Tourette's sufferer wins Big Brother
Saturday 19 August 2006
Tourette's sufferer Pete Bennett tonight won the seventh series of Big Brother. The 24-year-old rock singer from Brighton beat teenage Welsh lifeguard and school head boy Glyn Wise to walk away with the £100,000 prize.
Pete won over the public's affections from the beginning and remained hot favourite to win throughout the 13-week competition. He jumped around the room swearing and shouting after host Davina McCall announced the result.
Pete's victory cost bookies more than £4 million, according to Ladbrokes. He attracted a £25,000 bet - the biggest laid by Ladbrokes during this series - as well as a rather less ambitious 25p bet from one Scandinavian-based punter.
And within the last 10 hours a £75,000 wager was placed on Pete with William Hill.
Ladbrokes spokesman Nick Weinberg said: "Both Pete and Glyn were bad results for us. But we were cheering on the Welsh lad as the lesser of two evils.
"Pete's victory rounded off a miserable series for bookies. We took a pounding on every eviction night because it was pretty obvious who was going each time. It's definitely bread and water in the Ladbrokes canteen for the foreseeable future.
Ladbrokes believe the betting for the next series of Big Brother - the eighth - could top £8 million.
William Hill is now offering odds of 3-1 for Lea to become a presenter on the Playboy channel, 66-1 for Susie to appear in Desperate Housewives, and 2-1 for Pete to have a number one single within six weeks.
During his time in the Big Brother house, Pete has raised awareness of Tourette's syndrome, which leads him to twitch and swear involuntarily.
He enlivened proceedings with his regular shouts of "w******!", and provided the show with romance when he and Nikki fell for one another. Pete received the fewest nominations from his fellow housemates and made it through the entire series without a cross word for anyone.
The third place went to self-styled "ghetto girl" Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace. The 27-year-old promotions girl told Davina she could not believe she had got so far. Aisleyne also spoke of her tough upbringing, urging: "All single-parent families, big up yourselves".
The first of the six finalists to be evicted tonight was Jennie Corner. The 18-year-old Scouser was one of five new housemates put in the secret house next door and won immunity to reach the final by winning the life-size Big Brother board game.
Next to leave was 24-year-old Nikki Grahame. The wannabe footballer's wife had already been booted out of the show earlier in BB 7. She was voted back in last week in a move which provoked controversy among viewers angry they had to pay to vote for housemates they had already evicted.
Nikki looked stunned following her eviction and McCall was forced to abandon a live interview with her when she appeared unable to talk.
Gay Canadian waiter Richard Newman came fourth. The 33-year-old jumped up and down and waved as he left to loud cheering from the crowd.
He said he hoped he would win but he "always knew" Pete and Glyn would fight it out in the final. Glyn, 18, who had hoped to become the first Welsh Big Brother winner, sung to himself as he left the house.
During a live interview with Davina, he said his time in the house had changed his view of the world outside Wales. Glyn, whose first language is Welsh, said: "I just wanted everything to be Welsh but now I want to see the world and different people and everything like that."
The teenager also received a message from Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who said he was an "inspiration for other young people in Wales".
Last night Glyn received his exam results - an A in Art A-Level, B in History AS-Level, and E in English and Welsh A-Level, which he did not complete after being selected for the show.
Big Brother told the 18-year-old he had secured a place at Bangor university in north Wales. Glyn said he was now looking forward to university, and still planned to become a teacher. "I still want to teach Welsh to people who don't speak it so they can fit in more," he added.
Pete, who won 61.2 per cent of the votes for the final two places, banged on the doors as he left the Big Brother house.
As fireworks went off and the crowd cheered, he then half-slid, half-fell down the staircase to meet Davina. In his interview with the presenter, which was punctuated with shouts and involuntary swearing, he said appearing on Big Brother had saved his life.
Pete said: "Last year I went mad, a bit bananas. I was completely, absolutely at the end of my tether in life, and all that. "I had a huge visit from my mate in heaven. He came down and he showed me a huge spiral.
"Where I was was hell. He showed me the only way to remember who I was was to go up the spiral and on the way I had got to go into Big Brother and win and that's the only way."
He previously said he would spend his prize money paying off his mum's mortgage. She raised him as a single parent and gave the series one of its most emotional moments when she sent Pete a letter saying how proud she was of him.
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