First Big Brother winner thinks it’s time for it to end

Craig Phillips thinks it might be time to send Big Brother to Room 101

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 10:  Big Brother 1 winner Craig Phillips at the TV Quick Awards held at the Dorchester Hotel, London on September 10th 2001. Big Brother won the award for Best Reality Television. (Photo by Gareth Davies/Getty Images)

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Remember Craig Phillips? The first ever winner of Big Brother way back in 2000? The builder who, after winning the C4 reality contest (as it was then) went on to join the 60 Minute Makeover team and host Celebrity DIY with Craig Phillips? Well, he’s said it’s time for Big Brother to finally turn off the cameras.

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Speaking to the Shropshire Star about the show, Phillips said, “On the one hand it massively changed my life, predominantly for the better, and it would be the end of an era if it was axed. On the other hand, from a viewer’s point of view, I think it probably is time for it to come to an end.”

He continued: “When Channel 5 took it on, I thought that might give it some fresh ideas, but it hasn’t, it’s just continued to decline. I think we need a change of direction again, if you look at everything at the moment, Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor, it is all about viewers voting, text messages and the internet, I think something new needs to happen.

“It’s been on for 18 years, that’s a long time, and it’s probably run its course.”

In fact, Phillips thinks that Big Brother has changed so much that he now warns others not to appear on the show. “People often come up to me and say they have applied for Big Brother or are thinking about it, and ask me what advice I would give them,” he said. “My honest advice is ‘don’t do it’. They say ‘What? You did it’, but I say that was a different show when I went on it.”

Phillips received much praise for donating his £70,000 Big Brother winnings to childhood friend Joanne Harris, a Down’s Syndrome sufferer. Within six days of leaving the show, he had raised £250,000 to pay for her life-saving heart and lung transplant. Unfortunately, Harris died in 2008 after falling ill with an infection.

In Christmas 2000 Phillips released At This Time of Year, a charity single that went to Number 14 in the charts, raising over £40,000 for the Down’s Syndrome Association.

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Celebrity Big Brother airs daily at 9pm on Channel 5