Australian reality star Courtney Act has been crowned the winner of Celebrity Big Brother.

The drag queen found herself in a showdown with her rival in the house fellow finalist Anne Widdecombe, as they vied for the title in the series which began on January 1 with an all-female line-up to celebrate the year of the woman, with a cast of male celebrities joining them on January 5.

The pair have provided much of the entertainment during the series celebrating "The Year of the Woman" if only for their endless war of words.

Overwhelmed at the announcement Courtney shrieked in delight and the cold war between the pair appeared to have ended almost immediately as they hugged, sharing their success as the finalists of the 21 st series.

Leaving the house dressed in a gold mini dress and with her pink hair in a high ponytail, she told host Ema Willis: "I don't know what this means is it real life? This is amazing."

Courtney described everything feeling very "surreal right now".

On learning that she had won 49% of the vote she said:"It's amazing to think that the public chose me - I guess it's validation in the things that I believe in" .

Courtney won the admiration of the British public for postively representing LGBTQ issues in the Big Brother house and challenging the prejudices of adversaries such as transgender newsreader India Willoughby with wit and humour.

Courtney, who appeared in RuPaul's Drag Race made a strong impression on the viewing audience as soon as she made her first entrance on the show. Facing the British public for the first time she suffered an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction as she tripped up and was left exposed as she lost her skirt.

Speaking to host Emma Willis after her triumph, she insisted that it wasn't a stunt. "Of course it wasn't planned. I didn't want to flash my gash to the nation", she said.

She also opened up about her blossoming romance with Apprentice star Andrew Brady.

"The thing I love about Andrew is that he's so comfortable with everything and everyone... not caring about what anyone in the house thinks... I love and respect him," she said.

"The thing that I really did respect was that we both had that understanding."

Fans have been taking to Twitter to share their delight at the final result with viewers hailing Courtney as a worhty winner and a role model.