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Darren's Days

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He was the bookies' favourite to walk the 'bridge of shame' in the first round of evictions. But Darren beat the odds and proved that he has real staying power when he made it to the final three - for that alone he's a winner.

It's been an up and down experience for the father of three who missed his kids throughout the long ten weeks. But despite this Darren somehow managed to maintain a keen sense of fun, overcome his phobias and even learn to play the guitar.

Right from the start Darren showed that he's not one to be messed with. On arrival he bagged the only double bed in the house. He's well over six-foot so he could, and did, argue that he needed the extra space. And it was probably his imposing stature that prevented anyone from complaining.

But it was Darren's high standards of personal attire, rather than height, which first attracted the attention of his housemates.

On his first night Darren took his time getting ready for bed. Not for him the bedtime boxer shorts attire favoured by the rest of the lads. Image conscious Darren replaced his day clothes with fresh designer underwear. The four other lads found his expensive bedtime outfit hilarious but this was only the start of his Darren's image.

He spent the next few days parading around the house in sunglasses, tight shorts and tiny tops which more than emphasised his toned, bulging muscles - proving that Craig wasn't the only hunk in the house with big pecs.

And of all the guys in the house, Darren had the most lotions and potions. His can't-live-without-beauty-products included body lotion, face cream, hand cream and lip balm to keep him greased up at all times. He was also the only guy to bring dental floss with him and a hairbrush. Look again: Darren is bald. Roumors abound as to what Darren actually uses his brush for but the less said about that the better.

Darren's vanity also provided his housemates with enough ammunition to play the first practical joke on him.

It was Craig who hatched the plan. Telling Darren that Big Brother had ordered him to clean out the chicken coop. Darren was terrified. He has since forged a lifelong friendship with Marjorie the hen but at the time he had a real problem with chickens. His fowl phobia resulting from a childhood incident in Jamaica.

He tried to wriggle out of his task marching into the Diary Room to ask if he could muck them out the following morning. And when Big Brother told him that no such task had been set Darren proved that he could take a joke.

"Who's idea was that then?" he asked grinning nervously before embracing the audacious Scouser.

And that wasn't the last of the Darren jokes.

His habit of whiling away the daylight hours asleep earned him the nickname 'The Count'.

One day, after finally rolling out of bed at 6.20pm he joined the gang in the kitchen to cries of: "Ahh the Prince of Darkness."

It was Darren's love for his children that provided one of the most moving moments in the entire 64 days.

On his daughter's birthday he gathered the housemates into the Diary Room and led them in a chorus of 'Happy Birthday' - certain in the knowledge that it would be screened in one of the daily evening shows.

What he didn't know was that there was a special surprise in store for him later on. Knowing how much his children mean to him, Big Brother arranged a video of his daughter's birthday party to be played in the house. Darren, his housemates and the entire nation were moved to tears.

The group was also stunned to hear how Darren had gone beyond the usual boundaries set out for new dads. When his pregnant girlfriend went into early labour at home he was forced to deliver the baby himself. The midwife arrived just in time to hand Darren a pair of scissors with which to cut the umbilical cord.

But it was during Nasty Nick's downfall that the big man really proved his mettle. When the group finally realised what the scheming one had been up to it was Darren who went into the boys' bedroom and retrieved the bits of paper that proved the shocking extent of Nick's treachery.

And when Nick turned on the water works in a last ditch bid for sympathy, Darren firmly stood his ground saying: "I'm not buying your sob story, it's my turn to manipulate now and I say you should just pack your stuff and go."

Darren also mastered the art of playing the guitar in just 9 weeks. Even though he could barely get a note out of the instrument when he entered the house, he revealed that his true ambition was to follow in the footsteps of R&B star Craig David.

The publicity that goes with such star status is a worry for Darren however, if it is the wrong kind of publicity. One of Darren's nightmares was to leave the house to discover he's become a gay icon. He is terrified of seeing his photo on the cover of Gay Times!

But of all Darren's endearing qualities it will be his Caribbean culinary skills the former housemates miss the most. In fact, in a Diary Room chat, Darren confided to Big Brother that he thinks his public supporters will all want to sample his delectable banana fritters!

Darren resigned himself to the prospect of being evicted a couple of weeks ago. In a reflective moment with Claire, Darren spoke again of how much he missed his kids. "I will be so pleased to get out of here," he stressed, "When I get out I will run and run."

Well this week, so close to the end, Darren has finally got his wish. But he will long be remembered.

Darren is a man of many talents. He can cook, play the guitar, cry on demand, entertain people with his raucous good humour, sleep for an unfeasible length of time and, if the Olympic Games ever creates a burping event, Darren can belch for Britain.

Big Brother is a Bazal production for Channel 4.

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