Big Brother (UK)
The Big Brother 14 eye
Big Brother is a BAFTA Award-winning British reality television game show in which a number of contestants live in an isolated house for several weeks, trying to avoid being evicted by the public with the aim of winning a large cash prize at the end of the run. It is the British version of the Dutch Big Brother television format, which takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Big Brother, along with its spin-off series Celebrity Big Brother, was originally broadcast on Channel 4 from 18 July 2000 (and its subsidiary channel E4, beginning in 2001) until 10 September 2010, after which it was dropped from Channel 4's schedules due to declining ratings. The rights to the programme were acquired by Channel 5 in a two-year contract with Endemol to air on the main channel and subsidiary channel 5*. The re-launched version premiered on 18 August 2011 with a back-to-back series of Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother.
The host of Big Brother for the duration of its run on Channel 4 was Davina McCall, who was replaced by Brian Dowling when the show moved to Channel 5. Marcus Bentley has narrated the show since its inception on Channel 4. Spin-off shows that co-existed with the Channel 4 series were presented by Dermot O'Leary, Russell Brand, George Lamb and Emma Willis, who returned to present the only spin-off show Big Brother's Bit on the Side alongside Jamie East and Alice Levine when the show began on Channel 5. On 2 April 2013, it was announced that Willis would be the main Big Brother presenter.
Over the course of its run, there have been a total of 29 series of Big Brother: fourteen regular series, eleven celebrity series and four special series. Big Brother was filmed at Three Mills Studios in Bow, East London for the first two series, until it moved to Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire in 2002. Currently, Big Brother UK is the third-longest running version of Big Brother, running slightly shorter than the currently-airing Spanish and American versions of the show.
- 1 History
- 2 Format
- 3 Schedule
- 4 Media interest
- 5 Series details and viewership
- 6 Sponsorships
- 7 Shows
- 8 Other spin-offs
- 9 Spoofs, parodies and cultural references
- 10 Controversy and criticism
- 11 Awards and nominations
- 12 Footnotes
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
Channel 4 (2000–2010)
When the show first began in 2000, the program was hosted by Davina McCall. McCall hosted the live eviction shows as well as the first and last episodes of each series, the launch night and live final respectively. At the end of the Channel 4 broadcast in 2010, Davina had presented every single Channel 4 edition of Big Brother (apart from Teen Big Brother, Big Brother Panto and Celebrity Hijack).
Beginning in 2001, Dermot O'Leary presented Big Brother's Little Brother until the end of Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack. O'Leary also took on McCall's role for the Celebrity Hijack and Teen Big Brother series. O'Leary returned on the final night of the Channel 4 broadcasting to host Dermot's Last Supper, which featured him discussing life after Big Brother with former housemates.
George Lamb and Zezi Ifore replaced O'Leary from the start of the 2008 summer series of Big Brother's Little Brother, though Ifore left on 25 July 2008. Lamb remained as the sole presenter until Channel 4's final regular series in 2010, when he was joined by co-host Emma Willis who had previously presented the Big Brother spin-off show Big Brother's Big i, an online programme featured on the Channel 4 website and Big Brother's Big Mouth whilst McCall went into the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2010. On the final night of the Channel 4 broadcasting, Lamb hosted Davina's Big Sendoff to pay tribute to McCall.
Russell Brand presented Big Brother's Big Mouth from its premiere in 2004 until Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. From the 2007 summer series of until the end of Celebrity Big Brother 2009, guest hosts presented the companion show. McCall presented Big Brother's Big Mouth from 2009 until the end of the Channel 4 broadcasting. In 2010, Brand refused to take part in the final night of Channel 4's broadcast of Big Brother, which sparked anger in fans and producers.
Channel 5 (2011–present)
After Richard Desmond bought Channel 5 in 2010, he said he was keen to acquire Big Brother. Meanwhile, Endemol had been granted permission to keep the Big Brother house at the Elstree TV Studios until 30 September 2013.
On 2 April 2011, The Daily Star, a newspaper owned by Desmond's Northern & Shell company, reported that Big Brother would be returning on Channel 5 in August 2011 with a Celebrity edition, followed by a main edition in September. Four days later, Channel 5 formally confirmed that they had signed a £200 million two-year contract with Endemol to screen Big Brother from 18 August 2011. Big Brother 2 winner Brian Dowling was announced as the new host. McCall declined the offer to host, having said goodbye to the show in 2010.
On 3 May 2011, Endemol and Channel 5 officially opened the process for people to apply to be on the show. Open auditions for the new series were held at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester on 10 and 11 June 2011. Auditions were also held in London on 18 and 19 June at the Emirates Stadium. All applicants had to attend the open auditions with identification to be considered for the series and had to be a legal resident of the UK or Ireland and aged 18 or over by 31 July to audition for the show. Big Brother 11 winner Josie Gibson took part in filming at the London auditions meeting potential housemates.
Jeff Brazier and Jenny Frost hosted OK! TV When 'Bruv Takes Over from the compound where viewers gained their first glimpse of the new house on Wednesday 17 August. However the show was axed due to low ratings.
On 14 May 2013, Channel 5 announced a partial reinstatement of the live feed - two hours per day will air during the fourteenth series from 7pm - 9pm on 5* although on 26 June 2013 it was announced that it would be axed from 30 June 2013. In addition, a new live show Big Brother's Bit on the Psych will be broadcast on Saturday Nights which will feature Psychologists analysing the week's house action. Big Brother's Bit on the Side will also be broadcast on a Sunday Lunchtime show, hosted by Rylan Clark.
Following the live final of Big Brother 2013 on 19 August, Emma Willis revealed that the public could begin applying to be a housemate for Big Brother 2014 (the shows fifteenth series) at bigbrotheruauditions.com. The application process (viewers sending in their video applications) is expected to be launched in December 2013 in comparison to the previous year. It is still unclear whether open auditions will be held for the next series.
