OPINION: I’m a lifelong Big Brother fan, but I’m not convinced it should come back

26 Apr 2023, 15:50

AJ Odudu, Big Brother, ITV2, ITVX, Will Best

Big Brother has confirmed the new hosts for its ITV return later this year but, far from being excited, I feel a bit ‘meh’ about the whole thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been a huge Big Brother fan my whole life. I am old enough to remember the first ever series way back in 2000. However, I am not at all convinced the reality show should return.

The series, which has had more resurrections than a zombie apocalypse, is set to make its comeback in 2023 with new hosts, a new channel, and new housemates.

My fear is that the new Big Brother won’t live up to its reputation of old… And, if it can’t, it shouldn’t return at all.

Rylan Clark and Emma Willis were the dream team on Big Brother between 2015 and 2018 (Credit: MTV UK / YouTube)

Big Brother return on ITV: Who hosts new series?

ITV has confirmed that AJ Odudu and Will Best will host the latest series of Big Brother in 2023.

A statement from the channel said: “The pair will share the iconic hosting role on the main show, presiding over the weekly evictions and quizzing housemates on all of the goings on in the world’s most famous house. The duo will also host an additional nightly live show debating all the hot topics inside the house.”

TV presenter AJ Odudu recently co-hosted the The Big Breakfast revival, as well as presenting Comic Relief. Strictly fans will know her from her appearance in 2021, when she danced with professional Kai Widdrington.

AJ also co-presented the 2013 Channel 5 reality show spin-off Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, alongside Emma Willis and Rylan Clark.

AJ said: “I’m so excited to finally be able to say that, yes: I’m hosting Big Brother! I couldn’t be happier. Following in the footsteps of some of my favourite broadcasting legends to front such an iconic show is an absolute honour – and to do it alongside my amazing friend Will is the icing on the cake.”

Her close friend and TV presenter Will Best – a self-confessed Big Brother superfan – will join AJ as co-host.

Will said: “I grew up with Big Brother so getting a chance to host it with my mate AJ is a dream come true. I can’t wait to tell some housemates not to swear.”

The new housemates will live in the Big Brother house for six weeks.

Big Brother will return on ITV with AJ Odudu and Will Best (Credit: ITV1)

Should Big Brother return on ITV?

I was hooked when Big Brother first aired in 2000 on Channel 4. The programme was initially presented by Davina McCall, and was like nothing else I’d seen on TV.

The cast – including former nun Anna Nolan, ‘Nasty’ Nick Bateman, and eventual winner Craig Phillips – literally had no idea what they were walking into which made it TV gold.

It was a social experiment, with normal people (and chickens!) and it was addictive viewing. Slowly, over 20 years and more, subsequent series saw the housemates became more and more fame hungry, and less and less likeable.

Don’t forget early series of Big Brother introduced the world to now TV legend Alison Hammond, who competed on the third series in 2002. Alison appeared in the same series as iconic BB character Jade Goody.

The late Nikki Grahame took part in the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006. And This Morning star Josie Gibson won in 2010. They were all huge characters, memorable for being truly themselves… Can you name any of the big characters from the past 10 years? No, me neither.

I felt sad when Channel 4 axed the show in 2010, feeling it still had legs. Fellow fans will know that Channel 5 then bought the rights to the show, which eventually returned with former winner Brian Dowling at the helm – later to be replaced by Emma Willis.

In 2018, Channel 5 also gave up on the show. And while I had a pang of nostalgia, it definitely felt like the right time.

But now ITV will give the show yet another facelift. And I’m not convinced they should.

Nikki’s infamous “who is she” rant in the Big Brother Diary Room (Credit: Channel 4)

What could go wrong?

ITVX and ITV2 are going to have to do something radical to make the new Big Brother worth watching. From where I’m sat, the format is dead in the water. There’s a reason it’s been axed twice already!

Looking back at the past 10 Big Brother winners, they are all largely forgettable. The series got tired. And I got tired of watching it. Coupled with the fact it takes a huge commitment to watch the series. It airs every night for six weeks… I’ve given less time to some of my own family members!

As yet, ITV hasn’t announced any major changes to the series, which is worrying. The show needs new life.

Since Big Brother was last on our screens in 2018, there has been a deluge of new reality shows. Some of them very successful. The Traitors last year was a brilliantly fresh format which had me gripped until the very end. Race Across the World is another personal fave. Beautiful locations, squabbling families – what’s not to love?

Of course, it will take some effort to knock Love Island off its perch, too – and at least that has some sunshine instead of grey British clouds.

When is Big Brother back?

Although ITV has not confirmed exactly when the reality series will return in 2023, we do know that applications are still open.

Casting for the show is ongoing, with wannabe housemates invited to apply via https://www.bigbrother.com/.

Previous series have aired over the summer months.

The new series of Big Brother was originally scheduled to launch in March 2023, however it has now been confirmed to begin in the autumn.

Although no exact start date has been revealed just yet, ITV boss Kevin Lygo has said it will begin “probably September, October time”. We’re assuming the series will be wrapped up by the time I’m A Celebrity starts on ITV1 in November.

The new series will air nightly for six weeks on ITV2 and streaming service ITVX. Will you be watching?

Read more: BBC drama Kidnapped based on Celebrity Big Brother star Chloe Ayling’s abduction announced

Big Brother will return on ITVX and ITV2 sometime in 2023.

What do you think about the return of Big Brother? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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