Craig Phillips

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Craig Phillips
Craig Phillips (left) in February 2018, pictured with Skills People Group CEO, Adrian Woodhouse (right).
Born (1971-10-16) 16 October 1971 (age 47)
Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK
Residence London, England, UK
Television Big Brother 1 (UK)

Craig Phillips (born 16 October 1971 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England) is an English builder, DIY expert, television personality and presenter. He is best known for winning the first series of the reality television show Big Brother in 2000. He is trained as a bricklayer and in DIY, appearing in numerous series related to this since 2001.


The younger of two children, his family moved to Newport, Shropshire in the late 1980s. At 18, Phillips secured a day release bricklayers apprenticeship whilst employed with Wrekin Council's construction department. Determined to ensure he excelled in his chosen profession, he attended further night school classes in advanced brickwork and civil engineering. Having qualified with a City & Guilds, Phillips went on to set up his own building company. The business quickly grew and employed more than 30 tradesmen.

After leaving the Big Brother house as its first winner, Phillips announced he was giving his £70,000 prize fund to his friend Joanne Harris, who had Down syndrome, to pay for her heart and lung transplant. He had begun raising money with friends for Harris sometime before entering Big Brother, raising only small amounts of money towards the £250,000 needed for her operation in the USA, but within 6 days of winning he achieved the target required for her life saving operation thanks to public support and donations from celebrities. Harris died in April 2008.[1]

He has featured in comedy series Bo' Selecta! and appeared in the reality TV series, Back To Reality raising £40,000 for Macmillan Cancer Trust.

At Christmas 2000, Phillips released the charity single, "At This Time of Year" with Warner Music. The single went to Number 14 in the UK Singles Chart,[2] achieving silver disc status and raising over £40,000 for the Down's Syndrome Association. It stayed in the top 40 for three weeks. Since then he has appeared in videos for two other Xmas singles - "Bo Selectas! Proper Crimbo" which reached No. 4 in 2003 and Ricky Tomlinson's "Xmas My A*se" which reached 25 in 2006. He was allegedly signed for a five-album deal with NEA records, who produced "At This Time of Year", but never released any other material.

In the 1990s, before his TV career began, Phillips bought and renovated his first house. He presented Renovation Street with Linda Robson for Carlton ITV before being brought in as the DIY expert for the BBC on an exclusive contract in 2001.

In 2001, Phillips appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank;[3] in 2003, Phillips appeared on the fifth series of Fort Boyard.

Phillips has now presented as 'resident expert' on a large number of televisions shows across the globe including Housecall (live daily morning show), BBC 1, Housecall in the Country, BBC 1, Builders Sweat and Tears, BBC 1 & UK Style, Our House, UK Style, Trading Up, BBC 1 & UK Style, Big Strong Boys, BBC 1 & UK Style, Boyz in the Wood (2 × 10-part carpentry series) Discovery Realtime, Big Strong Boys in the Sun (Europe), BBC 1, Renovation Street, ITV1 & Discovery Realtime, Trading Up in the Sun (Europe) BBC 1, House Trap, BBC 1 and Craig’s Trade Tips, BBC 1.

He also has a production company called Avent Productions.[4] For Avent he has presented the programmes Conversion a 10-part series for Discovery Realtime and the sixth series of Hung, Drawn & Quartered, a 6-part series filmed worldwide for British Forces Broadcasting Service. The company also produces corporate productions many of these for building companies.

Craig Phillips teaching DIY

In 2007 Phillips joined the team of 60 Minute Makeover for ITV1. He completed 80 shows in 2008; the first 40 of these aired in late 2008, with a further 40 airing throughout spring 2009.

February 2009 saw Phillips appear in Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in "Escape from Takeaway Prison" for six weeks.

Summer 2009 saw the release of his autobiography. On 29 May 2009, he talked to Petrie Hosken on LBC (London's Biggest Conversation - 97.3 FM) about his time in BB1 and how lots of wannabe's are now entering Big Brother. In July 2009, Phillips returned to the Big Brother house to help celebrate the show's tenth anniversary. He competed in a task against one of the current housemates. He was only in the house for a few hours and was a replacement for Nick Bateman who pulled out of doing the appearance. In 2010, Phillips again re-entered the Big Brother House and completed in a shed building task. He also appeared in Dermot's Last Supper, a show to celebrate the ending of Big Brother.

In April 2011, he hosted a show called Celebrity DIY with Craig Phillips for Home. In 2011, he also became an ambassador for Ryobi. In June 2011 he also hosted If It's Broke, Fit It for Home.

Building school[edit]

After two years, research planning and construction Phillips developed the largest independent construction training academy in the north west, opening its doors in September 2005 to its first 152 students. The facility was formally opened by Cherie Blair QC in January 2006.

The 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) facility was designed and built by Phillips and his team to simulate a real construction site with 88 solid individual rooms for various types of wet trades, 48 carpentry bench workstations and a 9,000 sq ft (840 m2) open plan workshop for brickwork - large enough to build several entire houses. Along with the practical workshop areas the academy also consists of 3 large fully equipped I.T classrooms, various staff offices, administration and reception areas.

Within the first six months of running a £1 million pound contract awarded by the Learning and Skills Council. After a year's successful trading, and having achieved full centre accreditation awarded by the Construction Industry Training Board, Phillips transferred ownership to Carter and Carter Group Plc, the country's largest independent training provider.

Charitable support[edit]

Phillips is a patron of the Down's Syndrome Association and road safety charity, Brake. In 1985, aged 13, he experienced the personal tragedy of losing his father by a drunk driver. In 2000 he was approached by the Department for Transport to back the governments national 'Think! drink, drive' media campaign. He faced the national media and reflected on his family's experience as he launched the campaign alongside the transport minister.

He was one of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool's chosen charity ambassadors (alongside footballer Kenny Dalglish and musician Gerry Marsden) assisting at events throughout Liverpool's European Capital of Culture 2008. His term as an appeal ambassador ended in May 2009 when the Mayor handover took place. He has also participated in numerous sports events: marathons and distance running, captaining teams at charity golf events, cycle tours, he has played football and tennis for charity at major UK championship venues including Anfield (Liverpool), St. Andrew's (Birmingham City) and Wimbledon (tennis).

To date he has raised over £500,000 for charities and charitable causes.


As of May 2009 he had accumulated wealth of £15 million.[5]


  1. ^ Big Brother 1 - News - Craig Phillips's BB winnings donee dies - Digital Spy
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 124. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 18 February 2001. ITV. Repeated 25 August 2016 on Challenge TV.
  4. ^ [1] Archived 10 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ The Times - The 10 richest reality TV stars Archived 1 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 31 May 2009

External links[edit]