First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Hunky air steward Brian Dowling has become the first ever gay winner of worldwide tv phenomenon Big Brother.

Walking away with the 70,000 prize on Friday night he said "I'm very shocked, I never expected to get it."

Asked what he would do with the cash, he said he would spend his prize on taking friends on holiday but still intended to go back to his job at Ryanair next month.

"I come from a small village and I do plan to go home but I want to put my feet firmly on the ground first," he said. "I am Irish, Catholic, gay and I am chuffed that people in Ireland have backed me."

Brian won with over four million votes, well over a million more than rival Helen Adams, in the UK's biggest ever telephone poll. In fact, the series has been such a success that Channel 4 have already announced there'll be another. Brian's win proved an embarassment to The Sun locked in a circulation war with The Mirror. They'd always backed Brian, whilst The Sun backed two losers - first Bubble, then Helen.
A total of 7,255,094 votes had been lodged by phone and interactive TV. Viewers had to vote for one of three people left in the competition. Only four per cent of the votes cast (269,489) were for Dean, 2,680,463 (37 per cent) were for Helen and 4,231,660 (58 per cent) were for Brian. Five pence from each vote went to charity so Shelter, Kids Company and Community Self-Build will share 803,980 between them.


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