In September 2013, the Borehamwood Council announced they would allow the Big Brother house to remain at its current location until at least Autumn 2018. However, there is yet to be any confirmation from Endemol or Channel 5 whether they will continue the show for another 5 years despite permission being granted.
Celebrity Big Brother
Originally created as a one-off tie-in series by Channel 4 in association with the BBC's Comic Relief charity telethon, Celebrity Big Brother is now a full spin-off of Big Brother, formerly shown on Channel 4, S4C and internet live streaming and downloading, backed up with email and SMS text news reports to subscribers. The Channel 4 series was broadcast in January, whilst the re-booted version on Channel 5 will now air every January and every autumn whilst they have the rights to the show.
The series features a number of celebrity contestants living in the Big Brother House, trying to avoid eviction by the public with the aim of winning a large cash prize to be donated to the winner's nominated charity at the end of the run. The show uses the same house and presenters as the non-celebrity version of the most recent series, but the time length is shorter than a normal Big Brother series. The celebrities are normally paid for their appearances, on the proviso that they do not voluntarily leave.
The first Celebrity Big Brother was aired nightly on Channel 4 from 9 March 2001 with the finale broadcast live on BBC One on Comic Relief night in 2001. Subsequent Celebrity Big Brothers have not involved the BBC or Comic Relief in any way, and the charities involved are given far less publicity than in the first series.
The series took a break for Teen Big Brother: The Experiment, which was shown in 2003 and given a revised repeat in 2004, between 2005 and 2007 it was a regular part of Channel 4's winter schedule until in 2008 it was withdrawn due to the previous series' racism controversy and replaced by Celebrity Hijack, the series then returned in 2009 and 2010 for the seventh and final time on Channel 4 ending on 29 January 2010.
The series returned on 18 August 2011, this time on Channel 5 with its eighth series. The series then returned in 2012 for its ninth and tenth series, and in 2013 with series eleven and twelve.
A thirteenth and fourteenth series will air on Channel 5 in 2014, however it is unclear whether a fifthteenth series will follow in January 2015 due to the channels contract with Endemol expiring after the fourteenth series.
Big Brother is a game show in which a group of contestants, called housemates (in Big Brother 10, contestants had to earn their housemate status), live in isolation from the outside world in a custom built "house", which includes everyday facilities such as a fully equipped kitchen, garden, bedroom, bathroom and, from 2005, a task room. The house is also a television studio with dozens of cameras and microphones in most of the rooms to record the activities of the housemates. The only place where housemates can escape the company of the other contestants is the Diary Room, where they are encouraged to voice their true feelings. Not all Diary Room footage is broadcast due to the privacy of the contestants.
Each week all housemates nominate two of their fellow contestants for potential eviction. Failure to do so may result in a punishment, such as a reduction in the prize fund. The two, or more, housemates with the highest number of nominations face a public vote conducted by phone, with the contestant receiving the most votes being evicted from the house. Occasionally more than one housemate may be evicted in a week. The last contestant remaining in the house is declared the winner and is awarded a cash prize. From 2000 to 2003, the prize fund was £70,000. From 2004 until 2010 the prize fund increased to £100,000. Since the show has been on Channel 5 the prize fund changed for both the 2011 (£50,900 won by Aaron) and 2012 (£50,000 won by Luke A as Conor McIntyre walked with the other 50k) series.
The main television coverage takes the form of a daily highlights programme.
On eviction night, Big Brother plays crowd noise into the house so that housemates are unable to hear the outside crowd; this is done in order to enforce the rule of "no contact with the outside world." During its run on Channel 4, Davina would reveal the results to the housemates at the end of the first show. Starting with the third eviction of Big Brother 10, the results were revealed at the beginning of the second show.
Big Brother House, this is Davina. You are live on Channel 4; please do not swear. (nominated housemates' names), the lines are closed; the votes have been counted and verified, and I can now reveal that the nth person to be evicted from the Big Brother House is...(evicted housemate's name). you have 30 seconds to say your goodbyes; I'm coming to get you!
When the results were revealed to the housemates in the first show, the evicted housemate then had a certain amount of time to prepare themselves to leave the house. Big Brother 1 allotted two hours for the evicted housemate to pack their suitcase and prepare to leave. Big Brother 2, they were given an hour and a half, and then over the course of the following few series they were given 30 minutes to prepare themselves for their exit whilst the show went on a break; however, starting in Big Brother 5, nominated housemates packed their suitcases before the live eviction show aired, and unlike previous series, they did not leave with their luggage. Thus, the 30 minutes were merely just conversation amongst the housemates.
At the start of the second show, Davina would then speak to the house again – or for the first time in the last few series on Channel 4; revealing the results first – and ask the evicted housemate to leave. The housemate then has only a few moments (more or less thirty seconds) to say their goodbyes and leave. Upon leaving the house, the evicted housemate is greeted by the crowd (who either boos or cheers for them depending on their popularity), taken past a bank of paparazzos, and led to a nearby studio to be interviewed about their time in the house.
During series 5, Davina interviewed evicted housemates in front of the crowd for the first few weeks. The noisy and rambunctious crowd made it difficult at times for housemates to hear McCall, and this also proved unpopular with viewers; since then, all interviews have been held indoors. From series 5 onwards, all housemates evicted on the final night were interviewed in front of the crowd with the exception of Celebrity Big Brother 5 (due to the heightened tension around the controversial events that took place). The final series of Big Brother on Channel 4 had all eviction interviews done outside amongst the crowd.
When the show moved to Channel 5, the eviction studio was relocated outside in a purpose-built eye shaped portable just at the end of the stage. This was done because Endemol was not able to gain access to the George Lucas Stage, where interviews were previously held, in time for the show's relaunch.
