Celebrity Big Brother

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For the most recent series, see Celebrity Big Brother 14.
Celebrity Big Brother
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Celebrity Big Brother is a television reality game show based on the Dutch show Big Brother, created by producer John de Mol in 1997.[1] The show follows a number of celebrity contestants, known as housemates, who are isolated from the outside world for an extended period of time in a custom built House. Each week, one of the housemates is evicted by a public vote, with the last housemate remaining winning a cash prize for the charity of their choice. The series takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Celebrity Big Brother began as a one-time spin-off series to the original Big Brother UK, and premiered on Channel 4 on 9 March 2001. Following the successful first series, the show returned the following year for a second series. Though the show did not air for the next two years, it returned in 2005 and 2006. Following the highly controversial fifth series in 2007, the show did not return in 2008. It did air in 2009, but it was officially axed after the seventh series in 2010 when Channel 4 chose to cancel the programme as well as the main series.[2][3] Despite this, the series was picked up by Channel 5, and Celebrity Big Brother returned in 2011.[4] Since 2012, two editions of Celebrity Big Brother have aired each year, with one airing in January and one airing following the conclusion of the civilian series in August. The show was initially hosted by Davina McCall from its inception to its cancellation by Channel 4. Despite being offered the position of host following the show's move to Channel 5, McCall chose not to return. Brian Dowling, who had previously appeared on Big Brother, replaced McCall as the host of the series.[5] Dowling hosted the eighth to eleventh series, before being replaced by Emma Willis from the twelfth series onward.[6] Marcus Bentley has narrated the series since its inception in 2001.

Much like its predecessor, Celebrity Big Brother has been met with commercial success and has also received extensive media coverage and publicity since it premiered. It has been covered in spin-off series such as Big Brother's Big Mouth and Big Brother's Bit on the Side, which also covered the main series.[7][8] Similar to the parent series, Celebrity Big Brother has been the source of much controversy and criticism, most notably during the 2007 series. Following this, a spin-off series known as Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack aired in 2008 in the place of Celebrity Big Brother. It has been noted that numerous celebrities who have appeared on the series have become more prominent figures in the media than before.[9][10][11][12]

History[edit]

Main series[edit]

In 2000, the reality series Big Brother premiered in the United Kingdom and immediately became a ratings success.[13][14][15] Following the success of the first series, it was confirmed that a celebrity edition of the show was in the works.[16] Celebrity Big Brother aired in March 2001 as a one-time special on Channel 4 in association with the BBC's Comic Relief charity telethon.[17] It lasted for eight days, and was ultimately won by comedian Jack Dee.[18] With the first series proving to be a success, a second series was later confirmed.[19] Celebrity Big Brother 2 premiered on 20 November 2002, and concluded when Mark Owen was crowned the winner after 10 days in the house.[20][21] Celebrity Big Brother did not air for the next two years, with Channel 4 choosing to air the spin-off series Teen Big Brother: The Experiment in 2003 and Big Brother Panto in 2004.[22][23][24] In 2005, the show officially returned with its third series, which launched on 6 January.[25] Lasting for a total of eighteen days, the series was won by Mark "Bez" Berry.[26][27] The fourth edition of the show premiered on 5 January 2006 and was won by Chantelle Houghton, who ironically enough was the only housemate to not be a celebrity.[28][29] The fifth series launched on 3 January 2007.[30] This series saw Jade Goody, who had rose to fame after appearing on Big Brother 3, enter the house as a housemate.[31] The fifth series became the most controversial series to date, when accusations of racism towards housemate Shilpa Shetty arose against Goody and other housemates.[32][33][34] Shetty ultimately went on to win the series, while Goody was evicted after spending two weeks in the house.[35][36] Following the controversy surrounding the fifth series, Celebrity Big Brother did not air in 2008.[37][38] It did, however, return in 2009 and 2010, with the 2010 series being announced as the final one.[39]

