(This is Kent) TRANSSEXUAL Chloe Hennison has revealed her shock at being outed by the hit BBC1 show The Apprentice when it filmed at her favourite Margate bar.
Since the age of 14 the Sundowners pub regular, who used to be called Clive, has dressed up in women’s clothes and is now planning on taking the final steps to becoming a woman.
Only a small circle of friends and family knew her secret until eight million viewers saw her interviewed by Mona Lewis, one of Sir Alan Sugar’s Apprentice hopefuls.
Chloe was the unexpected star of the show when the teams came to Margate on a mission to re-brand the town.
One team decided to appeal to the gay market and visited Chloe’s favourite bar Sundowners.
Chloe, a former boxer, said: “We didn’t even know it was The Apprentice when they turned up at Sundowners, we just signed these forms and then the next thing I knew I was on the TV. I nearly spat my drink out when Paul, the owner, said they should film me because he’d told them he didn’t want them to film any of the other people in the bar.
“They asked me why I was in a gay bar and I told them I was having a sex change. The next thing I know it’s been in all the papers and they were calling me a pitbull tranny. It’s really upset the gay community because I was the only one on the show and I’m not even gay.”
But Chloe bears no hard feelings towards Mona, who was fired from the show after the Margate episode.
Chloe said: “She was such a lovely girl.
“I felt so sorry for her when she was fired. It should have been that other woman who didn’t get the leaflet done.”
It seems the feeling was reciprocated by Mona who, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said: “She was very friendly and I don’t think she was offended when I wasn’t sure whether she was a boy or a girl. When all the Apprentice dust has settled I think I’m going to go back to that gay bar in Margate and buy Chloe a drink.”
Chloe has been married three times as Clive, the shortest union lasting just 10 days.
Frustrated at being trapped in a body the wrong sex, Chloe told the Thanet Times she twice botched attempts to become a woman herself and had to have surgery to fix the damage.
For more than 30 years Chloe led a double life: on the outside a laddish double glazing salesman who loved partying with a string of attractive girlfriends; but inside Clive yearned to be Chloe.
The 51-year-old said: “I used to have it all. I was loaded, I had five cars, two boats, I was out every night in Thanet getting drunk, getting in fights, I did all those sort of things to run away from the fact that I wanted to be a girl.
“I’d be driving along and this little voice would say to me ‘put some lipstick on’.
“When I was working I’d drive to work as a girl, change to being a boy, do the work, be a bloke, and then change back into a girl going home.”
Chloe says her ultimate dream is to meet a “nice straight man and get married”.
Out of work Chloe says she is constantly being stopped in the streets following the programme.
“I’m registered with the doctors for the sex change and I think I’m going to have the whole thing,” she said. “My face done, lips, cheeks, have two ribs taken out. It is scary but it’s what I need to do. It’s like having two people inside you.”