Brian used an altered spiel to reveal the results to the housemates:
Big Brother House, this is Brian. (Nominated housemates' names), your time has come. For the last (time since voting lines opened), the Great British public have been voting to save. I can now reveal that the housemate with the fewest/least votes, and who's the nth to be evicted is...(evicted housemate's name). (Evicted housemate's name), you've lost your place in(side) the Big Brother House. You have 30 seconds to say your goodbyes.
Emma has been using a shorter, but altered spiel to reveal the eviction result:
Big Brother House, this is Emma. (Nominated housemates' names); the viewers have spoken, your fate is sealed. For the last (time since voting lines opened), the British public have been voting to evict; And I can now reveal the housemate with the most votes, and the nth to be evicted is...(evicted housemate's name). (Evicted housemate's name), you've lost your place in the Big Brother House. You have 30 seconds to say your goodbyes.
The current Channel 5 series has constantly altered its eviction shows. During Celebrity Big Brother 8, there was only a sole one-hour eviction show, in which the results were revealed and the evicted housemate left immediately. During Big Brother 12, the first few evictions had two shows, with Brian revealing the results in the first show, and the evicted housemate being asked to leave in the second show one hour later. In successive weeks (and in Celebrity Big Brother 9), the one-show eviction was reinstated (albeit a little longer than one hour), with Brian revealing the results, and the evicted housemate leaving immediately or after five minutes' time.
Occasionally, Big Brother will bypass the prescribed eviction process and remove housemates in a variety of other ways. For example, Big Brother will ask housemates to vote to evict their least favourite nominated housemate, evict nominated housemates through the Diary Room without other housemates realising that an eviction had taken place, and evict multiple housemates at the same time. These twists are more common towards the end of a series.
Live Final and the winner
At the beginning of the Live Final, a small number of housemates remained in the house (anywhere from 3 to 7) after surviving numerous evictions. The public were asked to vote for their favourite surviving housemate to win a cash prize and be crowned the winner of Big Brother. Voting lines were suspended at intervals during the show to reveal runners-up. Housemates finishing lower than third place were evicted without delay and interviewed by the presenter. Once the second runner-up had been revealed, the show took a break, before returning half an hour later to allow the third place housemate to be evicted and interviewed. The winner was then announced. The first runner-up then left the house and was interviewed, followed by the winner, who was usually treated and greeted to a cheering crowd and a firework display before their interview.
Over the years, the Big Brother Diary Room chair has evolved from simplicity in Big Brother 1 up until an alpine-style chair in the 'Celebrity Big Brother 9. The Diary Room is used as a room of confession where the housemates can talk to Big Brother about any issues in the house, or something that is worrying that particular housemate. The Diary Room is also used once a week for the housemates weekly nominations.
In the Diary Room, housemates are allowed to privately tell Big Brother about their issues and worries about other housemates, as well as ask Big Brother for items for the house. The Diary Room is also used by Big Brother when Big Brother needs to speak to individual housemates alone for any reason. Some of the housemates are comfortable enough in the Diary Room to discuss personal feelings, issues and even general personal business not relating to the house. The Diary Room is also the only room in the house not shown on live streaming in order to protect the housemates' privacy. However, some conversations in the Diary Room will appear in highlights shows, especially if they pertain to an event or situation within the house.
When housemates request items such as cleaning materials, alcohol or extra cigarettes (at the discretion of Big Brother), they are either delivered via the Diary Room, the storage room or a delivery hatch sometimes located in the main House. Instructions and items for tasks are also delivered via the Diary Room.
In the past, notably in Big Brother 5's 'Fight Night' and Big Brother 9's 'Fight Night II', it was necessary for Big Brother to use the Diary Room as a means of removing aggressive housemates from potentially violent situations.
Open auditions have been held around the UK and Ireland since Big Brother 5. Before this, auditionees had to send audition tapes to the producers. From the tenth series the people who wanted to audition could also audition on YouTube, where people could record their audition and put it on the Big Brother YouTube channel, although a majority of the people chosen for stage 2 of the auditions are picked from the open auditions.
On the launch night, anywhere from upwards of 10 housemates enter the Big Brother house. In the first two series, housemates entered the house in the morning, with the launch show premiering the next day. However, starting in the third series, a live launch with Davina McCall was implemented, a format that continued throughout until the show's end on Channel 4. Starting with the first celebrity series, an opening night twist was introduced to make the show more interesting from the start.
