Shropshire Star

Shropshire's original Big Brother winner Craig wants show to go back to its no frills roots

The first winner of Big Brother, Craig Phillips, says he had goosebumps when he heard that the series is on its way back.

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Channel Four game show's Big Brother winner Craig Phillips, with the show's host Davina McCall (L), leaves the Big Brother House in east London, Friday September 15 2000. The 28 year old body-building bricklayer builder was voted by the public as the winner and wins the £70,000 prize money. He confirmed that he will be donating his prize money to help his best friend's cousin Joanne Harris, who has Downs Syndrome, and needs a heart and lung transplant in the USA.See PA story SHOWBIZ Brother. PA Photo: Sean Dempsey

But Craig, who was living in Shropshire when he took the title two decades ago, says the series has to return to its roots to be a success.

The builder, TV/social media presenter and ambassador for mental health is hoping the show, which is moving to ITV after a five-year break, will go back to the no frills version he won in 2000.

Craig gave his £70,000 winning to an appeal set up for Shropshire teenager Joanne Harris.

Craig Phillips with Joanne Harris in 2001

Jo, from Shrewsbury, who had Down's Syndrome, was a family friend.

It had been hoped that she would be able to travel to the US for a heart/lung transport.

But the trail-blazing young woman who attended mainstream schools and college, joined the Brownies, won medals for dancing and trained to be a hairdresser, fell ill with an infection and died in 2008, aged 25.