Celebrity Big Brother 1 cast now – family death, bankruptcy to Covid backlash

It's been 20 years since the first-ever series of Celebrity Big Brother aired on our screens.

The debut run of the reality TV series launched in 2001 and saw six celebrities take part without any payment in aid of Comic Relief.

The unlikely assortment of contestants which included comedian Jack Dee, soap star Claire Sweeney, boyband member Keith Duffy, TV presenters Anthea Turner and Vanessa Feltz and boxing icon Chris Eubank led to an entirely addictive viewing experience.

But where are they now and what have they been up to since their run in the now-retired Celebrity Big Brother House?

Jack Dee

Comedian Jack Dee brought all the fun to the house with his melancholy outlook and swift one-liners.

His blunt yet adorable personality very quickly led to him being a total fan favourite and he went on the eventually be crowned winner of the week-long series.

Jack, 59, made a move into acting in recent years, and wrote and starred in ITV sitcom Bad Move, which was sadly axed after two seasons.

He is also still a successful comedian in his own right, with a lengthy post-Covid tour all around the UK currently underway.

Claire Sweeney

Runner-up Claire was already a national sweetheart thanks to her run as an actress in popular 90's soap Brookside and her run as a cruise ship singer.

Claire went on to star as legendary Chicago heroine Roxie Hart as well as becoming the face of Marks & Spencer, having a string of hit musical releases, and starring in her fair share of pantos.

Claire, 50, then became a regular panellist on Loose Women and took part in season one of Strictly Come Dancing amongst her countless achievements.

Most recently Claire has launched her own tour alongside fellow former Loose Woman Carol McGiffin, Kate Thornton, and Rustie Lee.

Lunch and Laughs LIVE will see the four girls "sitting around a table and having a good gas, doing a Q&A with the audience, singing a few songs, and doing a bit of cooking".

Keith Duffy

Boyzone star Keith bagged himself a place in the final, finishing third on the night.

With his chart-topping band having just gone their separate ways for a long hiatus the appearance opened many career doors for Keith.

Most notably the Irish heartthrob went on to appear in Coronation Street. The role as Ciaran McCarthy was originally planned for three weeks and ended up being three years long.

These days, after a second successful reunion with Boyzone from 2013 to 2019, Keith, 46, can be found touring alongside former Westlife star Brian McFadden.

Keith and Brian formed their boyband hybrid Boyzlife in 2016 touring for a string of successful dates where they entertain fans with songs from both boybands and stories from their lives on the road.

The boys just started their latest tour with fans delighted to see them back on the road after a three-year break due to the pandemic.

Anthea Turner

Arguably one of the most well-known and successful female TV hosts of the 90's Anthea opted to partake in CBB after her career took a dive in a bid to boost her profile.

However, her fourth-place finish wasn't as lucrative as she had hoped.

The 61-year-old eventually had a career revival in 2006 hosting a series of housewife-targeted BBC Three shows including Anthea Turner: Perfect Housewife and Help Me Anthea I'm Infested.

Anthea divorced her husband of 15 years Grant Bovey in 2015 after he allegedly cheated on her.

She then starred on a special celebrity edition of Channel 4's First Dates in October 2015, in aid of Stand Up to Cancer.

The presenter is now engaged to fiancé Mark Armstrong after a whirlwind romance where he popped the question just two months after their first date.

Anthea recently caused controversy for herself after she got into a Twitter spat with Piers Morgan over her insensitive attitude towards Covid-19 victims in a series of tweets back in February.

At the time she uploaded an image showing two women, one without a mask and one in a wheelchair wearing a mask holding a McDonald’s takeaway bag. A speech bubble on the image read: "Put a mask on! You’re putting my health at risk!"

She then followed up with a second tweet: "Sadly those of us who have genuinely tried to protect the NHS by looking after our bodies are paying the terrible price for those who have chosen lazy lifestyle choices."

Piers then lashed out at her for her "despicable" attitude towards victims of the pandemic.

He said: "What the hell is this? Have you lost your mind, Anthea? You’re blaming 120,000+ covid deaths on the victims being lazy? What a repellent, dumb, and grotesquely offensive attitude. Shame on you."

Vanessa Feltz

Vanessa very famously had a complete meltdown while taking part in the charity run of the show.

The infamous clip of the popular TV host seen wearing sunglasses and scrawling words such as "incarcerated", "ambushed" and "restricted" across the black kitchen table in chalk has been played thousands of times as she has repeatedly been asked to explain the event.

However Vanessa, 59, simply puts the event down to boredom and wanting to get out of the house as she found it dreary.

She was evicted shortly afterwards on day three of the show, finishing in fifth place.

Not put off by her CBB days Vanessa made her return to the Big Brother house in 2010 staying five days as she took part in Ultimate Big Brother.

She now hosts the BBC Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show and the BBC Radio London Breakfast Show.

In 2019 she was one of three women named amongst the 10 highest-paid BBC presenters, with a salary of £355,000.

Chris Eubank

Former boxer Chris Eubank was well known as one of the UK's most coveted boxing exports and is ranked as the third best British super-middleweight boxer of all time.

Following his brief stint in the CBB house, Chris went on to secure a coveted reality TV deal for his family, At Home with the Eubanks, which was subsequently broadcast on Channel 5 in 2003.

Although he was sacked by his own PR agent in 2006 for being "too eccentric" and then declared bankrupt in 2009 owing £1.3million in taxes, Chris, 55, went on to star in I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2015 finishing ninth after 17 days in the jungle.

Chris has also starred alongside his boxer son Chris Jr, 34, in Celebrity Gogglebox in 2019 and again in 2021.

He appeared on Piers Morgan Life stories earlier this year.

Sadly Chris recently lost his son Sebastian, 29, who died on July 9 in Dubai following a heart attack linked to an undiagnosed heart condition the family had no prior knowledge of.

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