Alexandra De-Gale has been removed from the Big Brother house for threatening other housemates with references to her "gangster friends".

The 23-year-old, from Croydon, south London, was due to face eviction alongside Mario Marconi, 43, on Friday but the vote has now been suspended.

She had already been reprimanded by Big Brother after being perceived to have bullied other contestants after Ofcom received 433 complaints when Alexandra De-Gale verbally attacked Rebecca Shiner, Rachel Rice and Stephanie McMichael in an argument over food.

And after she reportedly made threatening remarks while discussing her nomination for eviction, Channel 4 took the decision to remove her from the house.

According to a transcript of a conversation between Alexandra and albino contestant Darnell Swallow, she said: "I'm not throwing water at anyone. It's bigger than that... personal offence is never forgotten, do you know what I mean?

"We are just inside the house. I've got a very, very, very, very, very strong team outside the house."

She added: "I just can't wait to see my mans and them and see what their plans are, who they got... I'm not talking about those mans, I'm talking about my gangster friends. They got some instructions to follow out."

Alexandra was called to the diary room at 20:00 BST on Wednesday and removed from the house without further contact with other contestants, who were told at 21:15.

Commenting on the decision, Angela Jain, head of E4 and Big Brother at Channel 4, said: "Alex has said her comments were not intended seriously and has apologised, but those comments will be widely interpreted as having been intended to intimidate. Big Brother has very clear rules about housemates conduct and that kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable.

"Other housemates have said they found her comments to be threatening and we believe that is a reasonable conclusion for them to have reached given the way Alex has behaved previously.

"She had already been spoken to twice about her behaviour and, like all housemates, was clearly informed before entering the house that she faced eviction if she acted in an unacceptable manner."

19/06/2008 08:04:11