Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big B(r)other

Last year Alan in Belfast managed to stay reasonably Big Brother free. This year will try and follow the same pattern. But I’ll slip in a few quick comments before we start.

The show is an important part of Channel 4’s year. It’s commercially lucrative—though less so this year since they have decided to half the price of the voting lines, and removed text voting altogether. It also provides an important surge of viewers, helping with its reach and share statistics for the 12 weeks (yes, that’s nearly a whole three months) that the show airs.

After the furore over Celebrity Big Brother in the new year, Virgin Media have taken over the sponsorship of the show, initially for this summer’s series with an option to renew. So the quirky bumper ads on the way in and out of the programmes will feature clips of contestants from other BB houses around the world, with spoof subtitles used to promote Virgin Media’s services.

So starting at 9pm tonight, the BB Zoo will open its turnstiles and fill up its cages with another menagerie of animals. Expect the weird and the very weird. But also expect a tamer environment. Early reports suggest a member of the Women’s Institute (a pretty diverse organisation), a nanny and three people who’ve never been on a plane).

With an increased level of scrutiny and compliance checking, will Brighter Pictures (part of the Endemol UK group) opt to let the personalities provide the entertainment and drama, rather than forcing them into unusual tasks etc.

The original series of UK BB caught viewers’ imaginations, yet wasn’t terribly sophisticated. Nasty Nick didn’t need to be created or cajoled into acting. Though if you put a bath in the living room and leave the fridge outside in the garden, you don’t need much else to stir up a story line or two!

According to this morning’s London Metro free paper, Ladbrokes are offering odds of 50/1 for BB being taken off air before the end of the series!

1 comment:

John Self said...

Arrrgghhh. It drives me nuts the way the newspapers (and the Beeb!) slavishly reprint the C4 press release each year about how 'fiendish' (yawn) and 'evil' (snore) BB is going to be this time around, as though it's news.