Big Brother stars Mario and Lisa set to divorce after reality TV con

Big Brother 2008 - Mario and Lisa

Former Big Brother housemates Mario Marconi and Lisa Appleton have separated after falling victim to a reality TV hoax set up by a convicted conman.

They entered the ninth series as a couple in 2008, and had to hide their relationship in a task that saw Mario pretend to tie the knot with another housemate.

Mario - real name Shaun Astbury - later proposed to Lisa on the show, and they eventually got married in 2010 as part of Channel 4 series The Wedding House.

The fame-hungry pair made headlines again last year when it emerged that scamster Selva Carmichael posed as a TV executive and tricked them in to filming their own fly-on-the-wall programme, Lisa And Mario: Their Journey.

However, they parted ways with Carmichael when it failed to materialise - and he is now serving three-and-a-half years in jail for a £500,000 con involving Santander Bank.

According to the Daily Mail, the incident has resulted in the end of Mario and Lisa's eight-and-a-half year romance.

Lisa explained: "Towards the end we just hated each other - Carmichael tore our lives apart and destroyed our relationship.

"Mario and I were unhappy for a while - our whole world fell apart around us when we got conned."

They have already begun seeing other people, with Lisa shacking up with erotic theatre producer Rob Ellis, who's fifteen years her junior.

"Rob's great - we've been on a few dates out in Manchester, and it's been fantastic," she added. "We're just having a bit of fun. Actually, it's lots of fun.

"Mario's got quite a few girls after him - I think he's shacked up with a 22-year-old blonde bimbo. I don't care what he does now."

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