Launch night twists
|Two||Phone lines opened for viewers to select one of three potential housemates who would move into the Big Brother House the day after the first eviction took place.|
|Three||As opposed to housemates nominating, and the public voting to evict, the roles were reversed in Week 1. After the housemates moved in, voting lines opened for viewers to nominate a housemate. The two housemates with the most votes would face an eviction vote by their fellow housemates, who would then decide which one to evict.|
|Four||On launch night, a mere hour after moving in, the housemates were forced to nominate one housemate based on first impressions. Any housemate that received at least one nomination vote faced eviction.|
|Five||Housemates did not receive their suitcases on launch night, as part of the evil twist. They were then asked to vote the next day for the housemate who they felt was least deserving of their suitcase; this housemate would never receive their suitcase for the duration of their stay.|
|Six||The twist on launch night was Unlucky 13, in reference to the number of housemates who entered the house on Launch Night. The housemate who entered the Diary Room first was given a secret task to get the most nominations; success would mean immunity from the first eviction and the decision as to who would face eviction instead, but failure would mean automatically being up for eviction.|
|Seven||On launch night, housemates were not given their suitcases. In order to retrieve them, they had to be chosen to be a member of a special club called the Big Brotherhood. Membership also meant immunity from the first eviction. Failure to join the club would result in facing the public vote and no suitcase for the entire duration of their stay in the house.|
|Eight||Eleven female housemates entered the house on launch night; one male entered the house on Day 3, followed by two more on Day 10.|
|Nine||A real-life couple entered the Big Brother House. After being joined by two other housemates, they were called into the Diary Room and were given a secret task of hiding the real relationship, and faking another one. Success would mean immunity and the other housemates would face eviction, whilst failure would result in the four facing eviction.|
|Ten||The sixteen people chosen by Big Brother to move into the house on launch night were informed that they were non-housemates, and to gain housemate status, they had to perform various tasks. Those who did not succeed in the tasks faced a public vote on Day 4.|
|Eleven||Eighty-one hopefuls constituting the short-list stood outside the Big Brother House on launch night, hoping to be a housemate. Big Brother then decided which thirteen would enter the house. A fourteenth housemate was chosen at random, and given a secret task to wreak havoc on the house as a mole in order to guarantee his stay in the house.|
|Twelve||A special guest, Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson, entered the house on the night before the live launch. Anderson was set a series of tasks that she undertook with the housemates, such as speed dating and having VIP parties. After the tasks, Anderson had to choose which housemate she felt performed the best, but was unaware that whoever she chose to win the task granted them immunity from the first eviction.|
|Thirteen||The first housemate – selected at random to enter the house – was granted immunity from the first eviction, but was forced to nominate three housemates face-to-face based solely on first impressions, still giving full and frank reasons for their nominations. Those three housemates would face a public vote, where one of them would be evicted on Day 4.|
|Fourteen||One 'housemate' was revealed as a non-housemate, who would be entering the house as "The People's Puppet", an actor hired by Big Brother to be controlled by the viewers, as part of the series' Secrets and Lies theme.|
The housemates can be addressed by Big Brother through a PA system located within the house, and when the housemates are addressed by Big Brother, it always refers to itself in the third person. Big Brother has several voices and is usually referred to as male, although his voices can be either male or female, depending on which member of the production crew is taking on the role at that time. Big Brother is also emotionless and will address housemates with objectivity, although it is sensitive and empathetic in difficult times for housemates. At all times, Big Brother's decisions are Final.
From series 1 to series 4, housemates had their suitcases, which contained their own clothes and personal items, delivered to them the day after they arrived. Since series 5, housemates are forbidden from taking reading material, religious books (though leeway is often given), branded items (unless covered), writing material (sometimes even cosmetics that can possibly be used to write), and other contraband items into the House. Suitcases are scrutinised by Big Brother before they are delivered. In the past, housemates have been allowed one luxury item, including musical instruments and alcohol, but these have also been banned. Once suitcases have been unpacked, they are then taken away again. However, in some instances Big Brother will not deliver suitcases as punishment for breaking the rules, or may also use them as a reward for completing tasks set by Big Brother.
Life in the House
Over the duration of the series, the housemates are given a series of tasks by Big Brother which test them in many ways. They are also put to the test by their own ideals, prejudices and opinions against other people from different walks of life; something that has survived from the original "social experiment" of Big Brother 1. They live in the communal House and share cooking and cleaning chores among themselves, which usually provides plenty of tension. Housemates are forbidden to sleep during daylight hours (unless unwell) – Big Brother plays the wake-up call persistently in the morning if housemates do not wake up and will play an alarm clock noise into the house if a housemate falls asleep during the day. Housemates must also live by the fundamental rules of Big Brother; if the rules are broken it can result in formal warnings, various punishments or even a housemate's removal from the House.
Each week Big Brother sets the housemates a task in order to determine the shopping budget for the following week. They must work together to win the tasks in order to win a luxury shopping budget of £5 per head per day. If they lose, they will only receive a basic shopping budget of £1 per head per day. If all food runs out in the House, Big Brother provides emergency rations of chickpeas and rice. Housemates are responsible for their own shopping and decide which items the budget will allow them to have. Only a small percentage of the overall budget can be spent on alcohol, and Big Brother delivers the alcohol separately in increments as a reward for tasks or a treat after Evictions – this rule was introduced after a number of violent altercations between drunken housemates in earlier series. Shopping is usually delivered on Thursday afternoon after the remainder of the previous week's food has been removed via the Store Room. Big Brother provides packed lunches for the interim period. However, during Celebrity Big Brother 2011 (UK), a task was set for Jedward to go to a real supermarket (Lidl) and retrieve the shopping for the housemates.
Each week, usually on a Monday, the housemates are individually called to the Diary Room by Big Brother in alphabetical order, where they must nominate two fellow housemates for eviction privately.
They must provide full and frank reasons for nominating their chosen housemates and cannot nominate themselves. Once all housemates (or all housemates eligible to nominate) have nominated, the two or more housemates with the most nominations are then put to the public vote, where the housemate or housemates with the most votes are evicted in a live Friday night eviction. The nominations are not revealed to the housemates by Big Brother until the day after the nominations process, usually a Tuesday, when voting has already begun (except with Big Brother 11, when voting did not begin until after nominations had been revealed, due to the 'Save and Replace' task, which allowed a nominated housemate to replace themselves with another housemate). On a Friday afternoon, nominated housemates have their suitcases delivered to them so they may pack in anticipation of the evening's eviction.
