How civilian BB will take things back to its glory days

The Editors
Photo credit: Channel 5

From Digital Spy

So there we have it: Big Brother is coming to an end on Channel 5. We don't think there's any controversy in saying that the show lost its way for a while.

Having started life as a social experiment, way before internet fame (or social media) had even been invented, it slowly began to veer towards mimicking other, more modern, reality shows such as Ex on the Beach and Geordie Shore. Those are great and all, but not what we wanted from BB.

Things hit rock bottom with series 17 (which aired in June 2016) with a 'civilian' line-up that included a celebrity chef's son (Marco Pierre White Jr) a former X Factor contestant (Ryan Ruckledge) and an MTV personality (Lateysha Grace, of The Valleys). It had all the characteristics of a less-successful celebrity version, and it was also the first time that the format introduced a second house.

Photo credit: Channel 5 / Endemol

The series that followed, which was marketed as a celebrity one, also broke a few important Big Brother rules. Although Stephen Bear's inclusion, whilst painful at times, did keep us entertained, it also opened the door – literally – to contact with the outside. Producers prioritised drama and headlines, sending in ex-girlfriend Lillie Lexie Gregg to confront Bear over his on-screen antics with fellow housemate Chloe Khan.

Fast-forward to CBB 21, and things started to look up. We had intellectual conversation and healthy debate, spearheaded largely by the genius casting of Courtney Act/Shane Jenek. The most recent series of Celebrity Big Brother, which crowned Ryan Thomas its winner, also seemed to take a leaf out of old books with its cracking tasks and zero outsider contact.

Photo credit: Channel 5

Now the franchise is on a knife-edge. Channel 5 have confirmed that this series will be the last on that channel, which of course is not to say it won't continue in a new home.

But there's at least one series to go. And with the return of producer Paul Osborne (now Creative Director of BBUK), who worked on the very first series of the show and was responsible for giving us such icons as Nasty Nick and Nikki Grahame, there is excitement that we might be going 'back to basics', as it were. He told Digital Spy and other media that they would "look back and see what little bits have we lost that we can kind of recapture" as well as "looking [forward] to innovate."

And when Emma Willis gave a first look at the brand new civilian Big Brother line-up, our hopes continued to grow. The bill includes a waitress, a graphic designer, a vlogger (yes, they deserve their spot on TV too), a farmer, a fast food worker and a bricklayer, to name a few.


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We're also looking forward to some insightful and interesting conversation, with one housemate revealing they're a Buddhist, another championing their veganism, and the concept of gender also being touched on in the teaser clip.

And with the tag line "let the mind games begin", it instantly feels like we're going back to the glory days.

Bring it on, Big Brother. You've got everything to play for. It's only a game show, it's only a game show…

Big Brother will be launching on Friday night (September 14) at 9pm on Channel 5, followed by Rylan Clark-Neal with the return of Bit on the Side at 11pm.

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