Three strikes and she's out. Caroline gets the 'Big Brother' boot

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The Independent Online

At the Big Brother house last night it was revealed that Caroline O'Shea had been voted out by the public and that Thomas would stay. It was difficult to tell which of the two contestants was happiest.

At the Big Brother house last night it was revealed that Caroline O'Shea had been voted out by the public and that Thomas would stay. It was difficult to tell which of the two contestants was happiest.

Both looked pensive as they sat waiting for the programme presenter, Davina McCall, to announce that 62 per cent had voted for the 37-year-old former saleswoman of marital aides to be the contestant in the "social experiment" who had to leave.

The public's patience with the oldest of the original five male and five female house-mates had clearly been exhausted after she had spent three weeks as one of the two who the public had to choose between.

As the news sank in, Caroline shouted: "Big Brother I need a cig" - before leaping from her place on the sofa to bounce around the room shouting: "I'm going home, I'm going home. I've done my time."

The Irishman, Thomas, whose surname has not been revealed, seemed equally happy after a few moments for the news to sink in that only 38 per cent of people who had voted had picked him to leave. He stayed as one of the seven remaining contestants.

By the time voting closed, 1,426,206 viewers had met the deadline to cast their vote - an increase of nearly 50 per cent on last week's one million voters. During the 8.30pm to 9pm live show, nearly 250,000 viewers called to vote.

Bookmakers had made Caroline favourite to be ousted from the Big Brother house - her unusual laugh was an obvious source of irritation. But she had defied the odds twice to stay on.

Earlier yesterday, in the wake of allegations that a tiny phone could have been smuggled into the house, the makers of the programme said there was no evidence that a mobile phone had been found at the house. A search of the boys' bedroom found no evidence of technological skulduggery, the organisers said.

But as a precaution, a telecommunications jammer is being fitted to the specially constructed property so that no signal can be received in the area. The investigation followed claims in The Sun newspaper that Nicholas Bateman, a 32-year-old stockbroker, could have sneaked a tiny Motorola phone into the house.

The paper said an "associate" of Nick's rang in to allege the City trader was receiving daily reports in the early hours of the morning from a friend about his fellow contestants' views and the way he is perceived by the viewing public.

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