Once upon a time, Big Brother was appointment television, driving those water-cooler moments at work or fuelling arguments down the pub.
It was the original reality TV series and – in its heyday – arguably the best to this day.
Over 18 series, the ‘civilian’ show introduced us to a real melting pot of characters.
But where are all the Big Brother winners now?
Let’s see, shall we…
Big Brother winners: 1. Craig Phillips – 2000
He was the cheeky Scouser with the heart of gold. Construction worker Craig became a national hero when he confronted BB baddie Nasty Nick.
Then he pledged to donate his 70k winnings to a family friend with Downs Syndrome called Joanne Harris. Hero.
Craig, who went on to become a successful home improvements expert, has seen his hard graft pay off.
In 2014 was named one of the UK’s richest reality stars.
“I think for me I was lucky because I already had a construction trade called Craig Phillips. I ran [it] from Shropshire for 10 years before the show,” he told the Shropshire Star.
“And that opened doors for me.
“A lot of people think they are going to go on a reality show and just become rich from it but the likelihood is, it is not going to happen.
“As quickly as they are making Big Brother and The X Factor, they come and go and they are ready for the next one before the stars of the last one have landed on their feet.”
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Craig is now a dad to two beautiful little children with wife Laura Sherriff – two-year-old daughter Nelly and son Lennon Thomas, who is 14 months.
He has been creating successful online videos for the past five years and he is currently helping people improve their DIY skills and their homes.
Big Brother winners: 2. Brian Dowling – 2001
When the Irish gay trolley dolly sashayed into the BB house, he was an instant hit with viewers. So it came as no surprise when he scooped the top prize in the final.
He married his long term boyfriend Arthur Gourounlain in 2015 and now presents shows in Ireland and the UK – including ITVBe’s Real Housewives of Jersey‘s reunion show.
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He has previously claimed Big Brother changed a lot from his times on the show.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: “I appeared in the show in 2001 before returning in 2010 for Ultimate Big Brother. I was also lucky enough to host the show for three years or six or seven series and how do I say this?
“It’s probably more produced reality as opposed to when I was on the show and it was reality.
“I think if we did my show now from 2001 I don’t think people would watch cause they would find it boring.
“If I was in the show now I’d be voted out straight away.”
Sadly the experience has turned sour for Brian who in recent times had a public spat with Davina McCall.
Big Brother winners: 3. Kate Lawler – 2002
It’s easy to think based on her phenomenal post BB career that it was Jade Goody who won the third series of Big Brother – but she actually only came fourth! It was, in fact, Kate Lawler who scooped the title.
Although she left the house to do the obligatory OK! shoots and telly presenting (RI:SE), she eventually took herself out of the limelight and focused on becoming a DJ.
She can now be found on the radio having cut her teeth at Capital and now doing her thing on Virgin.
Kate is also mum to a toddler after agonising over whether she wanted children.
Big Brother winners: 4. Cameron Stout – 2003
Series four was the notoriously dull series of Big Brother that saw viewers turn off in their droves. Cam was a nice guy from Orkney, who was so sweet, but so dull.
Nevertheless, he actually got 1.9million votes on final night and scooped the prize money.
After the show, Cameron stuck to his word and bought his church in Orkney a new piano and to this day can be seen tinkling those ivories at Sunday services.
For a while he enjoyed the fame that came with his time on BB and became a spokesman for the Hall of Clestrain in the BBC series Restoration and wrote columns for The Sunday Post and the Aberdeen Evening Express before becoming a teacher.
“I’d always had a dream of going into teaching, but for some reason, I hadn’t dared to pursue it,” Cameron told Single Friendly Church. “I was working in the seafood industry before I went into Big Brother. Afterwards, I had a lot of freelance media opportunities and I enjoyed that for some years. But part of me was thinking, ‘How long can this nonsense go on?!'”
He added: “Then I learned about a teaching course in Orkney. It was the ideal time to make a change, and the course and tutors were very inspiring. I now commute by ferry each day to neighbouring island Hoy, where I work in a tiny, two-teacher primary school. Teaching is challenging at times, but hugely rewarding. The kids make my day, every day – the bureaucracy doesn’t!”
Big Brother winners: 5. Nadia Almada – 2004
Long before trans issues were all over the news, Big Brother was smashing down barriers by introducing reality TV’s first ever trans star!
Portuguese Nadia was a hoot in the turbulent house that saw the infamous ‘fight night’ take place and audiences were entertained from start to finish by her hilarious behaviour.
She was feisty, ferociously fiery and hilarious, especially when she was desperate for cigarettes.
After winning the show, she did the rounds of the celeb weeklies, released a single called A Little Bit Of Action (it got to number 27) and appeared in other reality shows such as Come Dine With Me.
She later appeared on Ultimate Big Brother which saw her leave the competition early on.
These days the flamboyant lass lives a quiet life in London where she is a hair colourist!
Nadia is active on Twitter, often sharing posts about political and human issues.
