Craig wins the Big one and gives it all away

The programme that turned rejection into a spectator sport, Big Brother, was won last night by Craig Phillips, a 28-year-old bricklayer. After 64 days he survived a final vote to beat Anna Nolan, the lesbian former nun, and collect the £70,000 prize.

The programme that turned rejection into a spectator sport, Big Brother, was won last night by Craig Phillips, a 28-year-old bricklayer. After 64 days he survived a final vote to beat Anna Nolan, the lesbian former nun, and collect the £70,000 prize.

Craig immediately donated his prize money to a friend who requires heart surgery.

And thus ended a goldfish bowl life for the contestants, manic media attention and a constant source of gossip for the nation.

The climax of nine weeks of bonding, hugs, small-talk and occasional backbiting also resulted in the biggest phone vote in British history - 7.5 million people, fully one in eight of the population. When added to previous votes, the total added up to the most intimidating statistic of the year: more people have voted in the Big Brother ejections than in the European elections.

One man may have been squirming last night. The ITV boss David Liddiment once rejected the show on the basis that it was "too boring".

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