A strictly enforced rule is that housemates are not to discuss nominations. This includes telling other housemates who they have nominated, who they will or might nominate in future weeks, or speculating as to who will nominate who. Violation of this rule will result in a punishment on the offending housemate, or on the entire House; such examples include a probationary warning, a ban on nominating that week, automatically facing the public vote, or the entire House except the offending housemate facing the public vote. This rule has been relaxed in certain series: in series 9, a Nominations Pod was installed in the garden and was the only place where housemates could discuss nominations with each other; anywhere else resulted in severe punishment. In Series 10, after numerous violations, Big Brother temporarily removed the rule regarding nominations, but reinstated it for the final celebrity and civilian series on Channel 4. Celebrity Big Brother 8, the first celebrity series on Channel 5, had housemates given permission by Big Brother to discuss nominations for the first week only. This was continued in Big Brother 12 from the fifth week onwards and into Celebrity Big Brother 9. For two weeks of series 13, the rule was completely removed, but after numerous complaints by viewers, it was reinstated in the second week.
Each highlight show features the events that happened in the previous day in the house. On the Live Eviction Shows, the housemates are evicted the same day as the results are shown, and the highlight show from the next day will often show their eviction again (without the interview.) The highlights show was originally aired in an 11pm half-hour slot when the first series was launched before being moved to 10pm halfway through. The show retained this 10pm half-hour slot until it was extended to fifty minutes during Big Brother 5 and 6. The seventh series saw the launch of hour-long shows at 9pm. For Big Brother 8 only, there was no Saturday show. Instead Sunday's episode was split in half to show highlights from Friday and Saturday. During the Channel 4 era, the show was repeated on E4 later in the day during the afternoon. Friday's half-hour live episode was repeated Saturday mornings on Channel 4's T4 and then repeated Saturday evening on E4 and in the T4 and E4 repeats, housemate entrances and exits were generally edited so that they go dark to light, and also they slow down some of the action. This however can cause severe ghosting in the picture. It is possible this was done to lower the risk of flashing cameras to people who sufferer from photosensitive epilepsy, even though Channel 4 does not broadcast with low brightness. Since then the scheduling had been erratic, with 10 pm highlights shows extended to seventy minutes and 8 pm, 9pm and 9.30 pm shows kept to one hour. Each night's show was repeated the next morning on Channel 4, during their breakfast schedule.
The Channel 5 highlights show is generally shown at 10 pm, with the Friday night eviction at 9 pm, followed by the live eviction show and interview at 11 pm. Through the week, the highlights show is repeated at 12.15 pm on Channel 5, followed by another repeat on 5* at 4 pm. Times vary for the weekend repeats.
In all cases, the repeat showing is a repeat of the previous evening's show that is slightly censored in compliance with the pre-watershed broadcasting regulations.
Channel 4 had made available live pictures and audio from the Big Brother House. However, approximately a 10-minute delay was in place so that audio and/or pictures could be censored to comply with TV regulations. This was also obvious when housemates discussed the time in the Big Brother House and when they did so the time was commonly 10–15 minutes behind than the time of viewing.
During Big Brother 5, the live transmission from the house was cut for about an hour after a large fight involving most of the housemates broke out one night. Security guards had to be sent in to calm the situation down before live transmission from the house resumed.
From Big Brother 10, the live Internet streaming was axed due to small uptake of subscriptions in past series.
In 2010, fans were required to pay for Live Feed as a subcription.
In January 2012, Channel 5 introduced a new spin-off show, named Celebrity Big Brother: Live from the House, is listed to be broadcast after every eviction show of Celebrity Big Brother 9, at 10pm on sister channel 5*. The show featured 30-minute live streaming from the Big Brother House, but it was actually a 60-minute show. It returned for Big Brother 13, renamed Big Brother: Live from the House, as a 30-minute show on 6 July 2012 (four weeks into the series). An episode, featuring live nominations, on 17 August 2012 pulled in 2.22 million viewers at 10pm on Channel 5. This slightly outrated the nights highlights show which took 2.18 million viewers. These two episodes were broadcast during the Celebrity Big Brother 10 series.
In May 2013, Channel 5 announced the Live Feed would return partially in the form of daily shows lasting for two hours. They will air on 5* each day from 7pm - 9pm. Live streaming was also available after both launch nights from 11.30 to 12am and after every eviction show at the same time. On 30 June 2013 the live streaming on 5* was axed. However, later on the live feed was moved to nighttime from midnight (11:30pm on Sundays) on channel5.com.
For the first two series, the house was located in Bow, London near to the 3 Mills Studios. After planning permission expired in 2002, Newham London Borough Council ordered the complex to be returned to a natural habitat. The house has been located at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire since Big Brother 3 in 2002.
The house is currently built behind the studios on the site of a large water tank previously used in the production of various films in the past and is overlooked by the studio offices. The house has substantial security in place including fencing, security patrols and dog units to protect the premise of "no contact from the outside world". However people could previously shout to the housemates in the garden via a road located near the house, once Channel 5 took over the show in 2011 they added a sound-proof fence around the house meant to prevent all noise from the outside world entering the house. Whenever such incidents occur, Big Brother will ban the housemates from using the garden and ensure that they are locked in the house to prevent them from hearing what is being shouted. It has been reported that the Big Brother house has higher and better levels of security than Buckingham Palace, after the lobbyist group Fathers 4 Justice gained entry to Buckingham Palace in 2004, but a similar effort to raid the Big Brother House was foiled days later.
The interior design of the house changes each year to suit the theme of the series. For example, the Big Brother 5 house was claustrophobic, with harsh colour schemes to reflect the Evil Big Brother theme, while Big Brother 8 had an "Inside Out" theme with kitchen appliances, washing facilities and dining areas located in the wrong rooms or areas of the House. The Celebrity Big Brother 7 theme was "Hell lies in others," so aspects of the house revolved around that theme, with red furniture, skulls, and clowns.
The house is situated just metres from The George Lucas Stage, where it was previously used for the eviction studio and the reality gallery for all of the series from Big Brother 3 onwards until Celebrity Big Brother 8.
