Big Brother, no-one is watching you

By Paul Ainsworth

S UMMER’S in full swing here, which means rain, marches, more rain, and flooding. Last week I literally had to wait for the “tide” to go out on Botanic Avenue before I could cross the road as the heavens unleashed a downpour that would have even Noah agreeing that God was slightly taking the piss.

For years, however, TV provided people with a way to pass the time as the incessant rain kept them indoors during the summer months, and one annual treat used to be Big Brother.

In its Channel Four heyday, back at the beginning of the noughties, Big Bro was genuinely interesting television, where you could watch people crack under the strain of scrutiny, and bitch, backstab and bully in what was described as a “social experiment”.

So it was too, for a couple of years at least, before fame hungry fools saw it as an opportunity to grab a flamboyant fifteen minutes of fame, and it spiralled into an utter shambles of crass, bottom of the barrel TV.

Yet the format took another few years marinating in a sauce of scandal, shame, and sheer mediocrity before Channel 5 felt it was ready to join its illustrious output, alongside Extreme Fishing with Robson Green, and the televisual equivalent of an Ebola-tainted petri dish, The Wright Stuff.

Many breathed a sigh of relief that BB had finally come to an end on Channel 4, acknowledging the end of an era – even if that era had become known for highly strung, cross-dressing attention seekers, with colourful names and pathetic ambitions.

Yet with the ability to flog a dead horse until there’s nothing left but rotting hooves, Channel 5 adopted the pitiful programme and unleashed a zombie version of a show that Channel Four had even staged a mock burial for, to emphasise that it really was beyond resuscitation. I was surprised to learn the show featuring “regular” morons, and not the celebrity morons, was given a second series on C5 this summer, as last year’s revamped version had flopped among the channel’s handful of viewers.

Yet laughably, having dared myself to watch an episode, the fools prancing about the Big Bro house still talk about “the nation” watching their every move, and what “the papers” will be saying about them.

Yet with the ability to flog a dead horse until there’s nothing left but rotting hooves, Channel 5 adopted the pitiful programme and unleashed a zombie version of a show that Channel Four had even staged a mock burial for, to emphasise that it really was beyond resuscitation.”

Bar the nauseating set-up between the Daily Star and C5 – both owned by pornographer Richard Desmond  – which means the show is given “coverage” by the trashy red-top, the only other paper mentioning Big Bro this year is the one you’re holding, and trust me…it’s a one off.

The token Irish contestant this year is a tattooed meathead named Connor McIntyre from Derry, a foul-mouthed show-off who last week caused the last remaining viewers to call OFCOM and complain of his “bullying” against another female housemate whom he threatened to punch during a heated row.

Connor has finally “made the papers”.

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