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Big Brother's Craig launches autobiography

Big Brother's Craig launches autobiography
Big Brother's Craig launches autobiography

A host of Big Brother housemates past and present have turned out to celebrate the launch of the first winner's autobiography. Craig Phillips (opens in new tab) won the first series of the reality show in 2000, and on Thursday night he threw a glittering party in Liverpool to launch My Story: Building Beyond Big Brother. Phillips paid homage to his day job as a property developer by turning up in a builder's van and was pushed up the red carpet in a wheelbarrow by his friend, actor Ricky Tomlinson, dressed for the occasion in a hard hat and fluorescent jacket over a ripped string vest. He was accompanied by last year's Big Brother winner, schoolteacher Rachel Rice, and seventh series winner Pete Bennett. Other guests at the Sir Thomas Hotel included his fellow housemate from the first series, former nun-turned-journalist Anna Nolan. Phillips, 37, said he was overwhelmed by the number of supporters who had turned out. Explaining the reason for writing his life story, he said: "When I first came out of the house, so many people asked me about doing a book. "I felt like I didn't have enough to talk about until now and all of a sudden I woke up one morning and thought I've done over 800 TV shows, I've been round the world, I've got my own production company... I've got this wonderful honour of being successful in my own right." He said other ex-housemates regularly sought his advice on life after the house. "The key to my success is that I had a building trade before Big Brother," he said. A lot of the housemates say to me, 'What's the key to staying in the public eye?'. "I say, 'Hard work, honesty and perhaps if you've got a trade and something to offer for the industry'."

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.