Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Big Brother - My part in its rise

Channel 4 have announced that next year's series of Big Brother will be the last. "It has reached its natural conclusion" in the words of the Director of Programming.

Back when the programme first started, I was working for the Electoral Reform Society and I got a call from Endemol (the producers of the programme) who wanted a respected body to oversee the voting so that viewers had confidence that the evictions and winners were actually those who the public voted for rather than those who producers wanted for programming reasons.

(The subsequent BBC dodgy competition scandal perhaps showed how wise they were).

ERS had a subsidiary which handled external ballots and I passed the inquiry on to them. Later I got a call from ballot services asking what I thought of the request as they were dubious about taking part. "Go for it," I said. "The programme will probably never reach the airwaves, but if it does there may be some good publicity."

Whatever some might think of BB now, there's no denying that it has been a phenomenon and I am glad I played a totally insignificant part right at the beginning.

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