The first Big Brother winner and star of ITV1’s 60 Minute Makeover Craig Phillips says he would have reacted differently than Mo after Dennis spat at him. He’d have taken it into his own hands!
What’s your take on the Big Brother house right now?
“Just as expected it’s getting out of control. Oh gosh, the spitting was not nice at all was it? I’ve watched it about five times and it’s just so shocking.”
The interview continues below…
It seems to be breaking down in there…
“It was only a matter of time. In there, everything is so much bigger, although it’s so disrespectful to spit at someone, totally degrading, but inside there, things just get bigger and bigger and bigger – that’s why everyone else around them was getting so involved, both Stuart and Dale were defensive over the girls. When it snowballed with Darnell coming in and effing and blinding it was unexpected, but when things start bubbling up everything gets bigger, it’s hard to stand back. Everything is so intense.”
Do you think at times like that the Big Brother housemates forget they’re on TV?
“People ask me that often, but I can honestly say no. You can’t not forget, you can see the cameras, you can hear them. Remember it’s silent in the house, sometimes they’ll cut in music, but it generally is a very lonely and silent place. Only for filming purposes do they use music and they’re all bouncing around in there. But when someone stands up and goes to the toilet, you can hear the cameras go whirrrr. It’s following you by remote control. How can you forget the cameras?
“Everyone says it’s reality TV – it’s not, it’s not real. You know you’re a goldfish in a pond that everyone’s watching. You hear the cameramen puling cables and coughing and things. You can’t get away from it. So if anyone comes out and says they forgot the cameras where there, I find that very hard to believe.”
Were you happy that Dennis was kicked out?
“Yes, if he behaves like that it’s a form of assault, if there’s any physical impact or very harsh verbal abuse. It’s a combination of both, really, spitting in someone’s face. I’m surprised Mo held himself back and didn’t actually punch him. I was under some pressure on a number of occasions arguing with various people in the house and don’t get me wrong I felt like belting them at times. If it came to a point that somebody spat at me I think I would hit them. I’m a very controlled and calm person; in difficult situations I like to think I can calm people, but that was so degrading.”
It would be self defence if you retaliated, wouldn’t it?
‘I’m a black belt in Muay Thai and if someone is hitting you or approaching you too much and you show them your licence, you warn them twice and you have a witness, if they still proceed in your space you’re allowed to retaliate in self-defence, and spitting in someone’s face is not on at all!”
So it was good riddance, yes?
“He had to go. If I was in the house and they hadn’t removed him, I’d have walked out myself. I bet the producers are even more strict now, certainly from when I was in and after the incident with Jade Goody last year they’ve got every angle covered and even before the housemates went in the house it would have been drummed into them. Before we went in we had the contract, we read over it. Also the evening before we went in, in the hotel when we had our bags checked over, they video’d you and read you the terms and conditions to make sure you understand. And they film you saying, “Yes, I understand”. So there’s no excuse – he’s filthy and had to go.”
All the difficult personalities seem to have left the Big Brother house. Do you think things will now be calmer?
“Once you’ve got the initial loudmouth ones out of the house, the most intimidating people out, when the next 2-3 weeks go by even the quieter ones will get more agitated because obviously they’re in there longer. So even they have got it in them to explode over various little things.
“Going back to the spitting, it started with Rex messing up Jen’s painting. Even that was blown out of proportion. Jen really milked that. When you look back to why the situation got so bad I think it was her! She was upset all right, but it shows how things escalate. It was only a painting. I think Mo said that. It IS only a painting, and it wasn’t a particularly good one. I think it was a build-up of Jen feeling lonely, missing her family, feeling a little confused and depressed, feeling the pressure of the house, so she needed a good cry and to get it off her chest. When Rex went and apologised the first time I felt that was more than enough. She was crying and so forth, then when the rest of the boys came in she turned it on again.”
So who’s standing out for you now?
“I think Luke, with his Stan Laurel mannerisms, although he’s gone a bit quiet, I think the public are really going to warm to him. He’s my favourite at the moment for winning. Also, Mikey, after the blind task, that will make other people treat him better, with more respect, so that will get him a bit more airtime and the public will warm to him when he gets more coverage.”