BB Craig defends falling viewing figures

Big Brother 1 champion Craig Phillips has argued that the reality show is as popular as it has ever been.

The first winner of the Channel 4 series, who releases his autobiography this summer, claimed that viewing figures are only down because of the various ways fans can watch the show.

"I still watch the programme because I still do articles about the people in the house most years," Phillips told DS. "Although people love to hate it and slag it off, I think the decline in viewers is overplayed.

"These days there are so many ways of watching the show. It's on 24 hours a day, there's all the spinoff shows, you can watch it on E4, E4+1 and online.

"I think if you put all those together, you'd realise that the viewing figures are pretty much the same as the early series."

However, the reality TV star warned future contestants not to expect long-lasting celebrity status.

"Great opportunities have come my way since the show, I haven't turned them down and things have worked out great for me," he said.

"But people now expect to go on the show and come out celebrities. They think they will always get work afterwards, but it doesn't always work that way sadly.

"They are household names, but it's for a very short period and their shelf life quickly dries up. Fortunately for me, I had a trade before I went in the house and I think that always helps."

> Click here to read our full interview with Big Brother star Craig Phillips