Brian answers fans questions | Absolutely Brian // the official website of TV and Radio personality Brian Dowling

Brian kindly offered to answer some questions for his fans a while ago, and after a few setbacks due to work commitments on both sides we eventually managed to catch up and spent a chatty afternoon going through them.

As ever, Brian was his lovely charming self, even though he was suffering with flu at the time, he showed how much he appreciates his fans by spending a long time going through your questions. I am sure you will love reading his replies and also the lovely messages to you, his fans.

As many people before me have said ďHe is a joy!Ē 


Please note: This interview remains the property of and may not be reproduced in part or in whole without permission 


Q: We loved watching you presenting the Mint, specifically when you were teamed with Beverley French. Was the show really as much fun to do as it seemed to be from a viewerís perspective? Our second question is with the possibility of Quizmania relaunching the UK Quiz TV market in the near future do you see any chance of you going back in to the Quiz TV world?

A: I loved doing The Mint. Of all the television shows I have done this was the only one that you actually forgot you were on live television, and we literally just had a laugh. Because it is 4 hours live without a commercial break, if it wasnít for Beverley no way would I have stayed on the show for the length of time I did, it was just so easy, it was like going out with my friends for a drink. It didnít feel like I was working.

Errrrm! I know at the moment there is a show going on called Bingo Night Live which has kind of replaced The Mint. I donít know if I could ever do a quiz again like The Mint, as the hours are quite unsociable. Although I would never say never, I think possibly not in the near future.

Q: I would like to ask, do you still see Arthur? I saw him in the Girls Aloud video. I thought he looked funny in the wig. I bet you had a laugh over that. I saw ITV are having a new late night quiz show. Would you consider doing the like of this show again? I miss seeing you on The Mint. The way we got to see you and hear bits of news about you when you sat and chatted was great. Hope we see you again soon on TV. I really miss you.

A: Yes I do see Arthur quite a lot, he has been staying with me because he is back from the Girls Aloud tour, and he is looking for a new apartment, for he and his friend. So he has been staying with me and is currently on holiday, so yes I see him nearly every morning, and we are still very good friends. Would there be a chance of them getting back together again? Not at the moment, but never say never! I find it difficult to date, being well known makes it difficult, but regardless of that I have never been one to date a lot, I am not slutty, slutty. I believe in just meeting a genuine person and for it just to happen, not to force it. Love isnít a priority in my life at the moment; Iím still young, and a lot of my friends are still single. The best way is to be in a relationship with someone who trusts you, where you can still go on holiday with friends, and be able to come home to your partner, - finding a balance. At the moment I am happy, I have my meal for one and my giant plasma screen.

Q: Have you been on any nice holidays since we saw you last? You mentioned on The Mint once you were going to learn to drive. If you could drive what would be your dream car? Missing you like crazy Brian and really hoping weíll get to see you on TV again in the UK. Love your blonde hair.

A: I havenít been on a holiday since 2006, how bad is that? It has mainly been down to work. Doing The Mint I only had one week off, last year I was in Ireland working. This year I am tied with work again. I am doing the Closer adverts until Nov, and also it is difficult getting together with friends, all having the same time free. To be honest at the moment I am quite happy to be working, as long as I have my false tan I am fine.

I havenít learnt to drive, but if I did I would want a big Land Rover 4 x 4.

Everyone loves me blonde, I maybe went a bit too blonde at one point, but I do like having blonde in my hair, my hairdresser knows what he is doing.

Q: All I want to know is where have you been I have not seen you for ages? Any tv programmes in the pipeline for the future?

A: It is difficult to be on TV the whole time unless you are in the elite group of people who constantly get shows. Just because you are well known it doesnít mean that you will constantly get work. I have done quite well, I am established, I have great representation, but all those ingredients donít guarantee that you will get work. I am lucky that I can get stuff, that people say Ďhe is quite good, we like himí, and people want to work with me, it is just finding the right thing.

Q: It looked like you and Beverly had great fun on The Mint. Do you miss working on The Mint and do you miss working with Beverly French?

If you could work with one person who you have never worked with before who would it be and why?

How is your cooking going since Hells Kitchen? Do you cook for yourself or does someone cook for you? Or do you buy ready made meals?

A: (For Beverley see above.)

Mmmm one person who I have never worked with before. Ö I think I would like to work with my friend Antony Cotton as we have never worked together before. I would love to do a scene with him in Coronation Street. Playing his love rival! A cat fight on the cobbles.

