With Celebrity Big Brother less than two weeks away from kicking off on Channel 5 later this month, we caught up with the new presenter Brian Dowling for a chat about what we can expect from the new show. From his catchphrases and wardrobe to sex in the house, Brian spills all!
Brian will be taking over from Davina hosting the main show, starting off with the Celebrity Big Brother Live Launch at 9PM on August 18.
Hi Brian! Big Brother is less than two weeks away, what are you looking forward to the most?
I think just standing on the stage! I'm looking forward to hosting it and what that brings, but I'm also quite nervous... that's the only thing, when the show open's I'll be sh**ting it. But I'm looking forward to the show being back, I think the fact it's moving to Channel 5 makes it easier because it's a new show... even though it's not. It helps me relax a bit.
Are you more or less nervous than you were heading into the house?
Oh my god, this is nerves beyond anything! There's no going back from here, it'll be one of the biggest things I've ever done. I've got to be Brian at work instead of Brian the housemates. I think I may have to take something to get me on the stage for the first time! I think it's live telly, whatever happens, happens. I think the week before it'll really hit me.
I know by doing the show I'm putting myself up for a lot more criticism then I've ever done before, that's going to be strange. Some people can be quite hateful, but you've got to take it on the chin, you can't please everyone. but that's quite hard. Hearing the nasty stuff, I was trending on Twitter... and people saying they wanted me dead, it's hard. I've not really been that offensive! That's not nice to read.
Are you worried about following in Davina's footsteps?
Yes, of course, she's done it for 11 years, it has been her show. It helps that it's moving to a different channel. Also I've been in there, in the house, I've nominated, so I hope I can bring that aspect to it. I think people can't compare to Davina, we're very different.
I want people to give me an opportunity to host it first and then judge. She's been quite supportive, she's been in contact and thinks I'm the best man for the job.
Has Davina been on contact?
Oh god, that was such a relief because it came out on the Friday that I was doing it and I was like 'oh god' what does Davina think?
The person I was waiting on was Davina, sorry mum, and she has been so supportive, there will be some late night phone calls from her with me going 'Help I've f**ked it up'
I think there's more pressure knowing she's going to watch makes me become more nervous because I want to do the show justice and do her proud. I want her to watch the show and enjoy it. She's given me her seal of approval so there's a pressure there.
I don't know what would have happened if she hadn't been supportive, That'd be very awkward! 'Don't give it to him' or if she wanted her job back! Thank you to Davina, thank god to Davina for resigning.
Has she given you any tips?
Just be myself, that's the one thing she said, also I've got bags loads of talent and loads of personality!
How have your family reacted?
My mum doesn’t understand, she only thinks I’m famous if I’m on telly in Ireland! I don’t think she gets I’m actually hosting the main show. My sisters are very excited, they can’t wait to come down. They’re all very proud.
How will you deal with any controversial housemates?
I think if and when that happens you know what to do, I've always had an opinion on your contestants, so even if that happens I'll know what to do and say. I hope there's a chance for me to show that I can't just do the funny stuff, I can also do the serious stuff. I hope there's a situation where I can stand up.
Will you find it hard to be unbiased?
Obviously I have an opinion, I've been in the show so I've potential that when it starts I will still see myself as a huge fan of the show. So I will have opinions, so I'll have to be careful not be biased. Everyone has opinions, but I'll have to be careful how to translate them.
Davina was amazing at being compassionate to everyone, even if they're the most hated person in Britain, but that's something I'll have to learn, Davina was amazing at that!
Are you hopeful that the switch to Channel 5 will move the show away from the controversies of recent years?
I think a show like Big Brother has always pushed boundaries but I think it's always stayed behind the line. I think it's a good thing, I think, by going to a different channel. People are missing it, it has a new clean slate. I want to look at it as a different show. I think they should go back to basics, there's a lot of love for the show.
What do you mean by back to basics?
I think 10 years ago it was a social experiment, it was less produced, so I'm hoping it goes back to that 'people living in the house' and entertaining people. Casting as well, you've got to have good people, bad people a mix, I hope Big Brother lets people watch it and enjoy it.
Can Big Brother survive in today's world of competitive telly as simply a social experiment?
Yes, I think so. It came back because people are very nosy! If its cast very well it'll work very well.
The new series is less than two weeks away, I'm sure you know some of the celebrities going in?
No, they won’t tell me! I'm such a big gossip, I fear if they told me I'd tell you today. I read Jedward, which I hope is true and Kerry Katona and her mother. I pray to god they do it, can you imagine Kerry Katona's mum and Jedward? It's going to kick off?
Who do you want to see?
Ohh... Charlie Sheen.., Mel Gibson... I said Octomum [in another interview]. Anyone who is colourful and brings a bit of drama, that's what I want.
Any teasers on the house?
I had to do a tour of the house for my screen test, I do know there's a huge swimming pool, I'll probably get told off for that one! It's really long. The house looks a whole lot bigger! When I did ultimate it was smaller, I think it's one of the biggest house ever, it's massive!
It's the same house, but I think they’ve knocked down walls, I think the house looks massive, and a really long swimming pool, you know what's going happen? Give 'em a pool and they'll have sex!
Do you want to see sex in the house?
I don’t think I want that actually, I don't think I want people to do that in the house, I'd be annoyed if they did. I'm not sure how I'd handle that... I wouldn't want sex in the house, no.
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