Big Brother: where are they now?

With another series of Channel 5's reality show about to begin, we take a look back at the most memorable housemates - and what they've been up to since

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In the 15 years that Big Brother has graced our TV screens it’s shown the nation just how varied mankind is, exhibiting the whole spectrum of human behaviour….

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Some of the BB housemates have gone on to experience more of the fame they craved, some have tried and failed to keep up a TV career, and others have chosen to live entirely ordinary lives. So here’s what some of our favourite housemates have been up to since their stint in the BB house…

Craig Phillips, winner of series 1 (2000)

Cheeky chappie, musclebound hunk and all-round nice guy Craig was the first Big Brother winner, with 3.7 million votes getting him the £70,000 prize money which he donated to his friend Joanne Harris who has Down’s Syndrome. He’s now a builder but with a celebrity twist, presenting DIY and home improvement shows like ITV1’s 60 Minute Makeover and a programme called Boyz in the Wood. He’s also available for after dinner speaking and motivational speeches…

To see Craig in DIY action, have a look at his show reel 

Nick Bateman, series 1 (2000)

“Nasty Nick” Bateman, a city broker from Kent, was disqualified from the first series of the Channel 4 show for manipulating his fellow housemates’ voting by writing them notes (oh, and he also admitted to lying about his wife dying in a car crash). But when he returned to TV for Ultimate Big Brother in 2010, he was renamed ‘Not-so-Nasty Nick’ because, well, he wasn’t such a meanie.

Since his first stint on BB, he has written a book – How To Be A Complete Bastard – which sold 60,000 copies in 2002, and now works as a travel journalist for Good Holiday Guide and the Reading Evening Post. According to his Twitter, he’s “currently being a ghost the other side of the World” in Sydney. 

Brian Dowling, winner of series 2 (2001) and also Ultimate Big Brother (2010)

Hilarious, sarcastic, dance-loving Brian has been a TV and radio presenter since he left the house, and launched the first two series of Big Brother when it moved to Channel 5 in 2011 before being replaced by Emma Willis. He now does most of his TV work in Ireland, currently fronting a show called Sitting on A Fortune which “sees players earn money for doing absolutely nothing!” 

Kate Lawler, winner of series 3 (2002)

The first female winner of Big Brother, Kate was popular for being fun, tough and down-to-earth. Romance blossomed between Kate and fellow housemate Spencer before he was voted out by the public mid-way through the series.

Once out of the house, Kate had a brief stint modelling for lads’ mags and then became a radio presenter, working on various Kerrang! Radio shows between 2007 and 2013 before moving to Manchester where she presents the midday show on Key 103.

Nadia Almada, winner of series 5 (2004)

The first transgender Big Brother winner, Nadia, will always be remembered for her genuine diary-room fear that the British public and her housemates would hate her if they found out that she was a transsexual. That and her very loud screams of ‘I want my cigarettes’ at fellow housemates which stick firmly in the memory…

After receiving a rapturous public reception on leaving the house, Nadia went on to record a single called A Little Bit of Action and returned for Ultimate Big Brother in 2010. She had several run-ins with rapper Coolio before finishing in 10th place. 

Here’s the song, which might give a clue as to why Nadia hasn’t recorded anything since…

Kinga Karolczak, series 6 (2005) 

Outspoken, really not-shy Kinga entered the show halfway through the series but was one of BB6’s most memorable housemates, not least for her garden antics with an empty wine bottle. Remember that? Of course you do.

In October 2008 she made a guest appearance on Charlie Brooker’s E4 horror series Dead Set in a cameo as herself. These days she seems to lead a more conventional life, working as a PA – where, presumably, she leaves the office party wine bottles well alone.

Makosi Musambasi, series 6 (2005)

A big Brother baddie from series six, Makosi’s drunken escapades with Anthony Hutton (the eventual winner) saw the cardiac nurse’s reputation plummet following her admission that she was 90 or 100% sure she was pregnant. She was actually 0% pregnant and by the time she left the house, she was so unpopular that the housemates booed as she made her exit.

Since then, her life appears to have been as eventful as her time in the house, with her revelations she’d had an affair with Russell Brand and reports she had been deported from the UK. Now she hosts a chat show, Makosi Today, on ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Today).

Kemal Shahin, 2005

Bisexual Turkish Cypriot belly dancer Kemal – now identifying as a woman called Zulekya following gender reassignment surgery – was one of the series’ most memorable housemates.

Since her eviction, she’s appeared on stage in pantomime, judged beauty pageants like Miss Universe UK, launched a jewellery website and released a single Through with Love. Zulekya graduated from Soka University of America in 2013. About three minutes into the university’s video below, you can see her giving a short speech about becoming a woman.

Pete Bennett, winner of series 7 (2006)

Punk-loving housemate Pete is memorable for being the most energetic and arguably the nicest of all the housemates, and for having an unlikely romance with Nikki Grahame.

He suffered with drug addiction after leaving the house but says he has now recovered. Pete was in a band called Peter Bennett & The Love Dogs but has since gone solo and dabbles in acting, appearing in low-budget zombie film The Mothertown. However, a recent appearance on The Jeremy Kyle Show saw Pete reveal that he was broke and living off the charity of friends after frittering away his Big Brother prize money.

Nikki Grahame, series 7 (2006)

Nikki, the one who had hilarious temper tantrums and screeched ‘Who IS she?’ almost every day, has written two books about her battle with anorexia since leaving the house. She’s done a Cinderella panto, been in a play and is now part of a girl band called Little Lady with her best friend. She’s still roaming the reality TV celeb circles and judging from Twitter, she has a fan in The Apprentice’s Solomon Akhtar…

Listen to Little Lady’s track here…

Grace Adams-Short, series 7 (2006)

Dance teacher Grace did not go down well with viewers or housemates (besides fellow contestant Mikey Dalton who she later married) and her quick temper saw her chuck water on Susie Verrico in Big Brother’s very own Watergate scandal.

Shortly after leaving the house Grace was attacked in a London nightclub, leaving her with some permanent scarring on her face. She has since appeared in Sky1’s Cirque de Celebrite, starred in pantomime and set up the Academy Of Performing Arts in Liverpool. She’s still married to Mikey, now a DJ, and the pair have a daughter, Georgiana, together.

Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace, series 7 (2006)

“What’s your problem?’ was Aisleyne’s go-to question whenever she felt someone was giving her ‘attitude’. Known for speaking her mind, she called several housemates “little girl” when they annoyed her – and unsurprisingly, her, ahem, honesty divided viewers and contestants alike.

Since leaving the show, she’s appeared on a string of TV series – she also played herself in Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set – has written a book called Aisleyne: Surviving guns, gangs and glamour and earlier this year appeared as a claimant before ITV’s Judge Rinder. 

Samanda, series 8 (2007)

Twins Amanda Louise Marchant and Samantha Joanne Marchant (hence Samanda) released singles – Honey,  a cover of Puppy Love by Donny Osmond featuring the Honey Monster from the Sugar Puffs ads – their own perfume, and launched a fashion range called Angeleye. Recently they’ve judged several teen beauty pageants.

But the real reason they made this list was so we could re-watch their rendition of Barbie Girl, which got to number 26 in the charts. We’re not surprised people liked it – it’s so bad it’s sort of brilliant. 

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Series 16 of Big Brother begins on Tuesday at 9pm on Channel 5