Love it or loathe it, very few people have nothing to say on the subject. Big Brother is a worldwide phenomenon but now the UK has said goodbye to the reality TV show. The UK show ended with the crowning of former Ryanair flight attendant, Brian Dowling, as the Ultimate Big Brother winner.
Brian was winner of Big Brother 2 in 2001 and he still epitomizes the original ethos of the show and proves what can be done. He was catapulted from ‘trolley dolly’ to a reality TV star and a pretty successful and competent television presenter. He did what we all dreamed we’d do if we won the title and the money.
Brian Dowling has been one of the most likeable characters throughout the show’s history. He was never once up for eviction. That makes him unique in the history of Big Brother in the UK. On Friday night (September 10, 2010) Brian beat Big Brother 7’s memorable contestant (but by no means a winner) Nikki Grahame for the title of Ultimate Big Brother housemate. Never have her immortal words ‘who IS she?!!’ had so much significance than when applied to Nikki herself. When we remember that Nikki only in fact achieved 5th place in Big Brother 7, to be the Ultimate runner-up should surely be impressive and boost the fragile 26 year old’s confidence.
The self-effacing and wickedly funny Brian was reduced to tears when the result was announced. For once, his extensive repertoire of hilarious one-liners deserted him. He was clearly shocked to have beaten Nikki, who this series had managed to open up and show more depth to her ‘little girl lost’ personality and few people watching could have failed to have been moved with her admission of a childhood battle with severe anorexia.
The bizarre but apparently genuine bond between Nikki and TV chat show queen Vanessa Feltz was truly touching and was probably a big help to Nikki in securing 49% of the public vote on Friday, giving Brian Dowling a very close run.
Brian had stood out as a gentleman among the contestants over the years. Ultimate Big Brother contestants variously lauded him as ‘so funny’ (according to Nikki) and the nicest guy that Chantelle had ever met. Even bad boy ‘gangsta’, Victor Ebuwa, admitted that it would be a travesty if Brian didn’t win the Ultimate Big Brother title.
So what so you think? Should this be an end to Big Brother in the UK? Should Channel 5 scrap the idea (if in fact, they have had the idea) to bring back the series? Is Brian Dowling YOUR ultimate Big Brother contestant? Do you think that Channel 4 got it wrong, shooting itself in the foot with its ever more bizarre housemates, in an attempt to raise flagging viewing figures? Do we in fact, really want to watch regular people just like us? And if we could have seen the tragic, maybe a little dim but apparently very lovable Jade Goody just one more time – would Brian have had a chance at the Ultimate Big Brother title?