09/09/2011 03:48 BST | Updated 08/11/2011 05:12 GMT

'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' Star Paddy Doherty Takes Big Brother Crown (PHOTOS)

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty has been crowned this year's winner of Celebrity Big Brother.

To massive cheers, the 52-year-old punched the air and embraced runner-up, former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona.

The pair saw off Irish pop duo and firm favourites Jedward who left the house in third place after being voted the "most annoying" housemates.

Katona, 31, a mother of four, who has become known for her somewhat turbulent personal life, said her experience in the house had taught her she was a "strong, independent woman" who could "stand on my own two feet".

She told host Brian Dowling she had made some "solid friends" during the reality TV show, singling out Doherty as being "the main one" who would become a "friend forever".

The former bare-knuckle fighter, who lists his home town as being wherever his family are, broke down in tears as he emerged from the house to be greeted by his wife of 25 years.

He said the pair had never before spent more than four days apart and wiped tears from his eyes as they were reunited.

Dressed in a pale pink shirt and jeans, and smiling broadly, he told Dowling: "No way did I think I would get this far."

Born into generations of travellers, the TV personality said he had been a "fish out of water" in the Big Brother house.

But he said his answer had been to be "myself".

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