Brian Dowling desperate for Celebrity Big Brother to return but only if trolls are stopped

Brian Dowling desperate for CBB to return but only if trolls are stopped (Image: Instagram)

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Brian Dowling is calling for the return of Celebrity Big Brother.

The celeb spin-off of the reality show came to an end in 2018, with the civilian version also cancelled.

The last ever series was a rather controversial one with Roxanne Pallett and Ryan Thomas ' 'punchgate' scandal.

But a few years on, Big Brother legend Brian says he'd love to see it back on screens.

As the 43-year-old chatted exclusively to the Mirror ahead of his appearance on ITV2's Celebrity Karaoke Club, he said: "I'm surprised CBB hasn't come back.

"I think maybe it will come back, I just think now with the pandemic and the last couple of years it's tricky.

"But Celebrity should come back, people were always obsessed with it, people love seeing celebs without make up, and what they're really like, and the drama!

Brian wants CBB to come back
(Image: Instagram)

"I'm not so sure about the civilian one though. I think we have Love Island now and that's our fix with that."

Brian won the second series of Big Brother in 2001 and went on to win Ultimate Big Brother in 2010.

The star, who married husband Arthur Gourounlian in 2015, says the civilian version of the show changed when people cottoned onto the fact that it could make them famous.

And he said the vicious side of social media is also a big problem.

Brian told us: "I did it back in 2001, and when our show was on it was a social experiment.

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"But as the show progressed people realised, 'Hang on if I go on this show I can make s**t loads of money, I can be really famous'.

"This public were like, 'No we don't like that'.

"I'll always be so grateful for the show because it did change my life. I was lucky and it helped me so much, but the show was definitely better in those earlier days."

When asked if the show would need to change if it did return, Brian added: "I've gone through the process myself doing Big Brother and speaking to these psychiatrists and being checked, and again for Ultimate Big Brother.

"When I did these shows there wasn't social media, and that's the difference.

"I was very lucky that when I did it that it wasn't a thing.

He's on the new series of Celebrity Karaoke Club
(Image: Instagram)

"Nowadays, you can't just have one conversation with a therapist, it needs to be ongoing.

"While we were in the house we could speak to someone at any point, but the aftercare for these shows needs to be so good."

He went on: "We're seeing now the damage it does to people and how it's so easy for people to access someone by sending them a DM – they might as well have your mobile number.

"The best thing is to not engage with it but of course that's easier said than done.

"You should see some of the s**t people say about me, but you have to realise it's a job, and people do cross the line.

"People are taking their lives because of it and it has to stop. People need to be held accountable. You can't just be a keyboard warrior and ruin someone's life, it needs to stop.

Brian won Big Brother twice and also hosted the show on Channel 5
(Image: Reuters)

"Celebrities are still human beings and people shouldn't be allowed to threaten you or pass comment on how you look and things like that, people are just dreadful."

On a happier note, Brian excitedly told us about his time on Celebrity Karaoke Club, which returns to ITV2 tonight.

He said: "It's fabulous, it's camp… there's me trying to sing.

"I don't actually enjoy karaoke, it's not really my thing, so I know what you're thinking, 'why this show?' Alcohol!

"I end up thinking I'm Britney Spears or Mariah Carey.

Brian won Ultimate Big Brother in 2010
(Image: WireImage)

"I'd never go to a karaoke bar, but I watched the first series of this show and it looked like so much fun.

"Plus, when you've been through a pandemic you're like, 'I will do anything!'"

Brian joked that as the oldest person in the cast – which also includes X Factor's Amelia Lily, Love Island's Olivia Attwood and Dancing On Ice champ Sonny Jay – he ended up being the 'dad'.

"I was the oldest person there and that was not good for my ego," he laughed.

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"I ended up being the dad of the group, I was like, 'How has this happened?'

"I was doing shots with them all but then telling myself that I needed to be more sensible and should be telling them to stop drinking the sambuca and tequila.

"I was the dad! I never thought that would happen."

* Celebrity Karaoke Club returns tonight on ITV2

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