Series 3 of Big Brother introduced the Saturday night "Big Brother: Live Task", which would determine on which side of the Rich/Poor divide individual housemates would live for the forthcoming week. The Live Tasks were continued throughout Big Brother 4, with winners treated to a hidden "Reward Room" for the evening. Live Saturday evening Tasks were discontinued during Series 5. In the penultimate week of Series 9 there was a live task. Housemates had to nominate face to face using cue cards. The two housemates nominated then went on to play a game where they could win £50,000. The final series on Channel 4 featured several live tasks that took place during the second eviction show; they were often shopping tasks. On Day 60 of Series 13, the conclusion of the White Room task was broadcast live on Channel 5 during the eviction show. This saw Conor McIntyre leave the house with £50,000.
Big Brother UK has one of the most known logos in the world. The Big Brother logo is an eye that indicates that "Big Brother is always watching you". The first UK series used a live human eye, in particular, that of Big Brother 1 contestant Melanie Hill. Since Big Brother 2 the logo of every Channel 4 series was designed by Daniel Eatock. Since Big Brother 5, the title sequence has left out the title. Celebrity Big Brother 2010 was the first series since the first to use a real eye, and also the first celebrity series not to base its logo on the previous summer's series. Big Brother 2010 used a design with flowers and petals to mark the end of Big Brother on Channel 4.
For the programme's twelfth series and onwards Channel 5 used an eye designed by in-house design house Hello Charlie. This comprises a pared-down, cartoon-like elliptical eye with a colourful iris. The middle of the eye "swipes" to reveal the Channel 5 logo in keeping with the current idents. On the launch night, the logo came to life as a 3D futuristic eye with a planet-like iris and lots of colour and movement. A new updated version of the 2011 Big Brother eye is being used for Celebrity Big Brother 2012 with a star implemented in the middle with dashes of lightning. On 7 May 2012, Channel 5 previewed a revamped Big Brother eye for the 13th series which is the same shape as the 2011 eye but a multicoloured version. The Celebrity Big Brother 2013 eye was the same shape but had a winter style to match the theme of the series. For the 14th series of Big Brother the logo the vibrant eye sported a pupil built entirely of television screens, whilst the rest of the eye consisted of life-sized recycled doors, furniture and white fluorescent lights to coincide with the theme of the series: Secrets and Lies.
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The theme tune was written and produced by Elementfour, a collaboration between Paul Oakenfold and Andy Gray. It was released as a single in September 2000 and got to Number Four in the UK Singles Chart. The single was also the lead single from the double album soundtrack, released in 2000. The longest version of the theme tune lasts 10 minutes and 2 seconds (10:02), the 12" mix. Two versions of the tune were used for the opening titles. The original tune was used from 2000 to 2004. A newer version of the tune is currently in use since 2005. However, the original version continues to be in use for the intro to the show and some promos for eviction night. A Christmas remix of the theme tune was used for Big Brother Panto in 2004. Two promo variations of the theme were recorded during Channel 4's final year of the show, a symphonic version for Celebrity Big Brother, and a carnival style theme for the funeral promo before Big Brother 2010. Whilst the symphonic version was never used for the series main, the carnival version was used for Ultimate Big Brother, played out at the end of the final episode on Channel 4. It was played by a live band.
Series 1–6 of Big Brother (2000–2005) and four corresponding series of Celebrity Big Brother (except the Big Brother Panto) were among the very few newly made programmes on mainstream British terrestrial television that were broadcast in the old (narrow) 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the by then more common 16:9 widescreen format. From Big Brother 7 (2006) the 16:9 format was adopted.
In 2011, Big Brother began broadcasting in HD after its move to Channel 5. Big Brother can also be viewed on Demand 5, Channel 5's catchup service.
Big Brother is highly publicised in the United Kingdom:tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines cover the series. The show has also made headlines on television news channels. After leaving the house housemates usually remain newsworthy for only a short time. Endemol gives housemates a choice of agents when leaving the House. Some have gone on to have their own reality TV shows, perfumes, DVDs, singles, columns and more; some appear in magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and television programmes; they may attend film premieres and other red carpet events. For most, fame generally declines shortly after the series finale.
Ex-housemates who remained in the public eye include Jade Goody, who died in 2009; Brian Dowling, who does television presenting and voiceover work; Kate Lawler, who worked as a television presenter on Channel 4 programme RI:SE, and as of 2010[update] was a presenter for Kerrang Radio; Chanelle Hayes, who released her own single, launched her own perfume, had a part in another reality show and had 2008's third-best selling calendar; Jon Tickle, who went on to present 6 series of the Sky 1 show Brainiac: Science Abuse; and Alison Hammond, who as of 2013[update] is a presenter on ITV's This Morning.
A number of books have been written about Big Brother, including books about the show itself such as Big Brother: The Inside Story By Narinder Kaur (ISBN 978-0-7535-1294-4) and Big Brother: The Official Unseen Story By Jean Ritchie (ISBN 978-0-7522-1912-7), and books about the psychology of the show, such as The Psychology of Big Brother by Dan Jones (ISBN 978-1-4092-2825-7) and Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language by Geoffrey Beattie (ISBN 978-0-415-30810-6).
Jade Goody: Ultimate Housemate
Ultimate Big Brother final, a 15-minute documentary entitled Jade Goody: Ultimate Housemate was shown in memory of Big Brother contestant Jade Goody, who died on 22 March 2009 following a short battle with cervical cancer. Goody first appeared in Big Brother 3 in 2002, Celebrity Big Brother 5 and Big Brother Panto and the second season of Bigg Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother.
