Bye-bye Big Brother: the end of an era

Big Brother is finally off our TV screens, but will you miss the annual freak-fest?

Marcus Bentley - Brian Dowling and Davina McCall - Big Brother - Celebrity News - Marie Claire
Marcus Bentley - Brian Dowling and Davina McCall - Big Brother - Celebrity News - Marie Claire
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Big Brother is finally off our TV screens, but will you miss the annual freak-fest?

The last ever episode of Big Brother bowed out on Friday night, with former housemate Brian Dowling crowned the winner of Ultimate Big Brother.

As he closed the door of the infamous house behind him, he also shut the door on the dreams of thousands of wannabe housemates who dreamed of finding their fifteen minutes of fame.

But does a stretch in the Big Brother house really translate into a showbiz career after eviction? After 10 years of the often controversial show, we take a look back over the highs and lows of the ultimate reality TV show.


Series 1 - 2000 The first ever series of Big Brother had us all hooked. Highlights include 'Nasty Nick' Bateman trying to influence housemates voting with sneaky notes and builder Craig Phillips taking him to task at a very very (don't laugh, it was) serious meeting. Phillips won the show and went on to carve out a career as a TV handyman. Housemate Anna Nolan, a former nun, now has a reasonable career in Irish television.

Series 2 - 2001 We knew what to expect by the second season so perhaps we wanted more from our housemates. Gay Irish Catholic former trolley-dolly Brian Dowling won the show and had a short career presenting children's TV shows. He was last seen in panto before getting the call to go back in the house for Ultimate Big Brother.

Marcus Bentley - Brian Dowling and Davina McCall - Big Brother - Celebrity News - Marie Claire

The 'voice' of Big Brother, Marcus Bentley. What will he do now?

Series 3 - 2002 This series introduced the utterly unforgettable Jade Goody to the nation. Jade shot to fame as a reality TV star and tabloid favourite after her eviction. Sadly, she died from cervical cancer in March 2009, but not before creating such memorable BB quotes such as 'I'm just an escape goat' and 'Where's East Angular though? Ain't that abroad?' Her career plummeted after appearing in Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 and using racial slurs against housemate and eventual winner Shilpa Shetty. Shetty and Jade made up before her death.

Series 4 - 2003 Known as the 'serious series', BB winner this year was devout Christian Cameron Stout. Stout has done some TV presenting but remained pretty off-radar. Geeky housemate Jon Tickle had more success on Sky TV show Brainiac, which... er... was cancelled two years ago...

Series 5 - 2004 No holds barred on bonkers housemates for this series! Loved up couple Michelle Bass and Stuart Wilson kept the nation guessing as to whether they'd done it under a table, police were called in to separate Victor Ebuwa and Emma Greenwood, while the show was eventually won by Nadia Almada, a post-op transsexual. All had brief tabloid followings but have largely disapppeared. Nadia joined Dowling in the Ultimate Big Brother house.

Series 6 - 2005 Forgettable winner Anthony Hutton has disappeared off the radar but the series itself was famous for the Makosi hot-tub incident, Kinga's unspeakable acts with a wine bottle and gay hairdresser Craig Coates becoming obsessively jealous over Anthony's friendships in the house. BB gold!

Series 7 - 2006 The series that forced Nikki Graham onto our screens and into our memories forever - 'Who IS she? Who IS SHE?' anyone? Nikki fell for winner Pete Bennett, who has Tourette's, on the show but the pair split soon after the series ended. Couple Mikey Dalton and Grace Adams-Short who also met on the show married last year but their wedding failed to make it onto the pages of OK...

Series 8 - 2007 By now, viewing figures for the reality TV show were starting to wane. Producers tried to liven things up with crazy twins 'Samanda' and quite possibly the UK's thickest man Brian Belo, famous for wondering if Shakespeare wrote 'Babe: Pig in the City'. Brian won.

Series 9 - 2008 Another year, another load of 'meh' housemates. The writing was on the wall when winner Rachel Rice failed to make an impact on her housemates or the public when she left. She's 'considering releasing a fitness DVD' but why take gym tips from someone we've not seen for two years?

Brian Dowling and Davina McCall - Big Brother - Celebrity News - Marie Claire

Davina utters 'I'm coming to get you' for the last time. Sniff...

Series 10 - 2009 Won by glamour model Sophie Reade, she's since been spotted hanging around London nightclubs with none other than - not Prince Harry - Gary Lineker's son! She's done a number of lads' mags shoots but nothing memorable. No wonder Channel 4 decided to ditch the format after 10 years.

Series 11 - 2010 We were expecting something spectacular for the final series of Big Brother, but it was the usual collection of blondes, buffed blokes, geeks, freaks and borderline bonkers. The final show was won by Bristol babe Josie Gibson who was promptly sent back into the house for...

Ultimate Big Brother - 2010 Now that's a twist! Big Brother brought back past winners and contestants from the normal series and the Celebrity Big Brother spin-off to see who would be crowned the best-of-the-best, all-time winner. Brian Dowling won, saying, 'It's one of the best things I could have ever done. It allowed me to be myself and allowed other people to accept you for who you are.'

Host Davina McCall ended the 10-year show simply by saying, 'I hate to say goodbye so I'm going to say night night.'

Will you miss Big Brother? Were you a fan till the bitter end? What are your favourite Big Brother moments? Share your thoughts below!



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