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Amelia's in town to cut the ribbon on brand new store.

Byline: TONI GUILLOT toni.guillot@trinitymirror.com @ToniGuillot89

SHE may have been thrown back into the limelight since coming second on Celebrity Big Brother but Amelia Lily says she is loving every moment.

After a whirlwind month, the 22-year-old found herself back on home turf as she officially opened the new Swarovski store in Middlesbrough.

The Nunthorpe singer arrived after just a couple of hours' sleep on Saturday having travelled through the night from a gig in Cheltenham.

She was then heading off to Bangor, Wales for another performance - but she wasn't complaining.

"This is only the second time I've been home since leaving the show, which is sad because I absolutely love coming home," said the former X Factor finalist.

"I love Middlesbrough and as much as I've been having so much fun elsewhere, you can't beat where you come from - I'll always find time for my home turf."

And speaking of her Big Brother experience, Amelia vowed she would do it all again in a heartbeat.

She said: "A lot of people call it a madhouse or say it's not the real world but for me it was my escape and I found myself in my own little bubble.

"It was nice to not have to worry about anything and just enjoy it and meet new people."

Amelia proved to be popular on the Channel Five reality show and came in second place to former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding.

She also showed her Teesside roots by singing the "South Cleveland Garages" version of Tina Turner's Simply The Best.

Amelia told The Gazette told how her friendships with her fellow contestants remain strong since the show finished four weeks ago.

She said: "We have a Celebrity Big Brother group chat and speak all the time.

"I remember saying to everyone that once we were out of the house, we would all want to be back in and that's exactly what's happened. Everyone misses each other, we all miss the environment.

"I really did love every minute of it." And as for future plans, Amelia told how she is still living down south at the moment and has plenty of things lined up for next year.

She said: "I've joined with the clothing brand Jane Norman and have a Christmas range coming out really soon which I'm so excited about. And I've got panto coming up to in Maidstone in Kent.

"I've been working on a few music things and I'm doing makeup tutorials on my YouTube channel after getting so many compliments on my make-up during the show.

"I've got some exciting things in place for next year too, but I can't say too much at the moment, which is really annoying because I feel like I'm going burst with excitement."

The 22-year-old was greeted by a crowd of fans as she arrived at the Hill Street Shopping Centre.

Angela Gardener, 65, from Teesville, was one of the first in line.

She said: "I'm looking forward to having a look at the new store, it's all very pretty.

"But I'm so pleased that they have invited Amelia to come and open it and she has a special place in the town and is doing a great job at representing Teesside.

"I was hoping she would win Celebrity Big Brother as she was fabulous on it."

Amelia posed for selfies with fans before taking a browse around the new store.

CAPTION(S):

Amelia meets fan Laura Rudge

Amelia meets Angela Gardener

Crowds gather to watch the grand opening

Amelia Lily returned to Teesside to open the new Swarovski store in the Hill Street Centre where she met some of her fans IAN COOPER
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 25, 2017
Words:614
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