December 3rd, 2016

Gallery: Dublin woman is superstar in Italy after game show and Big Brother win

TrendingBy Eugene Masterson

THE Irish winner of the Italian version of Celebrity Big Brother was so bad at a trial run working in her mother’s chip shop in Dublin that her mum offered to pay her to stay away.

Alessia Macari (23) has become a major star in Italy after appearing in a nightly game show for the past two years and now she has rocketed to national fame in the country.

Gorgeous Alessia’s first cousin Virginia Macari, who has starred in TV3’s Dublin Wives, told how she first set Alessia on the road to TV fame by getting her to appear on RTE show Strangers Abroad.

We can also reveal that curvy Alessia has been linked to THREE hunky footballers, including Ireland star Ciaran Clark.

Her success on TV has come from an early age, as she has been on Irish TV shows since the age of six.

Alessia grew up in Crumlin on Dublin’s southside, but had a fractious childhood as her parents split up when she was aged eight.

 

Oggi un po' di mare 😍 #Cioci

A photo posted by Alessia Macari (@alessiamacari) on

“She did the Toy Show on RTE, the very first year that Pat Kenny was on it, she was only six or seven,” her mum Lisa tells the Sunday World.

“Then she was on Michael Barrymore show on Sky. She won a competition on The Den, dancing. I sent in a video and the prize was to meet Justin Timberlake in person.

“I couldn’t get tickets as it was sold out. We had seen this competition on The Den, we made a little video and she was chosen to go on the show to dance.

“Three of them were chosen and the public had to decide. She won and got to meet Justin Timberlake backstage.”

Winning the show has launched Alessia into a while level of stardom in the Eternal City.

“She is still quite in shock,” explains Lisa. “She is now living in Rome and loving it.”

 

Oggi Sono a Fiuggi❤️ #Ciociaria

A photo posted by Alessia Macari (@alessiamacari) on

“I’ve always been proud of her,” notes Lisa. “We have a very close relationship.

“We lived on our own for five years as well. It means a lot.”

Lisa owns the Mona Lisa chip shop in Crumlin. But her eldest daughter had little or no interest working there.

Pictured are Stefano Socci , Dolores Ritchie , Sofia Socci,  Marika Marsella and Jonathan Marsella

“Alessia always had other interests and I never pushed her into it,” recalls Lisa. “Only when she was about 16 I gave her a trial. I did try, I said one day ‘come on, will you give me a hand’.  She lasted two hours. I said to her ‘I will actually pay you to go inside’.

 “Alessia didn’t have the interest in it at all.  I was away from the chip shop for about five years during my divorce and Alessia was not used to being in there the way I would have been during my childhood.

“Hopefully her career is in Italy, this is where it’s all happening for now. But she will definitely come back to Ireland, as soon as things quieten down in Ireland, she wants to come down for a break and that’s the place she’ll go to.”

Alessia is now one of Italy’s most eligible young women and her love life is a centre of attention.

When she was aged 18 she caught the eye of Ireland international and Newcastle United footballer Ciaran Clark on a trip to Tenerife and the pair hit it off - even though Alessia had no idea who he was, according to her mum.

She was also linked to Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin (24), who is a standby goalie for the Italian national team, when both were spotted snogging last November.

“She was never in a relationship with him,” insists Lisa. “I don’t know what they had, I’m the mother at the end of the day. She’s not going to tell me the A-to-Z, but I do know there was no relationship there.”

While in the Big Brother house Alessia also got to kiss another famous Italian footballer, Stefano Bettarini (44), who played for the Italian national team and Inter Milan, among several clubs.

“She kissed Stefano on the show,” admits Lisa. “That was in the actual Big Brother house. There was a mission that they had to do a scene from Ghost, the film, and Big Brother was the one that picked Alessia and Stefano and it was a mission.

“I always believed in Alessia in what she wanted to do and I never pushed it.

“She finished her school, she got her Leaving Cert, then she went into make-up college and she got qualified make-up artist with special effects and all that.”

“I used to bring her to dance lessons, drama school, things that she wanted to do.

“She got a job in the Red Cow Hotel as PR as she got older.”