Big Brother winners: 6. Anthony Hutton – 2005
This Geordie cutie enjoyed a rather adventurous time in the Big Brother house. He frolicked naked in the hot tub with Makosi and was convinced by her that he’d got her pregnant after a miracle five minutes, witnessed Kinga do what no woman should ever do with a wine bottle and was the focus of gay Craig’s sexual obsession and offered viewers reality TV’s first bromance.
After the show Anthony did the usual slew of photo shoots for the celeb weeklies, including one with brief girlfriend Zoe Birkett, and made guest appearances on a slew of reality shows, including The Match, before stepping away from public life.
These days he runs his own swanky barber shop called Mr Hutton’s Barber and Bar in Darlington and hasn’t looked back.
“I’ve had the idea for ages and it was one of those things that was put on a back burner, but I was always hell-bent on doing it,” the handsome lad told The Northern Echo.
“I started doing research about it and couldn’t find anything like it – though Carlsberg had an advert saying, ‘if we did barber shops’, and that’s the kind of concept I’ve gone for.
“I’ve been in Darlington for the last three years with my partner, Sophie, and we have a lot of friends and support in the area. When we saw the spot had become available, we just had to have it.”
He and his wife welcomed a baby son, Cruz, in August, 2021.
Big Brother winners: 7. Pete Bennett – 2006
Pete was the wild child Brightonian with Tourette’s Syndrome, whose lovable ways and unlikely relationship with Nikki Grahame charmed the hearts of the nation.
For a time after the show, he and Nicky were darlings of the media as their relationship went from strength to strength.
He was even praised by Tourette’s charities for putting the condition on the map. Sadly, like most reality unions, the pair split and went their separate ways.
For the next few years Pete lost his way and he revealed on The Jeremy Kyle Show in 2015 that he had blown his fortune on a ketamine addiction.
“I had all the money and didn’t know what to do with it. I put it on the wrong things,” he said.
Luckily he was back on track a while later and starred in a horror film called Crispy’s Curse about a Christian rock band taking on a killer clown.
When times got tough again, Pete decided to start his own celebrity cleaning business called Celebriclean.
“I thought, ‘Oh God, it’s really hard to get work… with being on telly,’ so I thought, ‘I know’ I started cleaning,” Pete told Loose Women.
“I thought, ‘hang on a minute’, because every time I was cleaning someone’s house you get people going ‘Selfie, Pete. Selfie, Pete’, You know what I mean?”
“So I thought, why don’t we use this as a business where we get people on telly to come and clean fans’ houses?”
Big Brother winners: 8. Brian Belo – 2007
Brian was the Essex lad who lived and breathed Big Brother. He was a self-confessed BB addict so when he scooped the title it just felt right.
Like many BB stars before he him, Brian attempted and sadly failed to ignite a pop career before settling down to become a TV producer.
One show that he pitched was called Totally Essex which featured among its cast a certain Mark Wright, Sam Faeirs and Kirk Norcross. Sound familiar?
When TOWIE hit screens Brian took ITV and Lime Pictures to court and subsequently settled out of court. Brian is still working in TV development.
Some years back now, Brian launched a Twitter attack on Big Brother and took a pop at Emma Willis and Rylan Clark-Neal, raging: “The presenters are just not good enough. I can’t watch another season with them on BB! That’s not being nasty, that’s being truthful.” Ouch!
Big Brother winners: 9. Rachel Rice – 2008
Rachel was the winner of series nine, the year Big Brother started to go off the boil. She was the super sweet gal with a degree in English and Drama, who said all she wanted to do with the prize money was pay off her student debts and give some to charity. Awww, nice, eh?
When she left the house she was cruelly booed by fans and she returned to her teaching roots as an Assistant Head Teacher of a secondary school in Wales, got married and had some kids.
Looking back on her time, she told Walesonline.com: “Some people didn’t like me – they said I was boring because I wouldn’t get involved in discussing who’d be out, I wouldn’t bitch and that… I sat on the fence. But I knew my friends and family at home knew the real me. I stayed true to myself.”
She added: “But I was aware the cameras weren’t on me much – I knew I wasn’t getting much airtime but at the same time I didn’t care. I knew people in Wales would be supporting me.
“I’m very strong, the more they told me I was boring, the more I was determined not to act up just to keep them happy.”
And speaking of the negative reaction she had when she left the house, Rachel recalled: “I could hear the boos and I thought ‘oh dear, what have I done?’
“Looking back I know it was [contestants] Luke, Dale and the boys geeing them on. I thought that was a shame – that was a little bit sad, but people are competitive.”
Big Brother winners: 10. Sophie Reade – 2009
Sophie was the pretty glamour girl who changed her middle name to “Dogface” as part of a challenge in the house. She won the show with a whopping 74.4% of the public vote.
Post BB she went on to work for various publications including Playboy and dated a couple of footballers.
In 2012, she revealed online that she had suffered dark times: “I’ve been declared depressed but I shall become stronger from this #respect #staystrong. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
“Feel so much better to be getting help now, did a lot of stuff I’m not proud of to make myself feel better and makes it worse! Helps to talk.”
In 2013 Sophie had a baby boy called Walter with Aberdeen striker David Goodwillie, who left her shortly afterwards.
