HE BECAME a household name after winning the first Big Brother and appearing on several DIY television shows.
Now Craig Phillips
is putting into practice what he preaches by renovating three run-down Georgian houses in Liverpool, which is costing him more than £1m.
Mr Phillips is working hard to restore the properties, in the Beech Road area of Kensington, to their former glory.
He said: "So far we have redeveloped one house and are working on the second. They have cost £400,000 each. We plan to spend £350,000 on the third house when we start work on it.
"We want to see the area improve and I feel that this is playing a small part. It is difficult because the houses were in such poor condition when we started. The third house was bombed in the Blitz.
"All of the houses will look beautiful when they're finished. I want them to return to their former glory. Obviously, there aren't many who could afford to live in these houses now, but we plan to create 28 new apartments for people to live in."
Mr Phillips is continuing his television work and the building of the first house was filmed for the Conversion TV show on Discovery Realtime, while the third will be filmed for a DVD called Tarmac, a step-by-step guide to modernising houses.
One recent disappointment for the former Big Brother winner was having to sell his Construction Skills company to Carter & Carter after funding difficulties: It's a shame I'm no longer involved but I took it as far as I could. Carter & Carter are one of the best in business, and I'm pleased they took over.
"Nine of the workers I'm using for renovating the Georgian houses are from the scheme so the local community is definitely benefiting and that's what counts."
In the process of renovating the houses, Mr Phillips has also been speaking up for the local community by opposing the construction of a new bed and breakfast, arguing that it would add more traffic problems to an already heavily congested area.
He attended a planning meeting this week and argued that the planned construction be rejected.
The city council's planning committee voted to refuse the planning application and next month will have to decide whether to reaffirm its rejection.
Despite his venture into community campaigning, Mr Phillips said his immediate future is still in television. source