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EDITIONS
Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Big Brother wins record viewing
Winner Kate Lawler greeted outside the Big Brother house
Kate was lying low with family and friends
Channel 4 was celebrating record viewing figures for its Big Brother series, while this year's winner kept a low profile.

Kate Lawler walked away with the 70,000 prize money after being voted the first female winner of the reality TV series.

The grand finale on Friday ensured Channel 4 attracted a bigger daily audience share than either BBC1 or ITV as millions tuned in.

Jade Gooding
Jade is predicted to achieve stardom

The audience peaked at 9.9m - more than a million higher than last year - despite the slating it received from critics.

'Enjoying the moment'

Channel 4 recorded a 22.6% share, while BBC1 got 21.1% and ITV 20.2% - the highest since the station first broadcast the film Four Weddings And A Funeral in 1995.

The series also broke other records, with a massive 8.5m votes being cast in the final - beating 7.7m in 2000 and 7m in 2001.

Kate, a 22-year-old IT consultant, from Kent, beat 29-year-old firefighter Jonny Regan, male model Alex Sibley, 23, and dental nurse Jade Goody, 21, to the top prize.

She was said to be lying low and "enjoying the moment", according to Outside Organisation, which is currently acting as agent for all the contestants.

A spokesman said: "Kate is taking stock of things and really enjoying herself.

'Millionaire'

"She is biding her time.

"At the moment she is holed up with her friends and family."

Kate, from Beckenham, south London, spent 64 days in a camera-filled house at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

Alex Sibley
Alex Sibley admitted life was hard

Now the housemates will be figuring out their earning potential - but PR guru Max Clifford predicted better luck for Jade, not Kate.

"Jade should be a millionaire in the next year.

"She is one person I think could genuinely become a star from this programme," he said.

Kate could present a TV entertainment show, Alex could model and promote cleaning and aftershave products, while Jonny could launch a new career with his band, said Mr Clifford.

"For all of them, the difference between success and failure will be good management," he added.

Voting breakdown:
The final pair
8,572,373 votes cast
3,106,077 for Kate
2,244,788 for Jonny
Of these:
3,372,382 were by phone
1,107,821 by text message
870,662 by interactive TV

Kate left the house to a firework display at 2315, as members of her family rushed to embrace her.

She follows in the footsteps of 2000's winner Craig Phillips, and last year's victor Brian Dowling.

As presenter Davina McCall announced the winner, Kate gasped and hugged runner-up Jonny before they danced together and fell on the floor.

Emotional eviction

Earlier in the evening, a clearly emotional Jade ran to greet her family - and comedian Graham Norton - when she was evicted from the house.

But the 21-year-old dental nurse from Bermondsey, south London, had trouble holding onto her strapless top, which fell down as soon as her eviction was announced.

Jade's votes
1,404,422 votes overall
843,741 by phone
337,287 by text
223,394 by TV

Alex, a 23-year-old model from Hornchurch, Essex, admitted he had found life in the house hard.

And firefighter Jonny, 29, from County Durham, admitted feeling self-conscious inside the house.

"Whatever anyone says, you're always aware of the cameras," he said.

Alex's votes
1,817,086 overall
1,239,175 by phone
341,239 by text
303,672 by TV
The original 12 contestants entered the house on 24 May, although one - Sunita Sharma - quit after less than a week, and a second - Sandy Cumming - walked out after 20 days.

Both were replaced, and while Sunita was happy to star as a guest on the final show, Sandy declined to appear.

copyright Channel 4
Kate embraced Jonny after she won

Channel 4's pay-TV offshoot E4 saw ratings for Big Brother's Little Brother rise by 200% compared with 2001's figures.

The network is also set to scoop up a share in millions of pounds in advertising revenue, subscriptions and telephone votes.

BBC News Online's coverage of Big Brother 2002


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