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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Big Brother chair tops auction list
Big Brother chair
The auction closes on Saturday, 4 August
The chair from Big Brother's diary room could sell for more than 50,000 as an auction of items from the house draws to a close.

The famous black-and-white chair is offered alongside other memorabilia including Brian's bed and artwork created by the contestants in an online auction, which closes on Saturday, 4 August.

The highest bid for the chair currently stands at 47,000 - but that could rise by the time final bids are made.

Big Brother painting
The painting is currently set to sell for 7,900
Big Brother II has been generating money in other ways after it was revealed that phone provider BT made 1.8m from phone votes during the series.

The 16 million votes - which cost the public 25p each - also raised more than 800,000 for three charities and 1.36m to be split between Channel 4 and makers Endemol.

The charities that shared the 801,083 from phone votes were Shelter, Kids Company and the Community Self Build Agency.

Winner Brian Dowling presented cheques to them on Thursday, saying: "I never thought lying around sunbathing would lead to so many being helped."

Newspaper sales boost

And the media have also benefited from continued interest in the show's former contestants.

Tabloid newspaper The Sun is reported to be selling 90,000 more copies than usual on every day that runner-up Helen Adams features on its front cover.

Last year's chair
Last year's chair was sold for 35,000
Helen's budding relationship with Paul kept viewers hooked to help Big Brother II equal the success of last year's first series.

Last year, the diary room chair was bought by comedian Alan Davies for 35,000.

The person with the current highest bid for this year's diary room chair this year is also set to clinch the painting of the housemates for 7,900.

Brian's bed

Among the other items from the house up for grabs this year are the chicken house, with a current highest bid of 670, the fish bowl (790) and Amma's fashion hat (400).

Brian's bed and the spa bath both have current highest bids of more than 2,000 each.

A spokesman for production company Endemol refused to comment on the auction until all bids had closed.

Fans will be able to place bids for the 14 lots on eBay until about 0900 BST on Saturday.

House's fate

If the current bids stand, the sale will raise almost 63,000 for charity.

Endemol have denied press reports that the house will be available for hire for parties.

"There's a couple of internal functions happening in the next few weeks, but no external hiring out," the spokesman told BBC News Online.

"It has to be taken down in the next couple of months because we don't have planning permission beyond then."

See also:

17 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Nick beaten to Brother chair
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