Mum's pride at BB Darnell

DARNELL Swallow's mum today praised Ipswich for supporting her son after he was evicted from the Big Brother final.

DARNELL Swallow's mum today praised Ipswich for supporting her son after he was evicted from the Big Brother final.

The 26-year-old contestant came fifth in last night's showdown with 15 per cent of the public vote.

His mother, Bernadette Mathis said she was proud of his achievements but felt the Ipswich-born albino could have won the £100,000 top prize if he had been more himself.

She said: “From day one, if he had been able to stay nice and have fun and be the Darnell he is, he would had a good chance of winning. But I thought he did really well.”

Darnell spoke to Mrs Mathis while he was out partying last night and told her he was paranoid he might have offended people during some bad-tempered episodes towards the end of the show.

Mrs Mathis said: “He is sorry if he offended anyone because he can get a bit cranky. But the coverage from The Evening Star has been fantastic. Tell Ipswich - thanks for the support!”

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Rachel Rice was the surprise winner of the ninth series of Big Brother, walking away with the £100,000 prize.

The 24-year-old trainee teacher, from Torfaen, south Wales, beat blind Mikey Hughes to win the title.

The result had been too close to call all night, with the bookies' favourite regularly changing.

When her name was announced, Rachel said "Oh my God, no way" and then hugged Mikey and told him "I love you so much.'

Rachel then guided the blind 33-year-old radio producer to the Big Brother door and told him to be careful of the steps.

She won the reality show with 51.3% of the public vote.

Mikey came second in the ninth series of Big Brother with 49.7% of the public vote.

He said he had so many favourite memories from Big Brother and he particularly loved the unscripted nature of the show.

Mikey said he always spoke his mind in the house and stood up to any bullies.

Talking about his blindness he said: "Obviously in the outside world people treat people with blindness differently.

“If anybody gave me negative attitude I would just stand up and say no.”

During the 93 days in the house the Big Brother housemates consumed more than 480 pints of milk, 1,360 teabags, 25 whole halal chickens, 84 1kg bags of brown rice, 686 eggs and 162 cans of cider.

What did you think of this year's Big Brother? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to