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Friday, 27 July, 2001, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Dean leaves Big Brother house
Big Brother contestant Dean
Dean: Not disappointed about not winning
The fight for Big Brother II's 70,000 prize is now between Brian and Helen after internet company boss Dean O'Loughlin became the final contestant to leave the house.

Dean received the fewest votes from viewers of the remaining three contestants, at 5% of the 5.5 million votes cast.

His departure on Friday leaves fellow finalists Helen Adams and Brian Dowling waiting to find out which of them has won the 70,000 prize money.

The pair are also neck and neck in the BBC News Online users vote, with Helen just 0.5% ahead at 43.61%.

A beaming Brian told Big Brother in the diary room: "I am overwhelmed. I have excelled myself. I am so happy."

Big Brother contestant Brian
Brian: Backed by the Mirror
Asked what he thought people thought of him, he said: "As a fool who is afraid of cats and dogs but who is also an honest guy."

Helen told Big Brother that she was very "excited" at the thought of soon going home.

"I can't wait to walk down the path. I am so excited. But still very shocked to be still here," she said.

Asked what she thought the public perception of her was, she said: "That I am very loud and scream a lot, that I like glittery things and pink."

The housemate with who she struck up a relationship, car designer Paul Clarke, is waiting with her family to see her when she leaves the house.

'Dreaming'

Dean, 37, was greeted with a big kiss by his fiancee Vanessa, a cheering crowd and flashing cameras, as he left the house at 2055 BST to the tune of I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.

"It's like I am dreaming. I am not at all disappointed about not winning," he told McCall.

"I was always thinking about just getting back to my life, getting through it and staying sane."

McCall presented Dean with a certificate marking the new world record he set while in the house for building the world's tallest sugar cube tower.

Dean had never been nominated for eviction by his housemates. But he was put at 100/1 to win the contest in the final week.

Big Brother contestant Helen
Helen: Backed by the Sun

Ryanair employee Brian has long been considered the most likely to win the series.

He too never faced eviction by his fellow contestants.

But the odds on Helen have shortened considerably in the last few days.

The show's official bookmaker Paddy Power 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.

Helen has the backing of Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

Her relationship with Paul boosted her profile, to the point that bookmakers Jack Brown have given 10-1 odds on her marrying the designer by next year.

The odds on Helen also shortened after The Sun newspaper - with the backing of 1m Survivor winner Charlotte - backed her to triumph.

The Mirror has weighed in behind Brian, igniting a battle of the tabloids to match the battle of the housemates.

Official viewing figures for the series show an average 4.4 million people have watched the daily shows on Channel 4 - the same as for series one last year.

The highest audience was 5.6 million people on 13 July when Josh was evicted.

Figures for the Big Brother website show it has received 155,382,872 page impressions overall and an average of 2,466,395 per day.

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