Big Brother is Back: Why Do We Watch It?
21 May 2012
Even though it seems to be one of the most universally derided television shows of recent years, Big Brother still keeps managing to come back. Big Brother 13 is scheduled to start on Channel 5 in June, and again the UK public will be able to watch another disparate group of misfits attempt to make themselves Z-class celebrities.
The average viewing figures for BB at its height (season 3) were 5.8 million. BB12 managed 1.7 million. The novelty factor has gone, which is why so many viewers have moved on. But still over a million people per show want to watch Adam from Gateshead comb his hair or listen to Susan from Dartford asking which one is Cameron and which one is Clegg.
It is car crash television; as much as you don't want to watch it, you end up looking out of the corner of your eye. The dulcet tones of narrator Marcus Bentley suck you in as you suddenly realise you care if Dave from Belfast is aware that Charlie from Preston fancies him. And there are still 1.7 million people hoping that something crazy might just happen. The show has launched some media careers for former contestants:
Brian Dowling. Winner of BB2 and is now the new Davina McCall.
Jade Goody. She came 4th in BB3 but managed to make a career out of being controversial.
Chantelle Houghton. She won Celebrity Big Brother without even being a celebrity. Some would say she still isn’t a celebrity.
Kate Lawler. Winner of BB3 and a reasonably talented TV presenter.
"Nasty" Nick Bateman. Thrown out from BB1 because he tried to manipulate the voting.
Nikki Grahame. 5th in BB7, she has carved out a "celebrity" TV career by being a bit temperamental and obnoxious.
And then one that didn’t quite make it:
Makosi Musambasi. The BB6 contestant started as a favourite but managed to alienate the audience with her ridiculous antics. After BB she got tied up in a vice girl scandal which she claimed was made up by the press and, according to recent reports, she was deported to Nigeria in 2012 after appearing in Ultimate Big Brother. But at least she has fond memories of the BB house pool.
Spoiler alert! A loud-mouthed, manipulative nonentity with a troubled past (but star-studded future) will win BB13. We say, bring 'em on…
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