Big Brother’s Big Reboot Promises “Real People Being Authentic”, But Not Quite Live Action

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In George Orwell’s 1984, the immortal words “Big Brother is watching you”. Now, in 2023, those words are back with new meaning as TV’s OG social experiment is back.

The show where nothing is secret and everything is filmed last hit our televisions in 2018. After Channel 4 originated its run 2000, introducing us, through the years to Allison Hammond, Jade Goody, Nasty Nick and the concept of jacuzzi pregnancy. When Channel 4 nixed its run in 2010, it jumped over to Channel 5. Now, after five years off our screens, it’s coming back, this time to ITV.

Here’s everything we know about the new Big Brother.

When will Big Brother launch?

Just in time for spooky season, the new season of Big Brother’s watchful gaze will hit our screens on 8 October. The show will launch simultaneously on ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX, the channel’s digital platform, with a massive first show that will do the classic run of introducing all of the new housemates we’re going to be glued to for the following weeks.

However, while previously the first show of the series has always premiered completely live, it’s been reported that this time around, the launch will be filmed as-live on Saturday before hitting screens later that night. This means we’ll likely hear about our housemates before we sit down in front of the telly, making it much more like reality shows like Love Island and Bake Off. It’s a fairly bold choice to change up one of the most defining parts of Big Brother’s cultural IP, that being one of chaos and mess above all else.

After the launch, the series will air every night except Saturdays at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX, and it will be followed by a live (yes, this one is actually live) after-show called, in very on-the-nose fashion, Big Brother: Late and Live. And, because all that footage isn’t enough, ITV is also bringing back the nightly live stream seven nights a week, meaning you can watch muffled snoring through the night.

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Who is hosting Big Brother?

Big Brother has cycled through a few hosts in its time. Of course, Davina McCall iconically kicked it all off, helming the series for its first decade on Channel 4 before handing over to Brian Dowling, the nation’s favourite winner of the show’s second series when it decamped to Channel 5. After a few years, he then passed the reigns to Emma Willis, who stayed on as host until its final series.

Now, two people are taking over the overlord duties, with AJ Odudu and Will Best announced as the show’s new presenters. Odudu, whose star has risen since her turn on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021, previously hosted Big Brother’s Bit on the Side in 2013; while Best is best known as a T4 presenter in the early 2010s. The pair will also host the after-show, diverting from the past where the late show was taken over at various stages by a series of presenters and comedians.

Who will appear in Big Brother?

We’ll have to wait for the not-quite-live live launch show for that. However, Best has previously said that this time around “I think it’s time for the reality people want to see, which is real people being authentic and that’s where the fun comes.” The statement seems to point at a general fatigue that’s plagued reality TV for sometime as it’s become more of a stepping stone to launch or enhance influencing careers than be an experience in and of itself.

Also, there’s been reports that for this new series, ITV will be loosening its rules on alcohol after getting contestants boozy and messy had fallen out of favour on TV in the last few years. At least there won’t be any non-alcoholic empty wine bottles lying around this season for someone to make TV history with.

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