Big Brother 1 (UK)

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Big Brother
 
Series 1 (2000)
Big Brother UK 1 logo.png

Big Brother 1, also referred to as Big Brother 2000, was the first series of the British reality television show Big Brother. The show is based on an originally Dutch TV series of the same name created by producer John de Mol in 1997.[1] The series premiered on 18 July 2000, and lasted for a total of 64 days. It concluded on 15 September 2000 when Craig Phillips was crowned the winner. The series revolved around a group of strangers living in a custom built house with no contact with the outside world. Each week, the housemates are required to nominate two people for eviction. The two or more people with the most votes were nominated to leave the House. The viewers then decided which of the nominees should leave, with the selected person leaving during a live show. This process continued until only three housemates remained, at which time the public voted for which of them should win the £70,000 prize.

Development[edit]

The series first launched in Netherlands, with editions in countries such as Germany proving to be hits with the public.[2][3] Following the success of the show, it was confirmed that editions for the United States and the United Kingdom were in the works.[4] Andre Anten, who was one of the directors for the original show, said the show was "like live soap... you don't know what is going to happen and that is amazing."[5] In March 2000, it was confirmed that the show had been picked up by Channel 4, and would air in July.[6] Casting for the series began that same month, with applications being available on the official website.[7] Applicants who were shortlisted during the casting process underwent psychological analysis and received a nominal fee for the process.[7] It was reported that the show received over 40,000 applications, and the housemates selected to compete in the series were kept secret until they entered the House.[8] The series featured a live feed, which provided twenty-four hour coverage of the housemates.[9][10] To comply with broadcasting standards, the live feed was under an estimated ten minute delay.[11] Commissioning editor Liz Warner said of the feeds "There's a delay on the web feed, so there's an over-ride [...] We will observe the family viewing policy before the watershed, and make sure we stick to ITC guidelines all the time."[8]

The logo for the original series, which aired in the Netherlands.

Davina McCall was announced as the host of the show in April 2000.[12] When asked on her feelings when joining the show, McCall stated "It's a lottery whether you take a show on or not, but you have to ask yourself, 'Would I be interested in seeing the show?' I saw a copy of the show from Holland and I loved it - fascinating viewing."[13] The housemates entered the House on 14 July 2000.[14] The live feed launched that day,[15] though the series did not premiere on television until 18 July 2000.[16] The series featured five men and five women who entered the House on the first night, however, a female later entered the house to replace an ejected housemate.[17] Among the group was Anna Nolan, a lesbian who had previously been a nun prior to entering the House.[18] Housemate Andrew "Andy" Davidson admitted to appearing on a live sex show, while Caroline O'Shea had previously worked in a gay bar and sold sex toys.[15] Craig Phillips owned his own building company,[19] while Nick Bateman was a broker.[20] Darren Ramsay was the only housemate this series to have a child.[21] The logo for the series featured a close-up of Melanie Hill's eye, with this being the only season to use a housemate for the official logo.[22][23]

The first series aired for a total of six days per week, with an episode airing every night excluding Saturday.[8] The shows airing each week were all highlights from the previous day in the House.[24] Two episodes of the series aired on Friday. During the first episode, viewers were shown the highlights from the previous day and McCall revealed the housemate who had been evicted from the House.[25] Two hours following this, the second episode of the night aired which saw the evicted housemate exit the House and participate in an interview with McCall.[25] One of the highlight episodes per week featured a team of psychologists discussing the events of the previous week from their viewpoint.[24][26] Big Brother 1 lasted for a total of 64 days, officially ending on 15 September 2000.[27] Lasting for 64 days, the series is tied with the second, third, fourth, and twelfth series as the shortest series of the show since its inception.[28] The series had a total of 52 episodes, the least amount of episodes for any series thus far.[29] The theme song for the series was produced by Elementfour, and was used for the series intro as well as promotional tools.[30][31] The series saw the Little Brother segment air during select episodes.