Series details and viewership
Channel 4 (2000–2010)
|Series||Launch date||Finale date||Days||Housemates||Winner||Prize money||Average viewers
|Big Brother 1||18 July 2000||15 September 2000||
|Big Brother 2||25 May 2001||27 July 2001||Brian Dowling||55|
|Big Brother 3||24 May 2002||26 July 2002||
|Big Brother 4||23 May 2003||25 July 2003||
|Big Brother 5||28 May 2004||6 August 2004||
|Big Brother 6||27 May 2005||12 August 2005||
|Big Brother 7||18 May 2006||18 August 2006||
|Big Brother 8||30 May 2007||31 August 2007||
|Big Brother 9||5 June 2008||5 September 2008||
|Big Brother 10||4 June 2009||4 September 2009||
|Big Brother 11||9 June 2010||24 August 2010||
Channel 5 (2011–present)
|Series||Launch date||Finale date||Days||Housemates||Winner||Prize money||Average viewers
|Big Brother 12||9 September 2011||11 November 2011||64||15||Aaron Allard-Morgan||£50,990||1.6||71|
|Big Brother 13||5 June 2012||13 August 2012||70||17||Luke Anderson||£50,000||73|
|Big Brother 14||13 June 2013||19 August 2013||68||14||Sam Evans||£100,000||1.9||69|
|Big Brother 15||Summer 2014|
|Series||Launch date||Finale date||Days||Housemates||Winner||Channel||Average viewers
|Teen Big Brother||13 October 2003||17 October 2003||10||8||Paul Brennan||Channel 4||2.6||5|
|Big Brother Panto||20 December 2004||5 January 2005||11||10||none||E4||N/A||12|
|Ultimate Big Brother||24 August 2010||10 September 2010||18||14||Brian Dowling||Channel 4||3.1||22|
Channel 4 (2000–2010)
|Big Brother 1||Southern Comfort||N/A||2000|
|Big Brother 2||BT Cellnet||It's the Buzz||2001|
|Big Brother 3||O
|Get Connected||See note 1||2002|
|Big Brother 4||2003|
|Teen Big Brother|
|Big Brother 5||TalkTalk||Get Together||2004|
|Big Brother Panto||2004–05|
|Big Brother 6||2005|
|Big Brother 7||The Carphone Warehouse||2006|
|Big Brother 8||Virgin Media||For a Happy House||See note 2||2007|
|Big Brother 9||Virgin Mobile||See note 3||2008|
|Big Brother 10||Lucozade Energy||Little Brother vs. Big Brother||2009|
|Big Brother 11||Freederm||Skincare for spot-prone skin||2010|
|Ultimate Big Brother|
Channel 5 (2011–present)
|Big Brother 12||Freederm||Well worth a closer look||2011|
|Big Brother 13||Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL||If you've got the attitude we've got the colour||2012|
|Big Brother 14||SuperCasino||Feel it for real||See note 4||2013|
- ^1 BT Cellnet changed its name to O2, the sponsor is therefore the same as the previous series
- ^2 The cost of this sponsorship was £2.5 million
- ^3 Although the change of the name of the sponsor, it is still the same company and the same sponsor adverts were used
- ^4 This sponsorship is only shown after 9.00pm
Teen Big Brother
Teen Big Brother was a special version of Big Brother where eight 18-year olds live in the Big Brother House for ten days. Presented by Big Brother's Little Brother host Dermot O'Leary and narrated by Marcus Bentley, the series aired in October 2003 on Channel 4 and E4. Unlike all other Big Brother series, Teen Big Brother was pre-recorded and shown some months after the contestants had left the house.
Big Brother Panto
E4 and T4 broadcast the special Big Brother Panto series, bringing together ten members of the various Big Brother series to perform a pantomime of Cinderella. It was presented by Jeff Brazier and June Sarpong and narrated by Marcus Bentley. It was broadcast from 20 December 2004 to 5 January 2005.
Ultimate Big Brother
Ultimate Big Brother was the final series of Big Brother to air on Channel 4. It started on 24 August 2010, immediately following the finale of Big Brother 11, and ended on 10 September 2010, lasting for 18 days. The series was created as a final 'send-off' to Big Brother as it was the final series to be shown on Channel 4. Hosted by Davina McCall, the special edition consisted of the winner of Big Brother 2010 and several housemates from both Celebrity Big Brother and the regular series of Big Brother. As a result, Brian Dowling triumphed and was crowned winner of Ultimate Big Brother with 49.2% of the public vote. The runner-up was Nikki Grahame and third place was awarded to Chantelle Houghton.
Spoofs, parodies and cultural references
In the UK, Big Brother has been satirised and spoofed by many comedians including Alan Carr, Justin Lee Collins and Ricky Gervais. Big Brother has also been lampooned on programmes such as The Friday Night Project, the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf", and Extras.
In July 2008 Revels chocolates started a Big Brother-style eviction campaign where one flavour from the bag would be replaced by a special limited edition flavour not yet announced, with voting on a website. The most-disliked flavour was coffee, with nearly half the votes cast. Raisin received around 25%, with the remaining votes spread fairly evenly among the other flavours; the coffee flavour was replaced by strawberry.
In October 2008, E4 aired Dead Set, a five-part horror series written by Charlie Brooker, and set during a fictional series of Big Brother. It features a zombie outbreak decimating the population of Britain, forcing the housemates and some of the production staff to seek shelter in the Big Brother House, which has seemingly become one of the only safe places left in Britain. The show features a selection of previous Big Brother housemates and host Davina McCall playing themselves. A few of the cast, including McCall, also played cameos as zombies.
Controversy and criticism
Since it began in 2000, the concept and implementation of Big Brother has been the subject of controversy and criticism among the British public and media. There have been various investigations by numerous organisations, including TV watchdogs and the police.
