On Monday, 15 August we sent our own Jessica Dady to personally inspect Channel 5's new Big Brother house, and meet the man who's stepping into Davina's slingbacks, the one and only former BB champ (twice!) Brian Dowling. Here’s how she got on…
Meeting the host
Striking a pose on the florescent pink carpet, I watched a well-groomed Brian Dowling in his element. As the new host for Big Brother 2011 he definitely has a lot to be smiling about. From winning Big Brother 2001 to being crowned the ultimate BB housemate last year, it’s clear to see he’s come a long way and is certainly the man for the job.
Brian’s happy to chat about some of the changes in the new Big Brother. ‘It’s not a social experiment, it’s going to be entertainment,’ he says. ‘We’re going to be a little bit more cheeky as well.’
Brian can’t contain his excitement, and brags about how he’s the perfect candidate to follow in former host Davina McCall’s footsteps presenting what he describes as a more ‘mischievous’ take on the show. ‘I’ve got the ability – 10 years in the industry. And, no one else has been in the house and won it twice - which I have. I’ve never been nominated, never been up for the public eviction, so I kind of went with all that behind me. Why not?’
As we expected he wasn't giving away the celebrity line-up this year so instead Brian gave us the lowdown on how he'll dedicate more time and focus on the opinions and relationships of the housemates: ‘On the eviction show we’ll be spending a lot more time talking to them… it’s not really about us, it’s about them.’
Big Brother this year wants to be new and different to previous series remembering the old but more importantly celebrating the new. ‘What makes it easier is moving it to a different channel – it gives it a fresher look.’
Going into the house
After the interviews and ex-housemate spotting (see above!) it was finally time to enter the house. As the hidden door in the wall opened to reveal the inside, I was amazed.
From being a fan and watching the previous series to seeing the place in the flesh was surreal. Straightaway my eyes were drawn to the brightly coloured furniture and the mirrors on every wall. My first thought was that once again Big Brother is leaving no stone unturned and privacy is out of the question.
The highlight of the day was getting to sit in the famous and iconic Big Brother chair in the Diary Room. Like the house, the thing was larger than life, taking a modern spin on the traditional BB style. I sat down and felt like royalty (plus, also rather lost due to its size). I could feel the envy of my Big Brother-loving friends, so I made sure I got my photo taken... and posted it on Facebook to rub it in some more.
The day as a whole was a great experience. I wasn’t going to watch Big Brother this year (it's back on C5 on Thursday, 18 August), but after admiring the house and hearing from the host himself it’s made me rather excited to see what all the fuss is about.
Big Brother is definitely getting back to me.