After Richard Desmond bought Channel 5 in 2010, he said he was keen to acquire both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.[40] Meanwhile, Endemol had been granted permission to keep the Big Brother House at the Elstree TV Studios until 30 September 2013.[41] On 2 April 2011, The Daily Star, a newspaper owned by Desmond's Northern & Shell company, reported that Big Brother would be returning on Channel 5 in August 2011 with a Celebrity edition, followed by a main edition in September.[42] Four days later, Channel 5 formally confirmed that they had signed a £200 million two-year contract with Endemol to screen Big Brother from 18 August 2011.[43][44] Big Brother 2 winner Brian Dowling was announced as the new host.[45][46][47] McCall declined the offer to host, having said goodbye to the show in 2010.[48] Celebrity Big Brother 8 officially launched on 18 August 2011, and was won by Paddy Doherty.[49] Beginning with the ninth series in 2012, two editions of Celebrity Big Brother have aired annually.[50] The first series premieres in January, while the second premieres in August.[51][52] Following the eleventh series, it was confirmed that Dowling had been axed as the host of both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.[53][54][55] Emma Willis was later revealed to be the new host of the show, and has hosted since the twelfth series onward.[56][57]

Spin-offs[edit]

Celebrity Big Brother has been host to various spin-off series throughout the years. Most notably, Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack aired in 2008 following the racism controversy surrounding the fifth series.[58] The series lasted for a total of 26 days, with John Loughton being crowned the winner on the final day.[59] Despite the success of Celebrity Big Brother, the spin-off series provided poor ratings and was not renewed.[60] Ultimate Big Brother was the final series to air on Channel 4, and featured fourteen of the most memorable housemates from both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother competing in the series.[61][62] Numerous other spin-offs have occurred throughout the series such as Big Brother's Big Mouth, hosted by Russell Brand, and Big Brother's Little Brother hosted by Dermot O'Leary.[63][64][65] Following the show's move to Channel 5, Big Brother's Bit on the Side is the only currently airing spin-off series.[66]

Format[edit]

(Celebrity) "Big Brother House, this is Davina. You are live on Channel 4; please do not swear. (nominated housemates' names), the lines are closed; the votes have been counted and verified, and I can now reveal that the nth person to be evicted from the (Celebrity) Big Brother House is...(evicted housemate's name). You have 30 seconds to say your goodbyes; I'm coming to get you!"

— McCall's speech when announcing the evicted housemate, which has been slightly altered by future hosts.[67]

Big Brother is a game show in which a group of celebrity contestants, referred to as housemates, live in isolation from the outside world in a custom built "house", constantly under video surveillance.[68] During their time in the House, the housemates are required to nominate two of their fellow contestants for potential eviction, and the two or more with the most votes would be nominated.[69] This process is mandatory for all housemates, and failure to comply could result in expulsion from the House.[70] During the show's broadcast on Channel 4, the viewers would vote to evict one of the nominated housemates, and the housemate with the most votes would be removed from the House.[71] The third series, however, did see the viewers vote to save one of the celebrities.[72][73] Series 8-12, which aired under Channel 5, saw the public voting to save a housemate, and the housemate with the least amount of votes would be evicted.[74] The voting process can be done via telephone or online.[75] When the final week arrives, the viewers vote for which of the remaining celebrities should win the series, and the housemate with the most votes becomes the winner.[76] Unlike the main series, the celebrities are competing for the charity of their choice.[77][78] The third series was the only series to see the celebrities competing for a prize fund for themselves.[79][80]

During their time in the House, housemates are given weekly tasks to perform.[81] The housemates wager a portion of their weekly shopping budget on the task, and either win double their wagered fund or lose the wagered fund depending on their performance in the task.[82] The housemates are required to work as a group to complete their tasks, with the format of the tasks varying based on the amount of remaining housemates. Throughout the series, some housemates have been given secret tasks that must either be completed individually or with a small group; failure to do so can result in the housemate being nominated or punished in the House.[83][84] Should the housemates run out of the food provided for them, an emergency ration was available to them. The housemates are forbidden from discussing nominations, and doing so could result in punishment.[85][86] The format of the series is mainly seen as a social experiment, and requires housemates to interact with others who may have differing ideals, beliefs, and prejudices.[87][88] Housemates are also required to make visits to the Diary Room during their stay in the House, where they are able to share their thoughts and feelings on their fellow housemates and the game.[89]