Awards and nominations
Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother were nominated for and won several awards during its time on Channel 4. However the series hasn't been nominated for any major awards since its move to Channel 5 in 2011. Celebrity Big Brother and host Brian Dowling have been longlisted for the National Television Awards in 2012 and 2013 however both never made the final shortlist of nominations on the night.
|2001||British Academy Television Awards||Innovation Award||Big Brother 1||Won|
|National Television Awards 2001||Most Popular Factual Programme||Big Brother 2||Won|
|2002||National Television Awards 2002||Most Popular Factual Programme||Big Brother 3||Won|
|National Television Awards 2002||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Davina McCall||Nominated|
|2003||National Television Awards 2003||Most Popular Factual Programme||Big Brother 4||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2003||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Davina McCall||Nominated|
|2004||National Television Awards 2004||Most Popular Reality Programme||Big Brother 5||Won|
|National Television Awards 2004||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Davina McCall||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2004||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Dermot O'Leary||Nominated|
|2005||National Television Awards 2005||Most Popular Reality Programme||Big Brother 6||Won|
|National Television Awards 2005||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Davina McCall||Nominated|
|2006||National Television Awards 2006||Most Popular Reality Programme||Big Brother 7||Won|
|National Television Awards 2006||Most Popular Reality Programme||Celebrity Big Brother 4||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2006||Most Popular TV Contender||Nikki Grahame||Won|
|National Television Awards 2006||Most Popular TV Contender||Pete Bennett||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2006||Most Popular TV Contender||Chantelle Houghton||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2006||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Davina McCall||Nominated|
|2007||British Academy Television Awards||Pioneer Audience Award||Celebrity Big Brother 5||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2007||Most Popular Entertainment Programme||Big Brother 8||Nominated|
|2008||National Television Awards 2008||Most Popular Entertainment Programme||Big Brother 9||Nominated|
|2009||Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Sexiest Male||Stuart Pilkington||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Sexiest Male||Dale Howard||Won|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Love to Hate Award||Rex Newmark||Won|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Best Reality TV Moment||Luke Marsden and Rebecca Shiner kiss||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Most Memorable Moment||Mohamed and Kathreya's eviction||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Best Host||Davina McCall||Won|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Best Reality Show||Big Brother 9||Nominated|
|Digital Spy Reality TV Awards 2009||Reality TV Legend Award||Davina McCall||Won|
|2010||National Television Awards 2010||Most Popular Entertainment Programme||Big Brother 10||Nominated|
|2011||National Television Awards 2011||Most Popular Entertainment Presenter||Davina McCall||Nominated|
|National Television Awards 2011||Most Popular Entertainment Programme||Big Brother 11||Nominated|
- "Big Brother starts watching". BBC News. 14 July 2000.
- "Former air steward Brian Dowling wins last Big Brother". BBC News. 10 September 2010.
- Sweney, Mark; Holmwood, Leigh (26 August 2009). "Big Brother axed by Channel 4".
- "Big Brother comes to Channel 5". The Guardian. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Channel 5, Endemol confirm BB return
- "Big Brother 2011: launch date revealed". The Guardian (London). 3 August 2011.
- Halliday, Josh (22 July 2011). "Big Brother: Brian Dowling to host Channel 5 series". The Guardian (London).
- "O'Leary leaves Big Brother show". BBC News. 28 November 2007.
- "Brand quits Big Brother spin-off". BBC News. 4 April 2007.
- Pickard, Anna (25 June 2008). "Big Brother's Little Brother is looking a bit peaky". The Guardian (London).
- "Big Mother: As pregnant Emma Willis reveals she is expecting again – she and Brian Dowling are confirmed as Big Bro hosts". Daily Mail (London).
- "EMMA WILLIS IS THE NEW PRESENTER OF BIG BROTHER ON CHANNEL 5". Channel 5. 2 April 2013.
- "Where is the Big Brother house?". Virgin Media. virginmedia.com.
- Brand says No to Big Brother Final
- Big Brother: Channel 4 calls time after a decade on screen – Telegraph
- Blake, Heidi (24 July 2010). "Richard Desmond wants X Factor and Big Brother for channel Five". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Endemol to keep BB house until 2013
- '"Big Brother Returns This Summer" with 5 year contract from 2012 to be Signed' Daily Star 2 April 2011.
- Fletcher, Alex (22 July 2011). "Big Brother to be hosted by Brian Dowling and Emma Willis". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Fletcher, Alex (22 July 2011). "Big Brother Brian Dowling: 'I hope I won't be compared to Davina'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- "Dowling hosts C5 Big Brother". Metro (Associated Newspapers Ltd). 22 July 2011. p. 14.
- '"Big Brother: Channel 5 poised to sign £200m deal"' MediaGuardian 31 March 2011
- Big Brother launch | Celebrity Big Brother | Channel 5
- Official Big Brother Auditions |
- Josie Gibson: I'll be filming at Big Brother auditions so do your hair – now
- Metro article the new Facebook app
- Fletcher, Alex (2011-07-22). "Big Brother to be hosted by Brian Dowling and Emma Willis". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- Meet the Presenters of OKTV Big Brother!
- OKTV Bruv Takes Over AXED!
- Fletcher, Alex (2013-04-02). "Emma Willis replaces Brian Dowling as new Channel 5 Big Brother host". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- Scott, Matt (2013-06-28). "Big Brother 2013 live streaming axe brought forward". BB Spy. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "New presenter line-up confirmed". Big Brother's Bit On The Side. Channel 5. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Big Brother looks set to keep outdoor production base". Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- BB fans must pay for 24 hour online streaming – Top Stories – Yorkshire Evening Post
- [dead link]
- Scott, Matt (2013-06-28). "Big Brother 2013 live streaming axe brought forward". bbspy. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- 3 Mills Studios
- Daily Star: Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: News :: Big Brother break-in
- Total Big Brother – Ratings Overview
- Schwarzkopf sponsor Big Brother in £2million deal | Total Big Brother
- "Dead Set". E4. Archived from the original on 4 September 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008.