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EDITIONS
Friday, 27 July, 2001, 21:58 GMT 22:58 UK
Brian: Big Brother's showy winner
Brian Dowling
Brian Dowling: A natural showman from an early age
Millions of Big Brother fans in the UK are celebrating the triumph of Brian Dowling.

Before the start of the series, Irish cabin crew supervisor Brian, 23, described himself as "bubbly, intelligent, bold and honest".

Channel 4 said he was "the contestant most likely to cheer up the rest of the household during bad moments".

Brian's credentials
Age: 23
Height: 5ft 10in
Marital status: Single
Nickname: Bambie
Interests: Success
Phobias: Snakes and rats
Bad habits: Nailbiting, playing loud music

Both assessments proved correct. Brian's combination of good humour and openness made him a favourite with his housemates, the media and the bookies.

Brian, the eldest of seven children - all the rest are girls - comes from Rathangan in Co Kildare. His mother is Rosie and his father Geard.

He moved to London a few years ago and landed the job with Ryanair not long afterwards.

Working the route between Stansted and Londonderry, the outgoing Brian is reportedly a favourite among colleagues and regular passengers.

Showman

From day one in the house, Brian's experience of making people feel relaxed was evident in his ability as an entertainer.

Never short of a sharp one-liner, he consistently had his housemates in stitches.

Bubble
Bubble: Upstaged by Brian

He competed for laughs with Bubble, memorably upstaging him when the two engaged in comedy ballroom dancing.

In the end, Bubble had to concede defeat, declaring: "You are the funniest man I have ever met."

Brian's friends and teachers from school in Rathangan confirmed that Brian was always the showman as a boy.

If there was a part to be taken in a play, he was there - and the more comic the role the better.

Although describing himself as "tidy", Brian rarely lifted a finger to help with cooking or household chores.

But it did not seem to matter to his fellow housemates, who never nominated him in enough numbers to put him up for eviction. Brian kept them amused.

Serious "father" of the house Dean complained about having to talk about pop music but Brian made him do it anyway - and got him to laugh about it too.

When Narinder asked him which celebrity would most fancy her, he shot back: "Stevie Wonder."

Affectionate

Brian also showed a sensitive side.

The only person in the house he did not gel with was Josh. As the other gay man in the house, Josh seemed to want to annoy Brian.

Big Brother contestant Helen
Helen received plenty of affection from Brian

After being openly antagonistic towards Brian for most of the time, Josh flirted with him, tried to get him drunk and then propositioned him - but to no avail.

Brian took it all in his stride but broke down when the two had a blazing row on his 23rd birthday.

He sneaked off to the Diary Room where he broke down and cried in front of millions of viewers and declared: "I'm just a selfish bastard."

His mother told The Mirror: "Brian loves people and he loves attention."

His father added: "What you see on the TV is Brian, that is his personality."

And despite often making jokes at the expense of the other housemates, Brian was always ready to laugh at himself.

He shaved his head, after promising to do so if he was not nominated for eviction.

And though knowingly vocally challenged, he was always up for singing - especially Destiny's Child.



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