Big Brother winner Craig Phillips “would put money on” Celebrity Big Brother returning next year

Although Channel 5 axed the reality series two years ago, Big Brother's very first winner thinks the celebrity edition will be revived

Celebrity Big Brother 2017 Eye

Craig Phillips, the winner of Big Brother series one, has said that he “would put money” on the celebrity edition of the show returning in 2021.

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The reality series, which ran for 19 seasons, ended in 2018, after Channel 5 announced that both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother would not be returning the next year.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Phillips said that he thinks Big Brother has had its day, but is certain that Celebrity Big Brother will make a comeback next summer.

“I think Celebrity Big Brother is going to return but not the normal one at the moment,” he said.

Credit: Getty Images
Craig Phillips shortly after his Big Brother win. (Credit: Getty Images)

“For one, it’s a short show – three or four weeks long, so it’s easier for the TV slots, and it still brings in a huge amount of revenue,” he continued. “I think for it to have an impact, it needed to have a rest  and year off or so.”

“I’m not a betting person, but if you’re a betting person, I would put money on next summer, there’s going to be a Celebrity Big Brother,” he said.

Phillips reckoned that a Celebrity edition of the show would have been rebooted this summer “if we weren’t in lockdown”.

Phillips, who worked as a bricklayer in Liverpool, became the very first winner of Big Brother in 2000, winning £70,000 and donating the prize money to pay for his friend Joanne Harris’s heart and lung transplant.

Since winning the show, Phillips has appeared in Keith Lemon’s Bo’ Selecta!, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and various DIY programmes.

Big Brother, presented by Davina McCall, ran for ten years on Channel 4, from 2000 until 2010, with the Celebrity version beginning a year later.

After Channel 4 announced the show’s retirement in 2010, Channel 5 picked both versions of the show up and aired eight series, replacing McCall with series two winner Brian Dowling and presenter Emma Willis.

Channel 4 recently announced that Davina McCall and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side host Rylan Clark-Neal will return for a 20th anniversary special this summer.

Phillips also told RadioTimes.com that his favourite moment from across Big Brother’s 2o years was during the celebrity edition’s 17th season – Tiffany Pollard’s misunderstanding regarding David Bowie’s death.

“I honestly say it was the most gripping TV I’ve ever watched in my life,” he said.

The misunderstanding involved Angie Bowie, who had been told that her ex-husband, musician David Bowie, had sadly passed away while she was a contestant on the show.

Angie confided in US reality star Tiffany Pollard, who mistakenly thought that Angie was talking about fellow housemate David Gest, who had been unwell earlier in the day.

“I was sitting on our coach thinking, oh my god, you can’t even script this type of stuff, how it’s unfolding.”

“It was absolutely TV gold for me,” he added.

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Big Brother’s Best Shows will air on E4 later this summer