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Brian Dowling hits back at Davina McCall over Big Brother axe

Brian Dowling hits back at Davina McCall over Big Brother axe
© Channel 4
Former Big Brother host Brian Dowling accuses Davina McCall of "encouraging more negativity" surrounding his axe from the show in 2013.

Former Big Brother host Brian Dowling has accused Davina McCall of "encouraging more negativity" with tweets about his omission from Big Brother: Best Shows Ever.

The BB2 winner took over from McCall as host of the seminal reality show when it moved from Channel 4 to Channel 5 in 2011 but was fired and replaced by Emma Willis in 2013.

Big Brother: Best Shows Ever, shown on E4 earlier this month, featured some of the most memorable episodes from the Channel 4 era of the show and was hosted by McCall and Rylan Clark-Neal, with Willis and BBLB's Dermot O'Leary appearing in several episodes as special guests.

Last week Dowling opened up on the manner of his axe from the show and accused producers of attempting to 'rewrite history', with McCall subsequently sharing a clip of her and Clark-Neal praising him on the show.

"I'm really sad that you have again posted something today which continues to fan the flames of this on social media and in the press," Dowling replied in a lengthy, two-page statement. "On Thursday morning I posted a video on Instagram saying that I was hurt and upset that I wasn't referenced at all as a host of Big Brother in the chat between all the presenters, and how this plays into my general treatment by the production company since they fired me.

"This was not a personal attack on you, Rylan or Emma at all because as far as I'm aware you do not make or edit the show and I'm a huge fan of all of you as presenters. This was me saying that my feelings were hurt, as I felt that my hosting six series of the show was airbrushed out.

"I understand that the Channel 5 shows were not being shown on your new series, however Emma's role as host was specifically discussed and Rylan's Bit On the Side show was also referenced during the series. I felt sad that I was not even referenced as the host bearing in mind there has only ever been three of us. ONLY THREE OF US. This wasn't about any references to me as a housemate at all, and I really do appreciate the lovely things that both you and Rylan said about me on Thursday night's show.

"Subsequently I wasn't going to say anything else about it. Then on Thursday night after the show aired you personally decided to tweet that I was asked to appear on the series but turned it down and tagged me in the post. Why did you feel that it was appropriate to post that? Even if you were being asked then surely you would be well aware that it would make me look bad and incite bad comments about me, when you had no idea why I might have declined to take part?

"Did I turn you down personally? No. Did you or anyone else ask me why I might have turned it down? No. I did not turn down filming a 10-second clip as an insult to you or Rylan. I said no because it once again highlighted how I am treated by the producers of this show and it triggered lots of mental health issues for me yet again.

"When I was fired I was hurt, upset and publicly humiliated. My mental health and confidence has suffered terribly for the last seven years because of that and other events that occurred whilst I was the host. My career came to a halt because I could not even consider working on television for a good number of years after that and my reputation damaged. I think that is a very good reason why I did not want to film a 10-second clip, and you have no idea of what really went on seven years ago and what I went through at the time.

"Once I saw your tweet and the amount of vitriol and abuse I was getting in response to it, I felt I had to post something explaining why I didn't want to film the clip. This is not something I wanted to do, but I felt I had no choice bearing in mind how much poison and criticism I was personally getting. I certainly don't think I did anything unreasonable in posting it - I had to make a comment in light of your very bold ''FYI'' post to your 2.7million followers.

"I haven't said anything since. However it's now Saturday and you are still posting about this today. I genuinely don't understand why, but I would really like to draw a line under this now please, as by continuing to post all you are doing is encouraging more negativity."

McCall did not publicly respond to Dowling's message.


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Brian Dowling in his Big Brother 2 headshot
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Brian Dowling accuses E4's Big Brother: Best Shows Ever of 'rewriting history'
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