Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 13:18 UK

Big Brother win for Rachel Rice

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Rachel Rice was greeted by cheers and fireworks as she left the house after 93 days - footage courtesy of Channel 4

Rachel Rice has been named as the £100,000 winner of this year's Big Brother, beating bookies' favourite Mikey Hughes into second place.

The trainee teacher, 24, was greeted by cheers and fireworks as she left the house after 93 days.

Australian Sara Folino, 27, came third ahead of fourth-placed chef Rex Newmark, 23, and 26-year-old Darnell Swallow was fifth.

Viewing figures for the ninth series have been the lowest yet.

Channel 4 figures showed that 5.3m people tuned in for the grand finale on Friday.

It was 300,000 fewer than last year, when 5.6m viewers tuned in to see Brian Belo voted the winner.

"This year's Big Brother has regularly delivered an audience of around 3 million viewers," a Channel 4 spokesman said.

FINAL BIG BROTHER POSITIONS
Darnell Swallow
1. Rachel
2. Mikey
3. Sara
4. Rex
5. Darnell
"Even after nine years on air, it is still right up there among our highest rating programmes.

"No other programme delivers us such a consistent, sizeable audience and we are incredibly pleased with it's performance."

'Quite flirty'

When Rachel and Mikey faced each other in a head-to-head phone vote after the others had left the house, she received 51.3% of the votes to Mikey's 48.7%.

Rachel told host Davina McCall she had put up with accusations from her fellow housemates that she was fake and had sat on the fence by "being true to who I am".

"People can try and tell you you're fake and try and break you down but I know who I am - it's fine," she said.

She added: "You dream about going into Big Brother, that's like a dream, and people say you'll never get in and then when you win… it's amazing."

Blind radio producer Mikey, 33, told McCall he was proud to have been so outspoken throughout his stay in the house.

"Ask anybody about work and I've had countless warnings and I've stood up to all the bullies that we've had in the house this year."

Rex Newmark leaves the house to boos
I absolutely love to wind people up
Rex Newmark

Sara, whose on-off relationship with Darnell has been a dominant storyline in recent weeks, told McCall: "I'm quite flirty anyway and I'm single but I do like Darnell, yes I do."

Asked if their friendship could develop into something more she said: "I'm so confused right now. I don't really know but I guess we'll see."

Latecomer Sara, who entered the house after four weeks, was presented with a cheque for £25,000 which she won last week after competing in a live "nomination face-off".

She had 30.1% of the vote when lines closed ahead of her eviction.

'Voice of torment'

Rex, whose girlfriend Nicole Cammack joined him as a housemate for two weeks earlier in the series, was booed when he left the house by the waiting crowd.

Responding to the boos he told host McCall: "If you take BB too seriously then you're on the wrong show - you have to take everything with a pinch of salt."

Rex, who received 22.5% of votes, admitted he had been a difficult housemate to live with saying: "I absolutely love to wind people up."

Darnell, who was born in Ipswich but raised in the US, was greeted by cheers.

HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS
Fake marriage
Mario Marconi, 42, and Stephanie McMichael, 19, got "married" as part of a secret task to hide his real romance with Lisa Appleton
Booted out
Alexandra De-Gale was thrown out for intimidating housemates while Dennis McHugh was ejected for spitting at Mohamed Mohamed
Unlikely romance
Geeky but amusing Luke Marsden and party girl Rebecca Shiner ended up kissing under the duvet
Rex and Nicole
Despite Rex Newmark's endless talk of girlfriend Nicole Cammack, the two bickered when BB put her into the house. She was soon evicted
Bogey Mo
Mohamed lived up to his nickname of Greedy Mo by eating Michael Hughes' bogey in exchange for cider

In his post-eviction interview, the 24-year-old - who had 14.9% of the vote - told McCall: "I never felt this much love in my entire life."

He told McCall she was "a stunning, beautiful amazing woman even though you have been the voice of torment over the last three months".

The Channel 4 show was watched by an average of 3.2 million people during this year's run - 300,000 down on 2007.

The audience has declined steadily since the launch night in June, when it was 5.3 million strong.

Big Brother editor David Williams has remained bullish, though, saying the show was looking forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2009.

Big Brother has not been without controversy this year, with contestant Alexandra De-Gale removed for intimidating her fellow housemates.

And dance student Dennis McHugh was also thrown out for spitting in the face of Mohamed Mohamed.

Programme makers tried to generate interest by including a couple, Mario Marconi and Lisa Appleton.




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