You could be forgiven for not knowing quite how to feel about Dan Osborne…
The Dagenham blond joined The Only Way is Essex in Series 8 back in 2013, but left under a storm cloud two years later when a recording of him shouting at his ex-girlfriend, and mother of his first child, became public.
Dan, who was 23 at the time, issued an apology, admitting that he was “ashamed and embarrassed that I allowed myself to reach such a dark place that I behaved in a way that even I didn’t recognise.”
He then went on to marry former Eastenders star, Jacqueline Jossa in June 2017, with whom he has two children, with the couple briefly splitting up earlier this year.
However, 2018 also saw Dan returning back to reality TV for Celebrity Big Brother: Eye of the Storm.
The concept was simple: round up a houseful of celebrities with one thing in common; all of them had been at the centre of a press scandal.
It left some of us viewers in the perplexing situation of not knowing quite who to root for, initially. Can a leopard change its spots? Day after day of watching Dan being polite, down to earth and plain old nice, showed us that perhaps they can.
Even throwing Gabby Allen into the mix – the woman he looked a little too close to in that infamous yacht photos, revealed nothing more than a friendship.
A relieved-looking Dan left the house to a rousing reception, finishing in third place.
OF course you might imagine that coming across as a hero or villain is all in the editing. But even if that were the case, it’s virtually impossible to hoodwink the other housemates.
After all, 26 days of spending every waking and sleeping moment with any human being might make you pray for their eviction. Yet, Dan was the only housemate in CBB 2018 not to receive a single nomination.
Perhaps within the confines of four square walls he finally had the freedom to be…Dan?
An Idol Mind, speaking to Dan at the National Reality TV Awards, asked the 27 year old if his time in the Big Brother house had given him the chance to change people’s perceptions of him. “It did, yeah,” he acknowledges, adding:
It was honestly the first time that I’ve just been able to be myself.
Nevertheless, Dan’s stint on the show was a bitter-sweet experience: “I did enjoy it, I just didn’t enjoy missing the kids.” he admits, “I enjoyed it but then that was hard, so it’s like a mixture of both.”
Celebrity Big Brother is a house where there is plenty of downtime, leaving Dan with a lot of moments to reflect: “When you’ve got nothing to do and you’re sitting about and you’re thinking about the kids it becomes really hard.”
But surely, a bankable star who can earn for his family and help build them a future can only be a good thing?
“That’s the aim – improve life for my children,” agrees Dan, “If I do that I’m happy.”
Well, it certainly looks like Dan has become a (family) man.
He has since reunited with Jacqueline and his career is now back on track.
You can see Dan next in Celeb Road Trip: Lost In Transylvania with Chris Hughes of 2017’s Love Island, Mark Francis Vandelli from Made In Chelsea and Bobby Cole Norris of TOWIE.
Celeb Road Trip: Lost In Transylvania begins on 31st October at 9pm on 5STAR.