Series details and viewership[edit]

Channel 4 (2001–2010)[edit]

SeriesLaunch dateFinale dateDaysHousematesWinnerAverage viewers
(millions)
Episodes
Celebrity Big Brother 19 March 200116 March 200186Jack Dee5.28
Celebrity Big Brother 220 November 200229 November 200210Mark Owen4.412
Celebrity Big Brother 36 January 200523 January 2005189Mark "Bez" Berry4.318
Celebrity Big Brother 45 January 200627 January 20062311Chantelle Houghton4.928
Celebrity Big Brother 53 January 200728 January 20072614Shilpa Shetty4.630
Celebrity Big Brother 62 January 200923 January 20092211Ulrika Jonsson3.328
Celebrity Big Brother 73 January 201029 January 20102712Alex Reid3.732

Channel 5 (2011–present)[edit]

SeriesLaunch dateFinale dateDaysHousematesWinnerAverage viewers
(millions)
Episodes
Celebrity Big Brother 818 August 20118 September 20112210Paddy Doherty2.823
Celebrity Big Brother 95 January 201227 January 20122312Denise Welch2.625
Celebrity Big Brother 1015 August 20127 September 20122413Julian Clary2.226
Celebrity Big Brother 113 January 201325 January 20132311Rylan Clark2.823
Celebrity Big Brother 1222 August 201313 September 20132313Charlotte Crosby2.326
Celebrity Big Brother 133 January 201429 January 20142712Jim Davidson3.127
Celebrity Big Brother 1418 August 201412 September 20142614Gary Busey26
Celebrity Big Brother 15January 2015

Spin-offs[edit]

SeriesLaunch dateFinale dateDaysHousematesWinnerAverage viewers
(millions)
EpisodesChannel
Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack3 January 200828 January 20082612John Loughton0.726E4

Sponsorships[edit]

Channel 4 (2001–2010)[edit]

SeriesSponsorSloganNotesYears
Celebrity Big Brother 1N/AN/A2001
Celebrity Big Brother 2O
2
Get connected2002
Celebrity Big Brother 3TalkTalkGet together2005
Celebrity Big Brother 4Carphone WarehouseGet star treatmentSee note 12006
Celebrity Big Brother 5See note 22007
Celebrity HijackVirgin MobileFor a Happy House2008
Celebrity Big Brother 6DreamsBritain's leading bed specialistSee note 32009
Celebrity Big Brother 7Everything for a great night's sleep2010

Channel 5 (2011–present)[edit]

SeriesSponsorSloganNotesYears
Celebrity Big Brother 8Freederm[90]Well worth a closer look2011
Celebrity Big Brother 9Plusnet[91]N/A2012
Celebrity Big Brother 10Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL[92]If you've got the attitude we've got the colour
Celebrity Big Brother 11Dreams[93]Britain's favourite bed specialist2013
Celebrity Big Brother 12SuperCasino[94][95]Feel it for realSee note 4
Celebrity Big Brother 132014
Celebrity Big Brother 14N/A
  • ^1 The Carphone Warehouse is the parent company of TalkTalk, the previous sponsor. They also had a deal of £2.5m-a-year to sponsor the Big Brother franchise[96]
  • ^2 Due to the race row, the sponsorship was cut off halfway through the series
  • ^3 The cost of this sponsorship was £800,000[97]
  • ^4 This sponsorship is only shown after 9.00pm

Controversy and criticism[edit]

Since its inception, Celebrity Big Brother has come under fire for reports of bullying,[98][99] racism,[100][101][102][103] and the physical and mental strain of appearing on the series.[104][105][106]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]