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Do you remember when Brian Dowling won Big Brother?

Brian Dowling on Big Brother Pic: E4

Where would we be without Big Brother? The reality show has just confirmed that it is set to return in 2023.

Sure, we wouldn’t even have Brian Dowling!

The dad-to-be rose to fame when he appeared on the show in 2001 before he went on to win the reality show.

Yes, it feels like Brian has been around forever and in terms of reality TV success, being relevant two decades later is practically unheard of.

Brian Dowling on Big Brother Pic: E4

He crashed into our lives when he appeared on the second season of the now iconic reality show in 2001. He became the first Irish person in the Big Brother house as well as the first openly gay contestant.

He became a national treasure as he made his way through each eviction until he was crowned the winner.

Of course, once wasn’t enough! He returned for Big Brother Ultimate in 2010 where he was once again crowned the winner.

The late Nikki Grahame was the runner-up in this series.


This win meant that Brian is one of only five people to win Big Brother twice, across any version of the show.

Big Brother finished up its run on Channel 4 with this special season before it was revived on Channel 5. This is when Brian reached yet another level of being an icon as he became the first and only man to present the reality series.

He was replaced as presenter of Big Brother by Emma Willis for Series 14, which started in June 2013.

Last year, Brian shared his nostalgia when he marked 20 years since winning Big Brother for the first time.

Brian Dowling on Big Brother Pic: E4

“How is it 20 years ago today that I was CROWNED the winner of Big Brother 2 back in 2001 and I believe the one & only ever Irish winner,” he gushed at the time.

“Over the last 20 years there have been many many best bits in my life but also some heartbreaking ones as well.

“But I’m still here to tell the tale and that’s what’s important. I was so carefree back then and SUPER naive with not a worry in the world.

Brian Dowling on Big Brother Pic: E4

“My biggest concern in there was getting a good tan. To all my housemates from 2001, thank you very much for gifting me memories and life lessons for LIFE.

“To those of you that voted and changed my life FOREVER, I owe you #bigbrother #20years #thankyou.”

With Big Brother set to return on ITV we wonder will we get another Irish icon!

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