Lisa also reveals that Alessia turned down a chance at fame on The X Factor after winning a role on an Italian game show, which is watched by five and a half million people every night.

“When she got the phone call to come and work in Italy, she had actually done four rounds of The X Factor in Dublin and she had got a call back to go to Scotland for the fifth round, but in between that she got a phone call from the show in Italy and she chose to go to Italy, as it was a secure job,” she stresses.

“She went over two and a half years ago. As soon as she came over she fell in love with the place. She loves everything about it.”

Alessia also took part in Hip Hop All Ireland, winning the title of Best Dancer for seven years in a row. She also loved taking part in beauty pageants, winning Miss International Beauty Queen in 2011 and Miss Valcomino a year later.

Virginia, who now lives in Marbella with her husband Kaste and son Thor, adds:  “We are all so proud of her. It’s an amazing time for the Italian community in Ireland.

“We are all celebrating. Alessia is proof to young girls that dreams do come true.

“She wanted to be a star from the moment she was born. And that she is.

“It’s an amazing achievement. It’s her kind and funny personality that made her shine more than the other housemates.”

 

“Alessia always had other interests and I never pushed her into it,” recalls Lisa. “Only when she was about 16 I gave her a trial. I did try, I said one day ‘come on, will you give me a hand’.  She lasted two hours. I said to her ‘I will actually pay you to go inside’.

 “Alessia didn’t have the interest in it at all.  I was away from the chip shop for about five years during my divorce and Alessia was not used to being in there the way I would have been during my childhood.

“Hopefully her career is in Italy, this is where it’s all happening for now. But she will definitely come back to Ireland, as soon as things quieten down in Ireland, she wants to come down for a break and that’s the place she’ll go to.”

Alessia is now one of Italy’s most eligible young women and her love life is a centre of attention.

When she was aged 18 she caught the eye of Ireland international and Newcastle United footballer Ciaran Clark on a trip to Tenerife and the pair hit it off - even though Alessia had no idea who he was, according to her mum.

She was also linked to Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin (24), who is a standby goalie for the Italian national team, when both were spotted snogging last November.

“She was never in a relationship with him,” insists Lisa. “I don’t know what they had, I’m the mother at the end of the day. She’s not going to tell me the A-to-Z, but I do know there was no relationship there.”

While in the Big Brother house Alessia also got to kiss another famous Italian footballer, Stefano Bettarini (44), who played for the Italian national team and Inter Milan, among several clubs.

“She kissed Stefano on the show,” admits Lisa. “That was in the actual Big Brother house. There was a mission that they had to do a scene from Ghost, the film, and Big Brother was the one that picked Alessia and Stefano and it was a mission.

“I always believed in Alessia in what she wanted to do and I never pushed it.

“She finished her school, she got her Leaving Cert, then she went into make-up college and she got qualified make-up artist with special effects and all that.”

“I used to bring her to dance lessons, drama school, things that she wanted to do.

“She got a job in the Red Cow Hotel as PR as she got older.”

Lisa also reveals that Alessia turned down a chance at fame on The X Factor after winning a role on an Italian game show, which is watched by five and a half million people every night.

“When she got the phone call to come and work in Italy, she had actually done four rounds of The X Factor in Dublin and she had got a call back to go to Scotland for the fifth round, but in between that she got a phone call from the show in Italy and she chose to go to Italy, as it was a secure job,” she stresses.

“She went over two and a half years ago. As soon as she came over she fell in love with the place. She loves everything about it.”

Alessia also took part in Hip Hop All Ireland, winning the title of Best Dancer for seven years in a row. She also loved taking part in beauty pageants, winning Miss International Beauty Queen in 2011 and Miss Valcomino a year later.

Virginia, who now lives in Marbella with her husband Kaste and son Thor, adds:  “We are all so proud of her. It’s an amazing time for the Italian community in Ireland.

“We are all celebrating. Alessia is proof to young girls that dreams do come true.

“She wanted to be a star from the moment she was born. And that she is.

“It’s an amazing achievement. It’s her kind and funny personality that made her shine more than the other housemates.”