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How Big Brother Stays Controversial 2007-01-26

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Humanities.

Channel Four’s Director of Television Mr.Kevin Lygo said that without the quarrels, Celebrity Big Brother would have been the most boring in years.

Professor Mr.David Wilson (david.wilson@uce.ac.uk), as a criminologist at ‘The University of Central England’ who worked on the show in 2003, reckons the selection policy is the key to finding incompatible, quarrelsome housemates:

[Picture of former prison governor David Wilson]
‘The makers find people who are either “confrontation prone” or have “alpha personalities” — meaning they want to be leaders; people who do not fit into these categories would bond quickly — but would also resolve their differences quickly.

‘When the stars this year first went into the house they got on well — but with the arrival of Jade, her boyfriend Jack and mum Jackiey things changed.

‘The makers constructed tension by giving the housemates a servants and masters task which created a hierachy, tension and thus controversy.

‘The contestants forget within a matter of days that they are being filmed. About 98 per cent of their behaviour is when they do not remember the camera is there.

‘The show acts as a magnifying glass and the makers concentrate on the worst part of your personality.

‘There is 24-hour streaming but when they edit it, the producers focus on one side of each person’s character to make the narrative fit.

‘There has always got to be a cliff hanger at the end of the show so the viewers are kept wondering what will happen next.

‘I think that Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty were briefed by Big Brother after the race row kicked off. I predict Shilpa will win and become the first Bollywood star to create a western audience.

‘Both celebrities and members of the public are spoken to by psychologists when they come out of the house.

‘I still have contestants calling me up several years later asking for help because they find it difficult to sustain relationships and even found it hard to go shopping.

‘Housemates for the regular version see the experiment as an opportunity for a career but they end up with a kind of emptiness.

‘It is easier for celebs because they have more of a professional network behind them.

‘The makers tend to want younger people who will be openly sexual and they always seem to choose a large number of bisexuals.

‘They present Big Brother as a social experiment but I disagree; do we know anything more about “trans-genders” after Nadia was in the house, or “Tourette’s Syndrome” because of Pete’s involvement — no’.

He continued:

‘I left because I did not I did not think the programme was ethical.

‘I was brought in after “Big Brother” was derided for being boring following Cameron’s win. The producers wanted me to analyse how they could spice things up with my criminologist background — but ten days was all I could last.

‘Big Brother is “car crash TV”; people slow down to take a close look at it.

‘By putting Jade in the house the producers thought they would make it more watchable — but even they probably did not believe what an effect this series would have.’



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