Friday, 6 June 2008

Behind the Elstree wire

Are there any lefties in the latest complement of contestants in the Big Brother household? I have to ask here because for the first time since the programme began nine series ago my friends at Channel 4 and the production company Endemol have failed to fill me in with the latest news and gossip.

The usual whispered briefings, the gleeful confidences, conducted under conditions of strictest secrecy (the beer garden not the bar, the moving tube train not the station), have been absent this year. So I don’t know whether Mario (real name Shaun, by the way) is actually, like the lovely Carole Vincent last year, an undercover SWP activist who is itching to use the Big Brother garden ‘prison’ to draw attention to the government’s 42-day detention plans. Or if Mohamed Mohamed (it’s the way he spells ’em) is going to don a smuggled cat suit at the appropriate moment and milk the opportunity to garner support for George Galloway and his Bethnal Green and (bits of) Birmingham Respect (Renewal) party.

In past years not even my absence on a Maasai encampment has managed to stop my informants tracking me down to give me advance notice of the latest developments behind the Elstree wire. So this year’s silence may not last. There are murmurings, however, that the golden Big Brother goose is ailing. Opening-night viewing figures of 5.4 million (6.2 million last year) are still way above your standard minor-channel fare. But the demographic is telling. Eight years ago, the archetypal Big Brother audience consisted of a 25-year-old media studies graduate with lots of mates named Sophie, and a sprinkling of I-can’t-believe-I’m-30 sales and advertising johnnies named, erm, Johnny thrown in for good measure. Now it’s that 14-year-old girl with lots of mates named Lauren who lives in the flats opposite, and her cousin Daniel. Do they really have enough money to keep the advertisers happy? And have they even heard of Carole Vincent?

4 comments:

a very public sociologist said...

That's a good point actually, the publicity for BB9 does seem to be a rather low key affair. Not that I'm complaining, you understand.

Re: politics in the house. Well Luke, the amateur wrestler commentator who neither drinks or swears, is a Tory. But aside from him, I doubt many of the others would be able to spell the word politics, let alone know what it means.

Tony said...

Give us a politically correct guide on who to vote for, like you did withe the football. Still not sure about that girl in the briefs incidentally. Bit skinny for football isn't she?

paul said...

"You're not putting that on, are you?" Rebecca to Steph.

"Yeah. Do you think we look like sluts?" Steph

"Do we look like tarts?" Jennifer

"No, you look alright," Lisa

"She looked like a tart ... seeing as people wouldn't dress up as bunnies on the stag do because they thought it was degrading." Mario

Take your pick. I do fancy the blinde one tho ...

Steve Platt said...

A PC guide to who to vote for in BB? That would mean I'd have to watch it regularly - and I already have more than enough bad habits. Don't you know I'm in permanent rehab over such things?