She now makes a tidy living sharing saucy pictures on OnlyFans.
Big Brother winners: 11. Josie Gibson – 2010
Josie Gibson was the last winner of Channel 4’s Big Brother. She was the loveable Bristolian who fell for Aussie hunk John James Parton.
After the show she and John enjoyed a turbulent media relationship in the public eye until they split in the actual pages of OK! magazine.
Josie went on to be a telly favourite, appearing on various shows, and she even released her own perfume called Josie in 2011.
Josie hit the headlines when she lost an incredible 7st, which led to her embarking on a successful career as a personal trainer and nutritional advisor.
She and her property develop partner Terry welcomed their first baby in September, 2018 but split soon afterwards.
Josie is of course now a very popular presenter of This Morning.
Big Brother winners: 12. Aaron Allard-Morgan – 2011
And so we enter the Channel 5 years… The series the public forgot. Aaron was a contract manager from Weston-super-Mare and was booed as he won!
He later criticised the show for its poor aftercare for contestants.
“I genuinely fear for [new housemates], they don’t realise what they’re letting themselves in for,” he said during an interview on The Wright Stuff.
“They give you very little preparation for what’s likely to happen.
“You’re not prepared and you don’t have the aftercare that perhaps you should be getting afterwards.”
Big Brother offers all contestants psychological support before, during and after the show.
Aaron went on to run his own bar in Weston-super-Mare, which has since closed down.
Big Brother winners: 13. Luke Anderson – 2012
Chef Luke Anderson was BB’s first transgender man to win the show, and has since gone on to be an ambassador for trans rights.
A successful head chef, Luke is father to twins with his husband Jamie-Lee Anderson.
Luke took a pop at Big Brother in 2016 after former BB contestant Ryan Ruckledge made nasty comments about him online.
“I think BB [producers] are just desperate for characters rather than regular people, it should just be axed now.”
He added: “Big Brother finished years ago, the programme we view now is just like Geordie Shore / Ex on the beach / TOWIE. “I think the producers have adapted the format to keep younger viewers (who seem to revel in fake drama) entertained. I love Big Brother. This isn’t Big Brother.”
Big Brother winners: 14. Sam Evans – 2013
Sam Evans was a deaf stock assistant who won the fourteenth series of the show.
After the show he took part in a Welsh TV programme on S4C, where he learned to speak the Welsh language with other celebrities.
And became an ambassador for SoundSeekers, a charity that helps deaf and hearing impaired people in poor communities.
He’s now an ambassador for junior grassroots football for the Football Association of Wales.
Big Brother winners: 15. Helen Wood – 2014
This Bolton beauty was the tough, feisty former escort. She was already notorious for allegedly having a high-profile threesome with Wayne Rooney.
She surprised fans by winning because she had ended up having so many arguments in the house.
More controversy followed when she dod a kiss and tell on a married celebrity who hired her services as a sex worker.
In the UK, the celebrity maintained anonymity due to a super injunction, but his identity was revealed overseas.
Some years after the scandal, Helen spoke about it on This Morning. She regretted making mean-spirited comments about their encounter.
“I get why he’s done it, he’s a bit spooked that I’d sell a story, but I wouldn’t have done that,” she said.
“I actually got upset because now I’m a bit older I know he has children, I feel bad if they know about this.”
Helen is now a cosmetic tattooist specialising in rather excellent brows.
Big Brother winners: 16. Chloe Wilburn – 2015
Chloe who? Yes, Chloe was the winner of this incredibly forgettable series of BB in 2015. When she won she supposedly went back to her old job. On her Twitter bio she describes herself as a “Medical Cannabis Activist and CBD seller”.
She is now a mum! Aww!
Big Brother winners: 17. Jason Burrill – 2016
This series was a ratings winner for Channel 5 thanks to its brilliantly cast housemates.
With so many colourful characters in the house, it came as a surprise that housewives’ favourite Jason won.
Since the show, he has gone from strength to strength. He has invested his money in property that will eventually earn him £20million.
“I Invested into property and got back my property development bug which has thankfully paid off.
“I ventured back into it using my Big Brother winnings to start the process moving again. And so far, touch wood, have had a lot of great investments turn good.”
According to his Instagram account he’s now best friends with an adorable Shi Tzu!
Big Brother winners: 18. Isabelle Warburton – 2017
Tango-faced housemate Isabelle was the sweet lass who got into a scrap with muscle head Lotan Carter. This moment saw him kicked out of the house.
Unassuming and likeable, she eventually won the series.
After leaving the house the tanned beauty said she wanted to start a tanning business.
“Winning Big Brother opens a lot of doors and what I do with it could be life-changing,” she revealed.
“So I’m looking to open a women’s tanning salon, I’m going to embrace what I do best, and that’s tanning!
“I want somewhere where people will walk out and think ‘I look wicked, I feel really good.'”
Still tanned to the max, Isabelle is now expecting baby number two!
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Who has been your favourite Big Brother winner of all time? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!
*** This article from October 2018 was updated on March 17, 2022 with new images and some additional copy ***