Cooking is getting better, I donít cook for myself all the time as I tend to eat out quite a lot, and if I am eating in it will be from Tescoís or Marks and Spencers and bung it in the oven.

Q: I was so delighted when you were in Family Fortunes to read that the night you were in it it got more viewers than it ever had apart from one night years ago when Les Dennis was in it. I miss you so much. are there any plans  for you to do any more TV work in  the UK in the near future?

A: I was really happy to hear that.

(For work see above).

Q: I loved seeing you in back stage. Were the disciplines very scary?. They looked it especially the wheel of death.  We loved watching you and you looked so good in lycra. When are we going to see you again you were great on Smash Hits too? You looked so cool.

A: Anything to do with heights was quite scary, I tried a lot of them, but more scary were the outfits, how tight they were. Some of them were made for me specially, which was quite camp, and I got to keep one the pink lycra one which was quite cool.

Q: I am a massive fan and a friend on your Facebook and Myspace and I never see you message anyone, do you not read your messages as I would love a reply from you. When will we see you again on tv?

A: I do read my messages, but find it quite hard to get into using Facebook, Also I am always aware of replying to one person and this upsetting another one if I donít reply to them. I am just amazed so many want to be friends.

Q: At any point in BB did you genuinely feel you had a good chance of winning?

A: Only when it came to the actual final and I was standing there with Helen and Davina said, ďand the winner isÖĒ and then I thought, I could actually win this! Not until that point did I ever think I would.

Q: In the BB house you seemed very close to both Dean and Helen. If you hadnít won, would you have preferred Dean or Helen to have taken the title (and the money!)?

A: I think because I was in the final two with Helen that I think it is easier for me to say Helen, because she equally deserved it. I thought if I hadnít have been there and it wasnít me it would have been great for her, as we were the only two who experienced being in the house on our own.

Q: A highlight of BB2 for me was watching the friendship grow between you and Dean. I laughed and laughed at some of your conversations! Post BB2, what went wrong and is there any chance of reconciliation?  

A: Nothing went wrong I have never fallen out with any of my old housemates, a lot of it is to do with peopleís lives changing, and doing different stuff, you just lose contact as you would with old classmates. You are still friends. I was very lucky to be at Deanís wedding, a big thing in his life. I havenít seen him for a good five years, so it isnít a reconciliation, it just we havenít seen one another.

What did you think of his book?

I didnít really read it, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and their story, and that is what his story is, and what he believes. I donít think anything in it was malicious, and when I see Dean again there will be no problems. Dean was for me in the house Ďfantasticí and I will never forget that.

Q: Why did you decide not to sell your story (and your soul!) to the tabloids post winning BB2? Was this your own personal decision or did you act of the advice of anyone?

A: This was a personal decision before I had any representation, and because I had won £70,000 in my eyes that was a sh*t load of money, and at the time I just did not want to talk about Big Brother, I had only won on the Friday and this was like on the Saturday and Sunday and this was something I could just not have done. I just didnít want to do it at the time.

Q: When you watched back episodes of BB2 did you feel you got a fair edit? Did you feel there was any contestant who hadnít been edited fairly and if so in what way?

A: Well I won the show, so yeah! The show showed me for the person I was at the time. That was quite loud, very demanding, a bit spoilt (laughing) in a good way. You canít really blame editing, if you say it, you say it, if you do it, you do it. Anyone who says that are just looking for excuses.

Q: What have you done with your orange publicity shots and entrance t-shirt?

A: My entrance t-shirt I still have it. I also still have my winning outfit that I will always keep.

Q: Looking back, do you wish BB2 had a winnerís week and reunion show or are you still pleased you could remain out of the public eye immediately after your win?

A: After winning I got management and the idea was to take me away, I donít regret that because I signed up with SM:tv for two years, so I could not regret what happened. I was staying in a hotel in Covent Garden and Helen was going out to all these parties, and I was playing tennis. It was so weird. I was there heading out in shorts and t-shirt and she was heading out to some celebrity party, those are the roles we kind of went down. I have got no regrets at all.

Q: I have heard that Ant and Dec have bought the rights to some of their old shows including SM:tv which was made by Blaze. Does this include the documentary that was made about you after you left the Big Brother House? Did you ever receive a copy of that footage? If it still exists would you consider allowing it to be shown now?

