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The first reality TV show to really take off and the catalyst for a lot of what’s on our screens now, Big Brother launched in 1999 in Holland and has since been syndicated around the world becoming one of the most watched reality TV shows ever. A version of the show has been broadcast in every continent with regional versions including Big Brother Africa, Big Brother Middle East, Big Brother South America and Big Brother Scandinavia. It was introduced to the UK a year later in 2000 initially on Channel 4 and in recent years has become one of the top shows on Channel 5. The show has spawned a spin off programme which is essentially the same premise but with celebrities instead of everyday strangers, conveniently titled Celebrity Big Brother.

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Big Brother 2018

Doubts are still being raised over the future of the series. The new boss of Channel 5 is keen to focus on programmes their channel created not ones purchased from others and that of course includes Big Brother. The current contract runs till the end of 2018 but that could well be the last year the show is seen on its present channel, somehow I can't see the BBC buying it but there are plenty of other channels out there who may well give it a new home.

Presenter Emma Willis has spoken out in favour of the series describing it as "perfect television"and hoping the show will continue until at least 2020. However, Rylan Clark O'Neal who presents 'Bit on the Side' says there areee going to be changes and suggested the show may return to its original idea of being a social experiment.

Endemol, who make the programme have confirmed there will be a face lift for the show. That starts with the appointment of a new creative director and Paul Osborne previously worked as executive producer on Big Brother between 2005 and 2008.

Celebrity Big Brother 2018 - Series Two

The latest series of Celebrity Big Brother began on Thursday August 17. Those entering the house on this occasion are:

  • Gabby Allen - appeared on Love Island in 2017
  • Dan Osborne - Another reality TV series veteran having appeared in TOWIE and was rumoured to have had an affair with a certain Gabby Allen!
  • Roxanne Pallett - Former Emmerdale actress and thankfully won't have to drive any cars after her recent accident.
  • Kirstie Alley - actress best known for appearing in Cheers and is a Scientologist.
  • Sally Morgan - aka Psychic Sally so she probably knows when she's getting evicted. Lost lots of weight so that's what she'll be chatting about.
  • Rodrigo Alves - Has had lots of plastic surgery so he can look like a Ken Doll. Nuff said.
  • Chloe Ayling - Model who was kidnapped last year.
  • Ryan Thomas - Former Coronation Street actor.
  • Jermaine Pennant - Used to play for Liverpool and now at Billericay Town. Has a book to plug.
  • Hardeep Singh Kohli - Stand-up comedian and broadcaster.
  • Natalie Nunn - Another one I had to look up on Wikipedia!  Has appeared on several American reality shows.
  • Nick Leeson - Probably not the one to put in charge of any financial tasks as famous for costing Barings Bank a fortune.
  • Ben Jardine - Wikipedia time again, he was on the reality TV series 'Married at First Sight.' 

Celebrity Big Brother 2018 Series One

The latest series was won by Shane Janek aka Courtney Act. Best known for appearing on RuPaul's Drag Race, the Drag Queen managed to nearly flash all on her way into the house. Once there, Courtney had several battles with transgender newsreader India Willoughby. The series began on January 1st and for the first time, the first set of contestants to enter the house were all women. This was to mark the anniversary of women getting the vote so it was fitting that one of the housemates was former Tory MP, Ann Widdicombe who also had her fair share of arguments with India. It wasn't too surprisiing that Willoughby was the first to be evicted. Other notable housemates were Amanda Barrie, Wayne Sleep, Dapper Laughs, John Barnes and Rachel Johnson. 


How can I use my Big Brother free bet?

For both the regular series and the celebrity edition, the markets are exactly the same. The main interest lies in the shows winner and keen observers of the show will be able to get a pretty good grasp of who's popular both in the house and amongst the voting public. With the way the nominations work, you can easily identify who is rubbing their fellow housemates up the wrong way and will therefore be at much greater risk of getting the boot. This also ties in nicely to another thing you can bet on, the next person to be eliminated. If someone is regularly up for eviction and is getting booed by the crowd on eviction nights, their position is likely to be somewhat precarious.

There are also markets on the top male and female contestants, so you can pick a member of the specific sex that you feel will make the most progress even if you don't think they'll ultimately triumph. 

Big Brother: The Lowdown

The premise of the show involves members of the public being essentially locked in a house together, with no connection to the outside world for 12 weeks. They are filmed by multiple cameras planted around the house for 24 hours a day meaning their every move is documented in what is the most extreme version of TV voyeurism. 

They are forced to work together to undertake tasks which can win them food and other luxuries before viewers begin to vote them out of the house until a winner remains. Clashes of personality often occur, with some versions of the show arguably encouraging housemates to try and fall out with each other for more interesting viewing. 

While the show’s premise remains the same worldwide different versions have put their own spin on things. For example, the UK version introduced ‘Evil Big Brother’ in 2004 where tasks and punishments became more cruel. This concept has since been repeated in other country’s versions. In the fifth series of the US version identical twins were introduced and challenged with pretending to be each other without being spotted by the other housemates. In 2006 the UK version added secret missions for individual housemates to undertake while also introducing ‘fake evictions’ where contestants are “evicted” from the house before then being sent back in.

Previous winners 

Several of the previous have gone on to have successful careers in television, so you may well have heard of them inclduing handyman Craig Phillips, Brian Dowling, Kate Lawler and Brian Belo. The most famous contestant was Jade Goody, who took part in the third series though she didn't actually win it. She returned to the show in Celebrity Big Brother and was involved in a major controversy over the racist bullying of Shilpa Shetty, sadly Jade died from cancer in 2009.

When Channel 4 axed the show they held an Ultimate Big Brother series featuring past contestants. This was won by Brian Dowling.

Winners of Celebrity Big Brother have included:

  • Jack Dee
  • Mark Owen
  • Ulrika Jonsson
  • Shilpa Shetty
  • Denise Welsh
  • Julian Clary
  • Jim Davidson
  • Katie Price


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