Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Who's watching Big Brother?

After a decade spent dominating the tabloids and gossip magazines, it seems like the sun is finally setting on Endemol's most popular show. It was announced today that next year's Big Brother will be the last to appear on Channel 4. Surprisingly, Five, Sky and ITV2 have already come forward to announce they won't be picking up the contract for the fly-on-the-wall reality institution.

With ratings at an all-time low, Channel 4 director of television Kevin Lygo has said that '... the programme has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it's time to move on.' It seems that watercoolers up and down the country are playing host to a new set of conversations that don't involve a houseful of fame-seeking wannabes.

The rot began to set in back in 2007, when Celebrity Big Brother was marred by the race row around Shilpa Shetty. Although the ratings shot up, with people unable to look away from the drama imploding on-screen, it was clear that the format was not infallible. Attempts to refresh the concept saw Channel 4 create Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack - which proved about as appealing as John Craven's bukake Newsround.

This latest series has been notable only for the number of housemates who've given up and walked out early. Some of the more recent additions spent so little time in the house it seemed as though they'd left before their introductory VT had even finished playing.

Big Brother himself has taken the news particularly hard, taking his anger out on the unwitting (and witless) housemates. Having been told that they were boring and needed to spice things up, the remaining inmates decided to break into the camera runs, only to then find out that they had forfeited the £100,000 prize as a result.

Despite the fact that TV audiences have already moved on, the summer will no doubt feel very different without Marcus Bentley's tongue-in-cheek Geordie narration, or Davina stomping around in a black dress, bellowing like an insane bag lady. So let's be thankful for ten years of drunken fights, flirtations and fumblings. Not to mention one ex-housemate's impressive impersonation of a bottlebank.

Sadly Big Brother, you have been evicted.

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