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EDITIONS
Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Helen and Brian 'neck and neck'
Helen and Brian
Helen and Brian are both proving popular
The race to win Big Brother appears to be between Helen and Brian, with Elizabeth as bookmakers' favourite for eviction on Thursday.

The show's official bookmaker Paddy Power still has Brian as favourite to win at 1/4, with Helen at 5/2, while Coral Eurobet has suspended betting on the Irish air steward.

Odds on Helen pipping Brian to the post have been shortened since The Sun newspaper backed the Welsh hairdresser to triumph.

However, the official Big Brother website shows a massive swing in Helen's favour.

Helen currently has a 94% popularity rating, with bookies' favourite Brian lagging behind on a mere 5%, although the figures fluctuate from hour to hour.

Odds to win Big Brother
Brian 1/4
Helen 5/2
Dean 50/1
Elizabeth 66/1
But evictions are based only on telephone votes, which are counted up until minutes before a housemate is ejected.

Elizabeth and Dean have such a low popularity rating - sharing the remaining 1% - that it is not shown on the website. Crucially, Elizabeth is rated as "fourth of four".

Surprise eviction

This bears out the bookmakers' latest odds which put Elizabeth as a rank outsider to win at 66/1, and 2/7 on being evicted on Thursday.

The housemates are unaware of this extra eviction, which will kick the person with the least telephone votes out of the house, leaving three housemates for Friday's final.

The person with the most telephone votes will win the 70,000 prize, and will undoubtedly be splashed across the front pages of the nation's tabloids the following day.

One aspect of the house which has kept the papers feverishly busy is the budding relationship between Paul and Helen.


I promise you that I will be there for your daughter

Evictee Paul Clarke to Helen's mother
They kept viewers rivetted over whether they were to become a couple after endless flirting and spending time together.

Paul, who was evicted on Friday, told BBC Radio Wales he was looking forward to seeing her again soon.

"I miss her a lot. I said to Helen we need to see what happens in the outside world because inside the house the numbers go down and the weeks go on and you don't know whether or not it is just a lust thing," he said.

Paul and Helen from Big Brother
Helen could be reunited with Paul by Friday
"But now I've been out for five days, I can't stop thinking about the girl, so I'm going to have to let her know that on Friday," he added.

Paul said he speaks to Helen's mother frequently, and that he has promised to be "there for your daughter".

The Big Brother website has proved highly successful, registering more than one million users.

The voting phone lines have received eight million calls so far.



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24 Jul 01 | Entertainment
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