Yeah, I know. Thought I'd follow my Top 5 Crap Comedy Movies with a crap TV topic. Big Brother 9 has just started and whilst I can't claim to have completely avoid it so far (Mrs C is still an occasional viewer) I'm trying hard not to start watching it. I know it's bad but what can you do.
1. Big Brother 2 (2001) - In which we enjoyed "Welsh" Helen's sparkling one liners ("I like blinking, I do" & "Cool your boots" being faves) and her "love affair" with "Dull" Paul. Winner and first openly gay contestant Brian Dowling's sharp wit and cutting humour ensured some genuinely funny moments. Elizabeth was nice and Surbiton boy Bubble added some eccentric interest. This series saw the advent of digital TV and extended coverage. I spent far too much of the summer that year watching live broadcasts of the happenings in the house.
2. Big Brother 3 (2002) - In which Sandy became the first housemate to escape. Scaling a wall and climbing over a roof whilst the rest of the housemates watched the England v Nigeria World Cup match. To add cool points, he'd also urinated in a bin before his departure. Kate Lawler was nice and another "love affair" of sorts was struck up with Spencer though every one knew that Jonny the fireman was the more likely suitor. The house was also split into rich & poor sides to add a bit of spice. Oh, this was the Jade Goody series too. The beginning of "car crash" TV and a road that eventually Channel 4 would probably regret going down.
3. Big Brother 1 (2000) - In which a nation tuned in hopefully only to discover this new show would not feature unexpurgated live sex. The star of the show was former novice-nun and Irish national netball player Anna. She should have won. She came second to Craig who went on to make a living doing DIY on daytime TV. Melanie was nice. "Nasty" Nick Bateman inadvertently recovered the viewers who'd left disappointed at the lack of sex, by attempting to influence the voting. He was forced to face an inquisition by his fellow housemates before admitting he was cheating. Channel 4 booted him out of the house via the back door. Then saw the ratings drop again. Hmmm.
4. Big Brother 5 (2004) - In which Channel 4 tried really hard to fill the house with oddballs and nutters so that there was no chance they'd loss them all. The house was smaller and more claustrophobic and (hopeful fans of live television sex) there was one bedroom! The contestants included an increase in the gay contingent (Marco, Dan and Kitten), a transsexual (Nadia), a former asylum seeker (Ahmed), and a couple of self obsessed alpha-males (Jason and Victor). The result was one of the biggest fights the show had ever seen, which probably would have been a ratings winner if Channel 4 hadn't got a bit scared and cut the transmission. The Police were called. Housemates were told off and Emma (who kicked the whole thing off) was taken out of the show. Becki was nice.
5. Big Brother 4 (2003) - In which Channel 4 tried all sorts of tricks to keep the "interesting" people in only to see the show won by an evangelical Christian. Jon Tickle was clearly a bit off the wall and kept us amused for some time. When (as always happens because "the nation" would rather keep the fit people in) he was voted off. Channel 4 surprised everyone by bringing him back for the final two weeks. It was a bit crap. Gos cooked well and was pretty cool. Tania was niiice. Eventual winner Cameron Stout was generally pleasant to everyone and also got to spend a week in the Big Brother Africa house (whilst one of the African housemates, Gaetano, spent time in the UK house).
Clear signs of the law of diminishing returns then, it's been steadily getting more debasing every year since.
My name is Chopper and I'm a TV-holic.