Big Brother’s Lara opens up about how the show 'saved' her life

Housemate Lara Kamper created quite a stir in the Big Brother house this season, mostly stemming from her infamous ‘pillow flip’ that saw housemate Mel Todd sent packing last week.

As part of the Big Brother screening process, the Greek grandmother had to undergo standard medical tests. The results revealed that Lara had pre-cancer cells in her cervix, and she tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the show literally ‘saved her life’.

Big Brother housemate Lara sits next to Lulu in the eviction room.
Big Brother housemate Lara was sent home on Wednesday night. Photo: Seven

“There was a tumour detected, and that had cancer cells in it,” she begins.

“Big Brother saved my life. Because if I wouldn’t have gone and had the test, I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with me.

“I thank Big Brother, because without the show, I mightn’t have been here in six months, twelve months,” she reveals.


The bubbly 52-year-old also touches on her ‘crippling OCD’, saying that her stint in the house had a ‘major effect’ on her life. Prior to moving in, she was unable to use a public toilet due to her condition. After spending time sharing bathrooms, toilets, showers and cups with her housemates, she believes it was the best therapy she’s ever had.

“My OCD has improved to a point where it doesn’t cripple me to go to the shopping centre, or to be in a public place and need to use the bathroom,” she exclaims.

“I have to fully wash all my clothes and everything when I get home, but I go in there now. It’s really helped me, with my OCD,” she admits.

Lara looking upset with her hands on her head, in the Big Brother house.
Lara flipped a pillow to decide between nominating Joel or Mel. Photo: Seven

The infamous 'pillow flip'

Lara is most well known for her infamous 'pillow flip’, when she chose to nominate Mel instead of Joel, by flipping a pillow. She didn't call which side was which before flipping, which had fans outraged. Some were even adamant that Lara always knew she was going to choose Mel regardless of the pillow flip.

The star laughs when she thinks about the situation, and says: “When I watched the show, I heard everybody say ‘call it, call it!’, and I was saying to myself on the television, ‘call it!’.

“I was so in my head with emotions. I wanted to vomit, I didn’t know what to do,” she remembers.

Lara argues that if she was going to choose between the pair, the strategic decision would be to put Joel up for nomination to compete with Drew, and there would be no sense to ‘rig’ the pillow flip to land on Mel.

“That flip decided it in my head, and I knew that it landed on Mel. But then I feel no, but it’s not the right thing. It’s gonna lose me the game.

“When I make a decision, that’s it, good or bad,” she says.

Drew with his arm around Lara as she smiles on the Big Brother set.
Lara and fan favourite Drew were paired in a challenge. Photo: Seven

Reggie is a big threat

When asking who will win the series, Lara doesn’t hesitate to say she thinks Reggie Bird is a big threat. Not only has the star been through a lot with developing retinitis pigmentosa, which causes severe vision impairment, but she is also considered Australia’s sweetheart.

“I think Reggie is playing the game very well. I think she’s a lot smarter than you think. And I would pretty much say she’s the biggest game player in the house,” she claims.

She’s not the first housemate to mention this, with Josh Goudswaard also calling Reggie “loveable” and a “safe bet” to win the show.

Lara mentions while she’s disappointed that she didn’t get to show her full potential, she’s still glad she went on the show.

“I’m so proud of myself. I don’t regret anything,” she says.

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