Childhood & Early Life
Gemma Clare Collins was born on January 31, 1981, in Romford, England, to Alan and Joan Collins. Her family was affluent, as Alan, her father, worked in a highly profitable shipping company.
Gemma’s mother revealed in a recent interview that Gemma was heavily bullied when she was a child. She often came back home crying during her pre-teen years. However, she also believes that the difficulties she endured as a kid had turned her into the positive woman that she is.
Interested in acting and performing arts, Gemma enrolled at the ‘Sylvia Young Theatre School’ in London. She then completed her education at the ‘Frances Bardsley Academy.’
Following her education, she auditioned for TV and film roles. As she was not a conventionally good-looking young woman, she struggled a bit in the beginning. During her struggling period, she worked as a used-car salesperson.
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In 2011, she was part of the regular cast of the British reality TV series titled ‘The Only Way Is Essex.’ She joined the cast of the show in the second season and has, since then, been a series regular.
The ‘BAFTA Award’-winning series puts people in modified yet unscripted situations, and the concept has been extremely popular in Britain, making it one of the most popular British reality TV series. Ever since Gemma joined the cast in 2011, she has become a favorite with her fans and has appeared in all its seasons.
The same year, she appeared in 14 episodes of the panel show ‘Loose Women.’ Later that year, she appeared as a guest in three episodes of the British TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW!’
In the next few months, Gemma was seen making appearances on shows such as ‘That Sunday Night Show’ and ‘Peter Andre: My Life.’ All the celebrity status she was enjoying was due to her becoming a household name through her regular appearance on ‘The Only Way is Essex’.
In 2014, she entered a reality TV show titled ‘Splash!,’ which had celebrities learning and mastering the art of diving. Gemma appeared in the second season of the show and was the third celebrity to be eliminated that season.
Around the same time, she was also making guest appearances on a number of TV shows, such as ‘Alan Carr’s Specstacular’ and ‘Who’s Doing the Dishes?’
In 2015, she appeared as a guest on shows such as ‘Mel & Sue,’ ‘Kendra on Top,’ ‘Keep It in the Family,’ and ‘Safeword.’
In 2016, she received a huge break when she appeared in the seventeenth season of ‘Celebrity Big Brother.’ Gemma performed well among the more popular celebrities on the show and held her place for 32 days. She was the seventh celebrity to be removed from the house. The show happens to be the most-watched TV reality show in the UK and brought her great exposure.
The same year, she appeared in another reality show, ‘In Therapy,’ in which a therapist spoke to guest celebrities about their issues.
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In 2017, she appeared on another reality TV show, ‘Sugar Free Farm.’ The show featured celebrities following a sugar-free diet and sharing their experiences.
The same year, she entered the show ‘Big Brother’ as a guest housemate. She was invited to the house owing to the popularity she had gained when she had previously appeared on the show.
In early 2017, she became part of the comedy panel game show ‘Through the Keyhole,’ appearing in one episode.
She began 2018 with an appearance on the show ‘Celebs Go Dating’ as a main cast member. The reality show was based on the unique concept of celebrities going on dates with common people.
The same year, she entered the cooking reality TV show ‘Celebrity MasterChef’ as a contestant. She also appeared on the show ‘All Together Now, Celebrities,’ which had several celebrities competing with each other based on their music skills. Gemma was named one of the finalists by the end of the season.
In 2019, she was seen as a contestant on another reality show, ‘Dancing on Ice.’ Gemma was the fifth contestant to be eliminated.
She announced in early 2019 that she would soon be launching her own reality show, ‘Diva Forever,’ which would have her as one of its main cast members.
Apart from her being a TV celebrity, Gemma runs a boutique in Essex and a pop-up shop in Marbella.
In 2018, she turned designer when she started her own chain of swimwear for plus-size women.
She is also a bestselling author. In 2013, she released her autobiography, ‘Basically: My Real Life as an Essex Girl.’ The book became a bestseller within the first week of its release.
In 2018, she released another book, ‘The GC: How to Be a Diva,’ a self-help book inspiring women to be confident despite their body-image issues.