Big Brother is back. Again. For its twelfth series.
Big Brother is back. Again. For its twelfth series. And now we can all expect to be bombarded with celeb news reports and constant updates on the sorry group of people who decided to let themselves be locked in a house for the summer. As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of the Endemol-produced TV programme that for many years consumed the British public’s lives. People would excitedly look forward to watching the highlights programme in the evening, while others would obsessively sit all night watching the live show, where nothing happened, because everyone was asleep. The series finales became a national event which everyone had to watch. However, as the years passed by, viewer numbers began to dwindle, and the whole thing turned into a major farce.
Then, mercifully, Channel Four dropped it after ten series. Unfortunately, Channel Five decided that the UK still needed a programme whose sole purpose seemed to be creating new, unnecessary minor celebrities who would be forgotten within months, and picked up the rights. And now we are stuck with it until at least 2014.
I didn’t always hate Big Brother. At first it seemed like an interesting concept. Put eleven normal people into a house, where they have to complete tasks and nominate each other for eviction and see what happens. It was like a social experiment, to see how people interacted with each other under such extreme conditions. Viewers could relate to the contestants, as they were just like us. Remember Craig Phillips from series one? He was a regular Liverpudlian builder, who ended up giving the prize money he won to his friend who needed heart and lung surgery. Or Brian Dowling, who was a Ryanair flight attendant before going on the show and winning the hearts and minds of the British public by being a genuinely nice guy? And then there was Nasty Nick, whose backstabbing manipulation of the rest of the contestants made fascinating TV and gave viewers a person to hate.
However, after a few series it was clear that the concept of Big Brother was getting a bit old, so producers decided to spice it up. This was their downfall. Knowing that conflict and controversy are key to boosting ratings, producers started to pick contestants who would clash with each other. By season seven, they had sunk to the level of choosing people who had serious mental health issues – one contestant suffered from body dismorphia, another admitted to having a gender identity crisis, and then there was the housemate who threatened to commit suicide live on air.
This was the point when Big Brother lost the plot. There were reports of contestants having weird relationships with inanimate objects and random pregnancy scares. Viewers could see the strings being pulled behind the scenes as it became increasingly manipulated by producers to make sure viewers continued to watch.
So I will certainly not be tuning into this latest series of Big Brother or the celebrity series which follows it. The whole thing is a boring, manipulative waste of time, and frankly, I have far better things to do with my summer than watch some wannabe celebrities eat pasta and have sex with a wine bottle.