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Virginia denies her bikini strip caused fall-out with Pippa

Virginia Macari has laughed off claims that she and Pippa O'Connor are at loggerheads after taking part in new reality series Celebrity Salon.

Former Podge and Rodge star Virginia insists that she and model Pippa are closer than ever, as TV bosses prepare to launch the new show.

Tensions were rumoured to have hit breaking point when voluptuous half Italian/half Irish beauty Virginia stripped to a bikini for an early morning dip in the spa bath of the Big Brother-style house one morning.

Virginia (35) denies that there was any onscreen rivalry between herself and the leggy Kildare model as a result.

Virginia says that Pippa (25) -- who was a last minute addition when Rosanna Davison pulled out -- had nothing to be jealous of.

"It's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time," she told the Diary. "There's no truth to any of it.

"Myself and Pippa are still great friends. I'm very close with her and Brian and I'm stunned to hear that it's been portrayed as anything else.


"Sure what on earth would Pippa have to be jealous of? She's absolutely gorgeous so she's not going to be worried about a woman almost twice her age being in a bikini.

"There certainly wasn't any argument or anything like that. We all got on really well."

In addition to Pippa and Virginia, other confirmed celebrities on the TV3 show include Leigh Arnold, Celia Holman Lee, Brian Dowling and Breffny Morgan.

Aimed at filling the gap in the schedule that was earmarked for Celebrity Apprentice, the programme will follow the celebrities as they live together while learning all the tricks of the trade in the beauty industry.

Viewers will see the media personalities facing various challenges such as cutting and styling people's hair, applying makeup -- and even waxing hairy members of the public.

Meanwhile, programme insiders have revealed how there was plenty of drama both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes, as the celebs spent three weeks holed up in a house in D4 filming the programme.

"There are a lot of big personalities and big names in the mix and they're all quite fond of the limelight so it was a constant battle for camera time," said a show source.


"They were working hard every day and under a lot of pressure to complete tasks and learn new skills, so viewers will definitely see a couple of frayed tempers and raised voices along the way.

"Some of the younger girls in particular were very competitive with one another."

-- LN