Craig Phillips, who won the first series of Big Brother, has said that it was right that the show was ending as the public had become exhausted.

Craig, whose showdown with ‘Nasty’ Nick Bateman on BB1 gripped the nation, said he initially felt saddened when he heard about the show’s demise.

But he continued: “When I had been on the first (series) I knew it was going to be on again and again (but now) people are a little exhausted with it… I do think it has sort of had its day.”

The Scouser said he felt he owed Channel 4 and the programme, which “changed my career”.

“I did not have any ambitions to work on TV. As a result of the show being such a success, it created this profile for me.

“I have forged a good TV career, I have been on 800 different make-over programmes, I have my own production company. I have had experiences money couldn’t buy.”

Last year’s winner Rachel Rice said she was “gutted” to hear Big Brother was being axed.

Rachel, who is now a secondary school teacher in Wales, said: “I just hope – and I’m sure – they will bring it back in a few years’ time.

Nick Bateman said the last few years had seen too many people going into the house so “you can’t get to know any of the characters”.

He felt another reason for its demise was “people are far more extreme and weird”.

“You have people like that, you can’t empathise with them.”