Wednesday, 17 October, 2018
BB Eye
Diagnosis DawnussRex is Relegated
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Diagnosis DawnussDarnell Departs
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Diagnosis DawnussKathreya Ousted
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Diagnosis DawnussNo More Mo Fro
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Diagnosis DawnussLisa Leaves the BB confines
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Big Brother 2018 Regular Updates

With Channel 5 announcing that it is to axe the show, is this really the end for the reality series? The people behind the phenomenon on its rise and fall

In 2000, auditions took place for a show that was, the BBC reported, “billed as a real-life version of the Truman Show”, adding that out of the thousands of hopefuls, the 10 successful contestants would be paid a nominal fee to live in a house for 10 weeks and have their every move monitored by TV cameras. Craig Phillips was one of those auditioning for the first UK series of Big Brother. He’d had a bit of a headstart, having seen a documentary about the original Dutch version, and had written to the producers, saying if they ever did a British show he would be interested in being in it. A Liverpudlian builder, he was working on a rooftop – “I was doing lead flashing around the top of a chimney breast,” he remembers – when he received a call inviting him to the audition.

Phillips went on to win the first series: he donated his £70,000 winnings to a friend to pay for medical treatment. By then, the show had dominated headlines, turned one of its contestants, “Nasty” Nick Bateman, into a panto villain and changed the nature of television, celebrity, and even – if you want to be grand about it – society itself. It would not be long before Ben Elton wrote a book inspired by it (Dead Famous), Charlie Brooker based a horror TV serial on it (Dead Set), and Big Brother gave us Jade Goody, the first reality TV superstar.

My life changed that moment I walked out the door: bodyguards, managers, press officers. I didn’t go home for 97 days

These were unvarnished underdogs. And unlike traditional stars they were prepared to share everything about their lives

It had to become more and more outrageous and the producers had to cast more conflict to keep the thing going

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Media Guardian 10:30
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