RASHARKIN Ice Queen, Karla Quinn, has been forced to turn down the opportunity to appear on this year's Celebrity Big Brother.

The teenage ace was approached by show organisers last week, who wanted Karla to go into the famous televised house in January.

Unfortunately, the date clashes with Karla competing in the British Championships in Sheffield.

Top prize for the winner is 50,000 for the programme which is set to be broadcast in the new year.

Karla's PR Consultant, Karin Rowlands, told the Times: "It is quite an honour to have been asked. I'm sure if she hadn't been competing in Sheffield she'd have done the programme.

"She's a fan of Big Brother, so it's would have been a real thrill for her to take part in the show. The producers have been canvassing for the top 18 to 21-year-olds in Britain, basically protegees in different walks of life. And they wanted Karla to be one of those who goes into the house.

"It shows how well Karla is doing that she is being considered for something like this. Her standing is growing all the time and this is further proof of it.

"Lots of opporunities are opening up for her at the minute and that is because she has done so well since coming back from injury."

Karla's mum, Susan, said: "Karla always watches Big Brother so she's disappointed not to be able to take part in it.

"It came as a big shock to be asked to go on. It could have had a great impact for her or it could have been bad, you can never tell. It's still really nice to be asked."

A spokesman for Endamol, the company which produces Big Brother, said: "For the last few weeks Big Brother has been combing the UK to find the hottest young artists, athletes, scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, fashion gurus and dons in every other field.

"From dictating tasks to interrogating inmates and controlling nominations the great, good and ghastly will be ripping up the rule book, holding rewards to ransom and generally creating mayhem alongside the REAL Big Brother in 'Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.'

"Their willing hostages? A houseful of Britain's most exceptional and extraordinary 18 to 21 year olds."

Karla Quinn has been on a meteoric rise this year. She began skating at the tender age of six years old in Coleraine under the tutelage of Margaret O'Neill, who still coaches Karla to this day.

Within an astonishing four years Karla was a British Novice Champion and on the GB National Development Squad. She took her second British title a year later by again winning the Novice Championships and followed this the following year by taking the silver medal in the Primary event – and still only 13 years old!

It all went wrong for the Rasharkin skater after that when a succession of injuries curtailed her progress. It looked like she might never get the chance to fulfil her immense potential.

However, she returned to the rink in April this year, taking a top four place in Luxembourg, and from there it's been an unhalted assault on the higher reaches of the sport, culminating with selection for the Great Britain squad in October.