bikini pictures, but you hit back at the trolls. How did that feel?  I had to really dig deep. These people assume that because I’m on the telly, cruel statements and so-called unflattering photos don’t hurt, but I’m a normal girl and I feel exactly the same as everyone else. Nobody’s perfect and if my natural body offends anyone then I feel sorry for them. I’m under a lot of scrutiny and I sometimes feel I can’t do right for wrong. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to having my privacy invaded on that level. It’s always going to be a punch in the d**k!

You’ve been on a major fitness drive since February – why’s that?  My body was in good shape after I’m A Celebrity…, but since then it’s been a non-stop whirlwind of work. Some days I’ve found it hard to keep up with my fitness and nutrition.

How much weight have you put on?  When I came out the jungle I was 9st 5lb. Now I’m around 9st 10lb. I’m still a comfy size 8 and that’s where I like to be. Size 6 wasn’t maintainable. I’ve got boobs, I’ve got a bum.

Is there anything about your body you still wish you could change?  I’ve got Xena Warrior Princess thighs. I’d love long, willowy legs. But I know I’ll never have an incredible body like Charlotte Crosby or Megan McKenna. I’m curvier and stronger looking.

With your busy schedule, do you still have a regular workout routine?  I’ve got personal trainers in London and Newcastle and, on a good week, I like to get two personal training sessions in plus some fast cardio at the gym in the mornings.

You take on so much and say you feel so exhausted. Why do you do that to yourself?  I’m really scared that one day I’ll wake up and there’ll be someone who’s better than me. Or people will suddenly think, hang on, she’s a bit of a k**b! I worry that everything will go away and I can’t have that. I can’t fail.

You said you’d ‘set the house on fire’ if your friend Alex Cannon had sex on Big Brother. Is he aware that you love him?  No, he’s not! There’s no man I’ve ever loved like Alex. He’s an incredible person. He’s one of those people who’s good for the soul. He makes me better.

Why don’t you want to take things further with Alex?  The truth is I’ve never been in love. I thought I had in past relationships but it was probably lust or convenience. So I don’t know if my feelings for Alex are just the really extreme, intense bond of a best friend, or whether I’m actually in love with him. How can I risk the best friendship I’ve ever had? It’s so much of a gamble – I’m scared.

Are you jealous of how close him and Evelyn Ellis got in the house?  No! Well, yes, of course I am a little bit jealous, but I’m trying to tell myself that if he’s happy, I’m happy. And I think I mean that.

Was it weird seeing your former boyfriend Alex Bowen hooking up with Olivia Buckland on Love IslandWe were quite close up until he went on the show, so it was awkward viewing at times. Watching him get that b**w j*b was one of the most horrific moments of my life. But him and Liv hit it off and I’m really pleased for them.

You were spotted holding hands with Ex On The Beach star Rogan O’Connor in Majorca. What’s going on?  We’re good friends. There’s nothing going on between us. His girlfriend Chloe [Francis] is a calming influence on him because he has the tendency to be a bit wild like me.

Spencer Matthews recently claimed you two were never a couple…  Cheeky b***tard! We never called each other girlfriend and boyfriend but we were expecting it to go that way and we were more than just seeing each other. I took objection to his suggestion that I was just another flash in the pan.

You’ve said that you’ve always fallen into toxic relationships – why is that?  I didn’t believe that I deserved to be loved. For years I was attracted to men who were trouble. I thought I could change them. Now I value myself a lot more, so when I saw me and Spencer going a bit wrong and I realised it wasn’t going to end in a fairy tale, I walked away. That’s the first time in my life I’ve ever done that. We just weren’t right for each other.

Tell us about your new book…  It’s like a girl’s sassy best friend, full of fashion advice, fitness tips, how to get over the geezer who broke your heart. Real stuff that real girls need to know, from a real woman.

Do you think your exes – first boyfriend Dean, Ricci Guarnaccio and Stephen Bear – will be offended by what you’ve written?  I hope they don’t take offence. I’m just saying how I coped with the fallout and how the lads made me feel.

You also mention in the book that you want to try more acting in 2016 – what sort of roles?  Maybe in a soap or a Hollywood film – anything with Tom Hardy! I might get laughed out of an audition, but at least I’ll be able to say I tried. I feel like the world is my oyster now.