“I wasn’t prepared for the loneliness”
CRAIG PHILLIPS , SERIES 1
Known for… Winning the first-ever Big Brother and using the prize money to pay for his friend’s life-saving surgery.
Now: Working as a builder with his own YouTube channel reviewing power tools, and dad to Nelly, 15 months.
“I thought, ‘If I get one local newspaper article out of it, then that’s good.’ I really did think I’d be back on the building site the following Monday. But when I won, I was on the cover of every paper.
I didn’t go home for 97 days. I had a police escort. I had great mates before and I do now, but I was being chaperoned around by people paid to be there: drivers, bodyguards, press officers, managers. I didn’t feel like my friends were anywhere. I had thousands of people wanting to meet me and making banners wherever I went, but I’ve never felt so lonely. I wanted all the hype to die down so I could see my family. I’d had the opposite experience to [Nasty] Nick – the press were horrifically harsh to him. We were lured into a trap; it was manufactured and I know the pressures of that. I’m not a lover of reality TV now – Love Island is Big Brother on steroids. People who get a taste of fame want more, and the people who have too much don’t want it.”