House[edit]

For the first series, the House was located in in Bow, London near the 3 Mills Studios. The House used was a one story house with two bedrooms, a kitchen and dining room, and one bathroom.[32] Throughout the House, there were cameras and microphones spread throughout the rooms, making all areas of the House visible to the cameras.[33][34] During their stay in the House, the housemates were required to wear microphones at all times, ensuring everything they said in the House was heard.[33] Throughout the House there were two way mirrors lined against the walls, with a production team filming behind them.[35] The bedrooms featured infrared imaging cameras, allowing the cameras to continue filming while the lights were off. The bedrooms in the house were divided amongst the men and women. The Diary Room was where housemates were required to share their thoughts on the events in the house, and were often given tasks.[36][37] The backyard of the house featured a patio area where the housemates could sit outside. The backyard also featured a chicken coop, and the housemates were able to use the eggs from the chickens as food.[38] The housemates discovered a jacuzzi in the garden several weeks into the series.[39]

Format[edit]

"The show is all about human interactions. It's people who are, loving each other, hating each other. They fight, they cry, they laugh -- all emotions, we'll see in the house."

— Paul Romer, co-creator of the original show, on the social experiment aspect of the series.[40]

Big Brother was a game show in which a group of contestants, referred to as housemates, lived in isolation from the outside world in a custom built "house", constantly under video surveillance.[41] During their time in the House, the housemates were required to nominate two of their fellow contestants for potential eviction, and the two or more with the most votes would be nominated.[42] This process was mandatory for all housemates, and failure to comply could result in ejection from the house.[43] Despite this, should a housemate enter the House following the launch, they are immune from the first round of nominations they are present for.[44] The public, through a vote conducted by phone, would vote to evict one of the nominated housemates from the House, and the housemate with the most votes from the viewers would be evicted from the House.[45] When only three housemates remained, the public would vote for which of them should win the series, and the housemates with the most votes would become the winner.[46] The housemates were competing for a £70,000 cash prize.[47][48]

During their time in the House, housemates were given weekly tasks to perform.[4] The housemates would wager a portion of their weekly shopping budget on the task, and would either win double their wagered fund or lose the wagered fund depending on their performance in the task.[49] The housemates were required to work as a group to complete the task, with the format of the tasks varying based on the amount of remaining housemates. Should the housemates run out of the food provided for them, an emergency ration was available to them. The housemates were forbidden from discussing nominations, and doing so could result in punishment.[50][51] The format of the series was mainly seen as a social experiment, and required housemates to interact with others who may have differing ideals, beliefs, and prejudices.[26][52] Housemates were also required to make visits to the Diary Room during their stay in the House, where they were able to share their thoughts and feelings on their fellow housemates and the game.[53] While in the House, the housemates are free to leave at any time, however, will not be allowed to return to the House.[54][55] Similarly, a housemate can be removed from the House by production should they repeatedly break the rules set for the housemates.[56][57] Should a housemate choose to leave the House or be ejected, a replacement housemate will enter the House sometime after their departure.[58][59] Upon entering the House, new housemates are exempt from the first round of nominations they are present for.[60]

Housemates[edit]

Name Age on entry Hometown
Andrew Davidson 23 Hemel Hempstead
Anna Nolan 29 Dublin
Caroline O'Shea 37 Birmingham
Claire Strutton 25 Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire
Craig Phillips 28 Liverpool
Darren Ramsay 23 Catford, London
Melanie Hill 26 North London
Nichola Holt 28 Bolton, Lancashire
Nicholas Bateman 32 Kent
Sada Wilkington 28 Edinburgh/Wakefield
Thomas McDermott 31 Omagh, County Tyrone

Summary[edit]

