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Big Brother
Big Brother

Luke Marsden: Big Brother final 'slap in the face' to show that shaped reality TV as we know it

Tuesday 6th November 2018
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When you lose a loved one, such as mother, father, grandma or even that aunt that you only see once a year, you get an overwhelming feeling of loss.

But what happens when we lose our Big Brother?

Today as a type this, I don’t feel a sense of grieving more a feeling of relief, Big Brother isn’t in pain anymore. When the show ended (the first time!) on Channel 4 we all had hope at the back of our minds that BB would rise again and open the door to the diary room on another channel. The Channel 4 send over was spectacular complete with clearly a large firework budget.

As the show progressed and digressed each year on C5 the feeling of ‘oh this is it’ has crept in and last night’s 'final send-off' was nothing more than a slap in the face to a show that has paved the way for the likes of TOWIE, Love Island and Geordie Shore. It was like watching a funeral that you didn’t really want to go to and you didn’t know any of the mourners.

This final series started strong, throwing back to the original concept of ‘normal folk’ trapped in a house with zero contact with the outside world. They stripped away the 'freaks and wannabes' as much as possible and went back to basics. What this series has proved is that those freaks and wannabes provided oxygen to the format and without them it was just stale air.

Akeem, Cian, Zoe and Cameron weren’t the best finalists in the world. Zoe dubbed herself and the others as ‘misfits’ but the irony is that they fitted in more than most. This morning as the final four woke up in a Premiere Inn in Elstree, agents wouldn't have been queuing up to pitch them the 15 minutes of fame dream. Instead this bunch will be lucky to get recognised while buying a latte.

After 18 years the show, the fans and the media simply lost interest in the civilian format (thankfully the prize fund remained the same) and auditions moved from thousands in a queue to hundreds on Skype. As reality TV formats become lobotomised for the Snapchat generation, the grandfather of reality TV, Big Brother lost its place.

Cameron referred to himself as a ‘super-fan’ and at the age of 18 he claims to have watched every single episode. So that puts him at aged zero when Craig Phillips became the first winner.

Even Emma Willis hates the phrase “journey” but Cameron did have one—a journey that sums up the evolution of the show. He sulked, he moaned and he didn’t really embrace to the full the opportunity in front of him. In a decade’s time when BB has spent some time in its big coffin, people won’t remember Cameron—and they’ll probably struggle to remember any of the C5 era. 

We’ll remember the greats—Jade Goody, Nasty Nick, Nadia Almada, Brian Dowling etc. I’ll never forget the 58 days I spent in a converted bungalow back in the summer of 2008. The memories I made, the people I met, the experiences I’ve had will (for good or for bad) stay with me forever. Big Brother will live on in the 327 housemates, countless production staff, Marcus, Davina and Emma.

Thank you Big Brother for entertaining a nation for thousands of hours, you deserve to be immortalised in TV history. We will get back to you…

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