Big Brother reaches decade landmark

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Davina McCall introduces the latest bunch of contestants for Big Brother's tenth series this week. As always, the exact format of Big Brother's latest series will remain a close secret until the show's launch but that's not to say we haven't been given a few clues...

Images from inside the new house were released yesterday revealing a minimalistic 'credit crunch' house containing no furniture, only mysterious crates. For the first time in the show's history there are no apparent beds or inside chairs and the swimming pool, famed for some of the series’ more risqué moments, is no more.

The show's creative director Phil Edgar-Jones said in a statement: "This year I hope will be our best". Having worked on the past nine productions, Edgar-Jones admits: "People ask me constantly: 'Aren’t you bored of Big Brother after so long?' The answer is easy, straightforward and from the heart--a simple 'no'."

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the show's critics, who claim that this season should be the last. Former spin-off presenter Michael McIntyre told The Sun the show is "absolute nonsense". The stand up comedian said he "hated" the time he spent fronting Big Brother's Big Mouth and branded the show's format "dead".

Big Brother's future looked shaky last year as its ratings slipped to an all time low. The show has seen a steady decline in viewers over the last few years and the premiere of the last series, which saw teacher Rachel Rice crowned winner, drew a minimal average audience of 5.2 million – a million fewer than in 2007.

George Lamb, the host of Big Brother's Little Brother, admits that previous series have lacked "lustre" but says: "It's the 10th anniversary and as a result they're going to throw absolutely everything they've got at it and they want it to be bigger and better than it's ever been."

The program's long-standing host McCall, who has two years left on her contract, denies the show's getting tired, telling the TV Times "It always feels fresh to me."

In the run up to the landmark launch Channel 4's sister channel E4 is to broadcast a lead-in shows entitled Big Brother: A Decade in the Headlines, which takes a look back at some of the show's most high profile stories.

Big Brother, series 10, begins this Thursday, June 4, on Channel 4 at 9pm. Big Brother: A Decade in the Headlines airs Tuesday, June2, at 10pm on E4.

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