On Day 1, the ten original housemates - Andrew, Anna, Caroline, Craig, Darren, Melanie, Nichola, Nicholas, Sada and Tom - entered the House.[61][62][63] On Day 2, the housemates were given their weekly task which required them to make a clay bowl and mug using a potter's wheel.[64] The housemates would fail the task if three or more objects cracked upon being cooked; the group failed the task.[65][66] On Day 9, the housemates were given their second weekly task which required them to memorize ten facts about each housemate. The group was later quizzed about these facts, and were successful in completing the task. On Day 11, the housemates participated in their first round of nominations; Caroline and Sada received the most nominations from their fellow housemates, thus were nominated for eviction.[67] It became apparent with the nominations that a gender division had occurred in the House, with all of the men nominating Caroline and Sada.[68] Sada later debated walking from the House following her nomination, though she ultimately chose to stay.[69] On Day 15, Sada became the first housemate to be evicted from the House when she received 55% of the public vote.[70][71][72] The housemates were given a new weekly task on Day 16, in which they had to travel a total of 1,800 km on an exercise bike, thus theoretically traveling from Land's End to John O'Groats while passing through all of their hometowns.[73] The housemates wagered half of their weekly budget on the task, which they ultimately passed.[74] Due to a knee injury Craig sustained in the House, the task started late and the housemates were awarded 300 km at the start of the task.[75] On Day 18, the housemates participated in their second round of nominations, with Andrew and Caroline receiving the most votes from their fellow housemates.[76][77] On Day 19, the group won the right to watch the film of their choice after they both wrote and performed a play; they chose to watch Happy Gilmore (1996).[78] Andrew and Melanie, who had formed a flirtatious relationship in the House, had their first kiss on Day 21.[79] On Day 22, Andrew became the second housemate to be evicted from the House when he received 68% of the public vote.[80][81][82]

Craig Phillips became the winner of the first series.

The housemates were given their fourth weekly task on Day 23, which required the eight remaining housemates to learn the Semaphore signalling system. The housemates worked in pairs and attempted to both communicate and transcribe messages using the code.[83] They wagered 35% of their budget on the task, which they failed. The group missed their opportunity to enter the storage room when it opened, thus their food remained locked. The housemates were later given a second task in which they had to perform a good deed; the housemates passed this task, thus earned the food.[84] On Day 25, Caroline and Tom were nominated for eviction by their fellow housemates.[85][86] On Day 29, Caroline became the third housemate to be evicted from the House with 62% of the public vote.[87][88] Nichola celebrated her birthday in the House, thus the housemates were given material to make their own costumes.[89] That same day, the housemates discovered an assault course in the garden, and learned they had to complete the course within eight minutes at a later date. They wagered 50% of their weekly shopping budget on the task, which they ultimately passed.[89] On Day 32, Craig and Nichola were nominated for eviction by their fellow housemates.[90][91] On Day 35, after weeks of controversy, Nick was ejected from the House when it was revealed he had attempted to influence nominations;[92][93] a pen and paper were later discovered in his belongings, which he had used to communicate names to his fellow housemates.[94] On Day 36, Nichola became the fourth housemate to be evicted from the House when she received 72% of the public vote.[14][95]

Due to Nick's ejection, a new housemate named Claire entered the House on Day 37.[96] Due to being a new housemate, Claire was exempt from the nomination process during her first week in the House.[97] That same day, the housemates were given their sixth weekly task for which they had to go outside and find the face of a housemate outside every time an alarm went off; the housemates would later have to remember the order in which the faces appeared. The group wagered 50% on the task, which they passed.[98] On Day 39, a tie in the voting process led to Anna, Craig, Darren, and Tom being nominated for eviction.[99][100] On Day 40, a veterinarian had to enter the House to care to the chickens; the housemates were sequestered during this time.[101] On Day 43, Tom became the fifth housemate to be evicted from the House when he received 30% of the public vote; Darren received 29% of the vote, Anna received 22% of the vote, and Craig received 19% of the vote.[102][103] The housemates were given their seventh weekly task on Day 44, which saw the housemates creating a life-sized sculpture of themselves with wire. Should the sculpture stand on its own for one consecutive minute, the housemates would pass the task. The group ultimately failed the task, with Melanie being the only one to properly complete it.[104] On Day 46, the housemates participated in the sixth round of nominations. Initially, Claire, Craig, Darren, and Melanie were nominated for eviction, however, the housemates were given the opportunity to recast their nominations when it was revealed that the housemates had heard Darren cast his nominations.[105] All of the housemates chose to keep their nominations the same excluding Darren, who chose to nominate Claire instead of Melanie.[106] This led to Claire and Craig being the only housemates nominated for eviction.[107][108] On Day 50, Claire became the sixth housemate to be evicted from the House when she received 79% of the public vote.[109]