A: The footage to that would be with the person who owns Blaze, Conor McAnally, I have seen some of the footage, but I have not seen all of it. As regards to it being shown now, maybe not, as so much has happened since then, and it was so long ago. We made quite a lot of it at the time, then I started on SM:tv and so then it was shelved. But in a way that documentary was my Ďwinnerís weekí, but it has never been show, so maybe that is how it should stay.

Q: Since winning BB Is there any time when you feel you have let yourself down in public?

A: Never! Never! No Iíve never read anything about myself or seen any pictures. I am always very well behaved. I am quite boring really. I am really well behaved. I donít show myself up, only in private.

Q: Looking back on your career is there any job that you regretted in hindsight turning down? 

A: Mmmmm possibly, I suppose there is one, but I wouldnít like to say which it was, and there were other contributing factors at the time.

Q: What about a second series of Brianís Boyfriends?

Yes I did turn that down at the time, because it wasnít right the right time. The show was a huge success and so yes. Because I am a different person now I think I would like to make another series of it.

Q: Have you watched any recordings of Hellís Kitchen, and if so, was there far more bullying towards you by Jim Davidson than was actually shown on TV?

A: I have still not watched Hellís Kitchen, which is strange because I watched Big Brother straight away. Thing is I really really enjoyed it, but I think that Jim was just so offensive, but again having said that there was some really good footage on the show. Who is to say what would have happened had Jim not been on the show, things happen for a reason, and it made me a stronger better person. It was brewing up all along Jim had upset a lot of people he had made Adele cry, he upset Abbey. We had silly little arguments all the way along , it was building up into a crescendo. There was the one about me helping the girls, and I thought, I can help who I want to help you canít tell me what to do. I donít think he liked people standing up to him. But it shows me as a person that I will stand up for myself, and I am glad that I did.

Q: Was there more Ďnigglingí towards you than was shown on screen?

There were a lot of niggles along the way. And stuff that people havenít seen, which I donít want to go into, because there is no point, but he was constantly saying stuff that I found quite vulgar and I said this to Barry and he was going to have a word, then I said.. no, no itís fine. Itís no big deal, they will see everything and if they think it is you knowÖ.but that is society that is the way things are. It shows that homophobia and bullies are still out there.

Q: You mentioned that when your TV work dries up you would like to find work in public relations? Would that be in Ireland?

A: When the whole TV thing stops I probably would go into Public Relations in London and work for a friend.

Q: With so much of your work seemingly based now in Ireland would you consider moving back there to live?

A: The thing is with Ireland I can go back and forth Ė make a series in a week, which is good. I do live in London, and for the foreseeable future I can see myself living here. The stuff in Ireland is just nipping back and forth.

Q: Are you still planning to appear in Fair City?

A: The Fair City role I was offered went quiet when I was doing Hellís Kitchen, and since Hellís Kitchen I havenít really stopped. I have been working in Ireland or the UK. So it definitely wont be this year as I am doing work up until November in my diary.

Q: Do you do a lot of corporate work too?

A: I do loads of P.Aís, I think I have 4 coming up at the moment..

Q: If C4 do an All Stars version of Big Brother would you appear?

A: That is a very difficult question, and not something I would jump at doing, and there are a lot of reasons why. It is something that I am not quite sure I want to do. A lot of people would think OMG that is stupid! OMG how could you not do it! However there is a lot of stuff to look into, it is not as easy as just saying yes. It is a case of if I wanted to do the show I would want to win it., and I think if I did the show and didnít win it, it could affect me as I am so popular, and so I have to look at the bigger picture. In a way what more can I achieve by doing it? I have won once and been voted most popular housemate twice.

Christine: If you did do the show again people are going to expect to see BB2 winner Brian once again. Yes of course they are. Me running around screaming Evil Demons! If it was a two week thing, or three, but not 10 weeks during the summer. I am not sure I could get through that. If I did do it I could love it, I could enjoy it, I could win it, and I do stand a chance of doing quite well but there are still lots of things to consider.

Q: Are there any plans for an autobiography? If so, have you a time span in mind Ė could we expect one in, say, the next couple of years?

A: I think you should just do one in your life, and thinking that, some younger than me have done 2 or 3Ö I could have done one if I had wanted to, I am quite you know. in a way thatÖI think I could have done a whole lot more than what I have done, but there are reasons why I havenít done stuff like that. I have been asked to do them, I could have done two, but when you are writing things about friends and family - my family are all really young - I just think that my story isnít finished yet. I have got to fall in love, do stuff like that, Iíve got loads of stuff to do yet. If I do Big Brother All Stars and then win it Iíd bring out a book then.

