After Channel 5 announced that Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother would not be returning to the channel after the 2018 series, 2019 threatens to be the first year since 1999 that Big Brother will not be on our screens. During its heyday, Big Brother commanded viewing figures upwards of 9 million and made national icons, both good and bad, out of many of the contestants on the show. This popularity has though been on a dramatic slide, viewing figures for the 2018 series’ final were just 0.7 million so it is hardly surprising that Channel 5 are not knocking down the door to bring the show back. For devout fans though, eager for the show to return, there is a tiny glimmer of hope that it may make a comeback. We’ll look at that a little later on but first, let’s look at some of the biggest moments from series gone by.
Big Brother Winners, Losers & Must See Moments
Big Brother has provided us with so many memorable moments of television gold over the last 19 years, let’s take a look at some of the best since it first hit our screens in the summer of 2000:
First Big Brother Winner
Liverpudlian Craig Phillips won the first Big Brother back in the summer of 2000. Having won the £70,000 first prize Phillips promptly handed over the money to his friend Joanne Harris to help pay for a life-saving heart and lung transplant. Phillips went on to have a moderately successful TV career, regularly appearing as a DIY expert or presenting DIY shows himself thanks to his background in construction.
Last Big Brother Winner
We can’t really have the first winner without showing the last, or latest hopefully, winner. Norwich Vlogger Cameron Cole scooped the title in 2018. Cole, who was just 6 months old when the first Big Brother aired, scooped the £100k first prize in November 2018.
Biggest Big Brother Villain
There have been many “baddies” over the years but none like the original “villain” of the show which was Nick Bateman from the first series. His crime? Being two-faced and manipulating fellow housemates' votes. After 36 days of devious acts, Bateman was finally outed as a bad guy by his housemates and asked to leave by the show’s producers for violating the rules. Amazingly, during his stay, he did not receive a single nomination to be evicted!
Celebrity Big Brother (Or How George Galloway Pretended To Be A Cat)
A celebrity spin-off of the show was spawned in 2001 and provided us with one of the most bizarre moments ever witnessed on UK TV. In 2006 politician George Galloway, ironically lost all respect in spite of representing the Respect party, when he got down on all fours and pretended to a cat lapping milk from Rula Lenska’s cupped hands. If you’ve never seen the cringe-worthy moment take a look here.
So Will Big Brother Be Back?
There are some positive signs, but there are some negative signs as well. Starting with the positive:
Rylan Wants In
Rylan, who won the show and also hosted spin-off show Bit On The Side, is keen to bring it back. Rylan now carries considerable influence in the reality TV world but will that be enough to convince the TV chiefs? Another question that would need to be answered is would Rylan have time to actually host it considering his hectic schedule?
Endemol Want It Back
Endemol Shine UK, the rights owners of the show, are keen to bring it back as well. They are potentially looking at streaming options opposed to traditional broadcast routes.
And now onto the barriers to bringing it back…
Where Will It Be Held?
This is one of the biggest problems that the show, if it were to return would face. The Big Brother house as we know it no longer exists! It was demolished back in February and in its place now stands a replica of Buckingham Palace for new Netflix royal epic The Crown.
Who Will Broadcast It?
Given the fact the viewing figures were so appallingly low last time out the channels will hardly be queuing up to broadcast it. Channel 5 have ruled them out, as have previous broadcasters Channel 4. Sky and ITV have also distanced themselves from the show and it is highly unlikely that the BBC will throw their hat into the ring. With that in mind, it seems likely, as alluded to earlier, that if it does return then it may well be via a streaming service.
Any Other Hope?
Well UK fans can take a little reassurance that we might see it again due to the fact that it is still popular overseas. There are versions in America, India, the Philippines, Nigeria and it will also be returning in Germany in 2020. Maybe then we may see it return to the UK sometime soon.
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