On Day 51, the housemates were given their eighth weekly task, which saw them attempting to learn various circus skills which they would perform for "Big Brother" later in the week. The housemates wagered 20% of their budget on the task, which they ultimately failed.[110] On Day 53, Craig, Darren, and Melanie became the final housemates to be nominated for eviction.[111][112] The housemates were later given a second weekly task in which they had to impersonate one of their fellow housemates. Yet another task was given to the housemates for which they had to make a newspaper and fill it with headlines they believed had occurred outside of the House. On Day 57, Melanie became the eighth housemate to be evicted from the house when she received 69% of the public vote.[113][114] The housemates were given their final task on Day 59, which was divided into three parts. The first part saw the housemates learning highway code, while the second tested their physical abilities. The third portion of the task required housemates to care for an artificial baby. Anna was the winner of the task, and won a party with the theme of her choice. On Day 64, it was revealed that Darren had come in third place, only receiving 13% of the public vote to win.[115] It was then revealed that Craig was the winner of the series, receiving 51% of the public vote.[116][117][118]

Nominations table[edit]

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Final
Nominations received
Round 1 Round 2
Craig Caroline,
Sada
Caroline,
Nichola
Caroline,
Nichola
Darren,
Nichola
Darren,
Anna
Darren,
Anna
Darren,
Anna
Darren,
Melanie
Winner
(Day 64)
17
Anna Andrew,
Darren
Andrew,
Tom
Craig,
Tom
Tom,
Craig
Craig,
Tom
Claire,
Craig
Claire,
Craig
Craig,
Darren
Runner-up
(Day 64)
5
Darren Sada,
Caroline
Andrew,
Melanie
Craig,
Tom
Craig,
Tom
Tom,
Melanie
Melanie,
Craig
Claire,
Craig
Melanie,
Anna
Third place
(Day 64)
15
Melanie Sada,
Craig
Craig,
Caroline
Caroline,
Nichola
Darren,
Nichola
Craig,
Darren
Claire,
Craig
Claire,
Craig
Craig,
Darren
Evicted
(Day 57)
7
Claire Not in
House
Exempt Darren,
Melanie
Melanie,
Darren
Evicted
(Day 50)
3
Tom Caroline,
Sada
Darren,
Caroline
Darren,
Caroline
Nichola,
Anna
Anna,
Darren
Evicted
(Day 43)
12
Nichola Andrew,
Tom
Andrew,
Craig
Melanie,
Tom
Craig,
Tom
Evicted
(Day 36)
9
Nick Sada,
Caroline
Caroline,
Craig
Nichola,
Caroline
Craig,
Nichola
Ejected
(Day 35)
0
Caroline Andrew,
Darren
Tom,
Andrew
Tom,
Melanie
Evicted
(Day 29)
14
Andrew Sada,
Caroline
Caroline,
Nichola
Evicted
(Day 22)
8
Sada Darren,
Andrew
Evicted
(Day 15)
6
Nomination
note
none 1 2 none 3
Against
public vote
Caroline,
Sada
Andrew,
Caroline
Caroline,
Tom
Craig,
Nichola
Anna,
Craig
Darren,
Tom
Claire,
Craig,
Darren,
Melanie
Claire,
Craig
Craig,
Darren,
Melanie
Anna,
Craig,
Darren
Ejected none Nick none
Evicted Sada
55%
to evict
Andrew
68%
to evict
Caroline
62%
to evict
Nichola
72%
to evict
Tom
30%
to evict
None Claire
79%
to evict
Melanie
69%
to evict
Darren
13%
(out of 3)
Anna
49%
(out of 2)
Craig
51%
to win

Notes[edit]

  • ^Note 1 : As a new Housemate, Claire could not nominate and could not be nominated by her fellow housemates.
  • ^Note 2 : On Day 46, Darren's nominations for Melanie and Craig were overheard by the rest of the house. Big Brother decided to void all nominations and Housemates had to nominate for a second time in which Darren changed his nominations. Had this not happened, Claire, Craig, Darren and Melanie would have faced the public vote.
  • ^Note 3 : There were no nominations in the final week. The public voted for who they wanted to win, rather than evict.