Q: I read today that Russell Brand is set to crack the USA, would you consider working there?

A: Absolutely! Iíd work anywhere (laughs). Working in America is the dream. I am quite happy working in England and Ireland but if America comes calling. Yes please!

Q: How do you feel about turning 30?

A: I think that in your twenties you always think Iím thirty! Iím thirty! Iím thirty! but I have actually found clarity in my life. even just turning thirty. I kind of know what I want and where I am going. I think that in your twenties you are allowed to be foolish, you are allowed to be stupid, but I think in your thirties it is very very different.

Christine: And with your family?

Yes I feel more responsible I am the older brother, but I also feel a bit more responsibility towards myself, because in your thirties the person you meet you are probably going to spend the rest of your life with, and a lot of peopleís hopes and dreams, kind ofÖ If I was going to have children, I am going to do it in my thirties. If I am going to find someone, get married, I am probably going to do it in my thirties. So I think it is quite exciting. There is no way my thirties could be as good as my twenties because of the whole Big Brother thing, but they could be, who knows!

Last year when The Mint finished I took a couple of months out and did absolutely nothing, and then I got a call for Hellís Kitchen, you never know what is around the corner. You just donít know in this industry, I am quite lucky because I havenít made it so massive, it is almost a way that I can plod away until something amazing comes along, I have always been constant with working.

Q: What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned since becoming famous?

A: That you canít always trust everyone. Just to stay grounded, thatís the one thing, and to stay true to yourself, and remember who your real friends are.

Q: What is important to you at the moment?

A: I think in this day and age that all my family and friends are all very healthy and that they are just good, that is what is important to me. Friends and family are very important to me. Especially with people dying, wars, storms, stabbing people, shooting people and everything, the whole telly thing it is just not real. There is nothing I wouldnít do for my friends, and I am quite happy to say that they would do the same for me.

A: Where is home these days?

Q: I am like Joan Collins I have two homes one in England and one in Ireland. I just jump on an Aer Lingus plane and away I go.

Q: How have your recent RT… shows been received - and have they rated well?

A: Extremely well. The one I just did there So You Want to be Famous did extremely well. It rated really high for the first episode that increased for the second and then it remained at the second level for the third. It was really good, my first proper job over there, and everyone who watched the show said it was very American and that was the aim of show. I had to do the show without any autocue; I had to learn those lines. I had to learn them all, I had to do that for every show off by heart. I only got the scripts the day before. Normally in England you would have 40 or 50 people on a crew for a show, in Ireland there were 10, and the director took no sh*t , you had to do your lines! Do your lines! I think that the show showed a different side of me, the delivery was very different.

Q: How do you feel about the botox comments?

A: I find those stories so incredible. The pictures they did for So You Want to be Famous were completely airbrushed, of course they were. In one picture even I went- I look really weird there. It is the make-up, the lighting, but on the back of that I am the type of person who would say yes I have had botox, because I am actually quite honest, I have always said I would have it done eventually, but I am quite good, I have my facials, I look after myself, I go to the gym. You know I donít do drugs, I donít smoke; I just find it quite funny. If I had something done, I would like my lip bigger, I have always wanted to have my top lip done, but in case it went wrong I would be like ewwww! I really just find it funny that people think that about me, that I am 29 and already had botox.

Q: Have you got a message for your fans?

A: Brian wants to say that.. I have finally reached 30, I thought it was going to be scary, but I am happy now that I am officially 30. I am very much single, and very much botox free!! Which is quite surprising, as I thought that by the time I reached thirty, I would be in a relationship, and have a face like Pete Burns. and I donít.

I just want to thank everyone especially on Facebook because I have been really bad, but I promise I am going to get more involved with it. It is quite scary with so many people, and I feel it is unfair to reply to one and not another. So apologies if I havenít replied to you.

My twenties have been amazing. Thank you for all the support. I just hope my thirties are twice as good. Bring it on!

Thank you to everyone on the website. To people who sent Birthday cards and presents. Thank you for your constant support over the years. I always get amazed that people do care and stuff, it is very very flattering. I do get very emotional about it sometimes, these people are giving up their time and effort, and they want me to succeed, and I think that is such an amazing thing, and in some ways saying thank you just isnít enough. It would be good if there was a word that meant more than thank you. The support has been constant, through good times, and through bad times. The people who are with you through highs and lows are like friends in a way. It shows how they are as people. I think we should have a fan day out some time. (To be arranged - Christine)


July 2008



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