Byline: NICOLA TALLANT
BIG Brother winner Brian Dowling is the inspiration for "The only gay in the village" character Daffyd in top TV comedy Little Britain.
Comic Matt Lucas first saw Dowling when he was a contestant in the house in 2001 having only "come out" to his family and friends that he was gay.
The Little Britain creator revealed he thought it was hilarious when a second gay contestant was put in and Brian became indignant that he was no longer alone in the house.
Lucas said: "He was from a small village in Ireland and had just come out to his parents and family before he went on Big Brother.
"He seemed quite comfortable being the only gay in the house but the arrival of the more mature gay man Josh put him out.
"Josh was obviously someone who had lived in the London Soho gay scene and was vastly experienced."
Lucas was so amused by Brian's reaction to Josh that he penned one of Little Britain's most popular characters using him as his inspiration.
In the series Daffyd, played by Lucas, lives in the Welsh town of Llanddewi where he is proud to be gay and flaunts his sexuality by wearing rubber outfits and constantly accusing his fellow villagers of being "homophobes"
But the villagers are completely comfortable with Daffyd's sexuality and much to his annoyance many of them are bisexual or gay - including the vicar who has a male partner played by Lucas' comic sidekick David Walliams. Daffyd is in denial of this and refuses to accept he is not "the only gay in the village".
Lucas' spokesman confirmed Dowling was undoubtedly his inspiration and Daffyd has become one of the shows favourite characters along with teenage chav Vicky Pollard.
Dowling was just 23 when he became the first gay winner of Big Brother.
Millions of fans voted for the Ryanair cabin crew supervisor who won the hearts of viewers with his hilarious antics and camp behaviour.
Brian, who is the eldest of seven with six sisters, comes from Rathangan, Co Kildare, where his parents Rosie and Gerard still live. He moved to London before entering Big Brother to take up a job with Ryanair.
He proved to be the most popular member of the house with all the contestants except Josh who he was forced to have a "dinner date" with.
During the meal Josh flirted with Brian, tried to get him drunk and then propositioned him - to his horror.
Since winning the contest he has become a children's TV star in the UK and a gay icon.
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