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Following its premiere, Big Brother 1 was met with a positive commercial response. The first eviction episode of the series saw a total of 3.4 million viewers, and an estimated 387,000 votes for that week's eviction.[119] The number of voters for the second eviction saw a dramatic increase, with over 900,000 votes being cast between Andrew and Caroline.[120] It was later reported that over 1.4 million viewers voted during the third round of nominations, with evicted housemate Caroline receiving nearly two-thirds of the vote.[121] Nick's ejection was noted as a key point in the series, and hoped bring further attention to the series.[122] The episode featuring Nick's ejection was viewed by an estimated 6.9 million viewers, while a previous episode airing that same week garnered 3.4 million viewers.[123] The fourth eviction vote received slightly over 1 million votes.[123] The following week's eviction vote garnered over 1.2 million votes.[124] During the month of July, the series' main website, where the live feeds were viewable, had been viewed by 874,000 users since it began.[125] In August, it was reported that the website was receiving up to 150,000 viewers per day for an estimated fifteen minutes.[123] During the eighth week, a total of 3.3 million votes were cast, with an estimated 2.2 million of them being cast against housemate Melanie Hill.[126] The live series final brought in some of the channel's highest ratings at the time, with an estimated ten million viewers watching the final.[127][128]

Controversy and criticism[edit]

British singer George Michael was one of many to criticize Bateman's actions.

The series quickly became a source of controversy following its launch, with the show's format being noted as physically and mentally straining.[26][129][130] Housemate Nick Bateman was the source of much controversy during his stay in the house. Nick caused early controversy after comparing homosexuals to pedophiles, leading to criticism from viewers including singer George Michael.[131] It was later reported that Nick had smuggled a cell phone into the House, and was using it to receive information from the outside world.[132] Production later searched the House, including Nick's belongings, though no cell phone was found.[133] On Day 24, a model helicopter was flown over the garden and dropped approximately forty leaflets into the House requesting that Nick be nominated for eviction; the leaflets were removed before the housemates discovered them.[134] On Day 35, it was revealed that Nick had attempted to manipulate the nomination process, which is strictly forbidden in the rules, and Nick was subsequently removed from the house for his actions.[135] Following the revelation that Nick had manipulated the voting, a pen and paper were found in his belongings.[136] Nick's ejection from the house garnered much media attention.[137]

During the eighth week in the House, housemates Craig, Darren, and Melanie were nominated for eviction. Following the announcement, a rogue e-mail was sent out to random e-mail addresses promising a holiday vacation to anyone who dialed the listed number; in actuality, the number was the line to evict Melanie from the House.[138] Despite some controversy over the vote, it was confirmed that the e-mail had had only a small effect on the voting process as Melanie had received nearly 1.8 million more votes than Darren, who came in second in the vote.[139] Upon exiting the House, numerous housemates expressed their disappointment with the series. Housemate Sada criticized the show following her eviction, and claimed that she had been portrayed as a "dippy hippy" rather than her true self.[140] Melanie expressed similar displeasure with the way she was depicted on the show, and later criticized the series for "making storylines that weren't happening."[141] She elaborated by stating "When I watched the tapes I understood that stories and storylines were made to fit any piece of footage into the storyboard and or the caricature that we were portrayed or playing. [...] It was foolish of me to think that they would give a fair portrayal of every single person."[141] Housemate Nick Bateman later criticized Endemol for "leaving them high and dry", and later stated that they were unprepared for the way that the series affected their personal lives. He later commented that they only received one visit from the show's psychiatrist.[142]

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External links[edit]

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