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I was so embarrassed when I was fired from Big Brother.. I actually found out from a newspaper but I've learned a lesson that we all can be replaced; BRIAN DOWLING BACK ON TV WITH PRIME TIME TV3 SHOW.


RIAN DOWLING has revealed he felt embarrassed by the way he got the boot from Big Brother.

BThe 35-year-old has bounced back by landing a new prime time quiz show called Sitting On A Fortune on TV3.

But Brian, who is originally from Rathangan, Co Kildare, said finding out he was being unceremoniously dumped from the Channel 5 show through a newspaper taught him some valuable lessons.

Brian revealed: " I couldn't do anything for the rest of 2013 because I was still in contract with Big Brother - not that I needed to do anything because the job was so financially rewarding, I was very lucky.

"But I didn't want to do anything. I get Tears on offered reality TV all the time - let's just say I could have been jumping off a diving board in a pair of speedos, I could have been coming down the slopes skiing, I could have been eating crocodile testicles.

"But I was a bit embarrassed because I had been fired and because of the way it happened as I found out when a newspaper rang me.

"It wasn't really until this year when I was hosting a live online entertainment show I realised I want to do stuff now where I can be myself."

Brian said the support of his partner Arthur, his family and close friends, including Pippa O'Connor and Tess Daly, last SM:tv show helped him to stay positive.

He admitted: "It was a lesson because I had never done a prime time show before and I was clouded in the fact that I had won Big Brother and had been crowned the Ultimate Housemate.

"I was the only Irish person to win and the only gay person to win.

"You kind of buy into all that but the reality is you are easily replaced, no matter what you do in life. No matter how well it rates, no matter how many times its No1 no matter how much publicity you get.

"And the lesson to me was don't take things for granted - be grateful for every day you have.

"I am lucky I am in a committed relationship, I have great friends and great family who support me. So I didn't cry about it, there were no tears - I was embarrassed but that was it."

Of course, the man in charge of Channel Five at the time was former TV3 boss Ben Frow and although Emma Willis who took over from him said Brian was gracious when they spoke, it is clear the clumsy handling by both the station and programme makers Endemol did leave its mark.

Brian added: "I haven't seen Ben since before it happened. I think he gave a quote to the paper but there was no contact with me at all.

"And - I'm going to have my Jennifer Aniston moment here - I think the way the whole thing was handled was a bit uncool. I think it could have been handled better but you roll with the punches and it makes you a better person.

"I have not looked back and thought, 'Oh God I wish I was still hosting Big Brother' because that's part of the business I am in, you move on and do other stuff.

"I worked constantly before I got Big Brother and I have been working since.

"And now I have got this big entertainment show in Ireland and I am chuffed." In fact, TV3's new boss Jeff Ford always wanted to get Brian on board when he took over. And Brian's delighted to have landed such a prestigious prime time slot as the programme is being made by RDF Television, the company behind Tipping Point and Wife Swap, with a view to selling it worldwide.

He said: "I worked with Jeff on Big Brother and he told me he was trying to get the right format for me.

"So he asked me to do a test for Sitting On A Fortune.

"It is being made by an English production company and because it is an original format I'm not taking over the show from anyone. It's going to be my show with my mark on it.

"It's Saturday night prime time entertainment so I am in my element.

"To do a prime time Saturday night show is a dream come true and I think I'll be on just before X Factor so to be in that line-up is pretty cool."

Brian will have [euro]15,000 to give away every week and he's looking forward to splashing the cash on deserving punters.

But he still hasn't given up his dream of hosting a chat show.

He revealed: "I think working on a big family entertainment show initially gets you into that slot and people can see what you can do.

"The chat show is the dream - to do what Graham Norton and Alan Carr do so well. I could be Ireland's answer to Alan Carr with my experience working for Ryanair - I could get the guests on, give them some gin and tonics and charge them [euro]20.

"If I got a chat show I wouldn't have politicians on - I find them boring. You want to be entertaining people and having fun."

But Brian admitted with all the publicity over his BB downfall, there is extra pressure this time to make the show a success.

He added: "Everything I have worked on has been successful but now this is my show and it's time to sink or swim.

"I glided through 10 or 11 years of being the first this and first that but the reality is sometimes it's not that easy.

"But there is more pressure now with this show. Of course you are going to take things personally but at the end of the day I am not a bad person and I have worked constantly before and after Big Brother.

"And I won't let that experience define me."

To do a prime time Saturday night show is a dream come true BRIAN DOWLING dublin yesterday


BIG BROTHER PRESENTER Host Brian with Georgia Salpa after her eviction from house

SITTING ON A FORTUNE Brian Dowling is relishing his new challenge

WINNER Brian celebrates after Big Brother victory

REALITY STAR With Jim Davidson in Hell's Kitchen

KIDS PRESENTER Tears on last SM:tv show
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 29, 2014
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