>This is Big Brother, please do not swear

>

Rejoice, summer is here. This is not due to the sun/rain combo weather we have been having, or the fact that I my flip flops and summer dresses are ready to go for a  holiday this weekend. No, simply I have heard the Paul Oakenfold scored Big Brother theme tune. Whatever you think of the programme, that piece of music will forever be synonymous with this time of year.

Anyway, 14 volunteers have gone into a house in Elstree tonight to be prodded, pushed and perused by the shows producers and the general public one last time. I don’t mind the original principle of Big Brother; a live TV experiment that become a cult hit, and then a worldwide phenomenon. Tonight though the journey from where the programme has come from to where it has ended up , just over a decade later, became painfully clear.  In Big Brother 1, which I am JUST old enough to remember, there were people. Normal people. People who were prepared to cheat to win. People who were just decent guys from Liverpool in red shorts.

Tonight we had a ridiculous combination of failed divas, failed supermodels, eccentric priests and lesbian cliches. Yet none of them were interesting. They may turn out to be, and no doubt I will keep watching as that is the genius of the programme, but nobody’s story really gripped me. More than ever they just seemed like bad stereotypes, mixed together to create a cocktail of bitching and backstabbing.

Had I been involved in Big Brother, I would have cancelled it after the previous series and gone out after a decade with a bang. They have tried to spice it up this year by having a spooky fairground theme and, finally, an official mole (the 14th housemate selected) but it may not be enough to leave this cultural phenomenon with its reputation anywhere near in tact.

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