Big Brother – an apology

Last night's 'Big Brother' began with an apology, not for the tabloid heaven that was to follow, but for what we had already been subjected to.

If Gordon Brown was having second thoughts about how to deal with the budget deficit, he should not think twice about selling off the ratings-obsessed Channel 4.

Channel 4 has got all sections of the press in a frenzy this week. The Daily Mail ("Trampling on Diana’s grave"), Daily Telegraph and Express over its TV documentary on the death of Diana (which apparently breaks no taboo and does not show Diana's face – so much for that).

And for the second half of the week it has set the tabloids off and the lads' mags too, in what the Daily Star is calling the "sexiest Big Brother ever".


The Daily Mirror and the Sun giving a similar response.

Although surely The Sun has gone a little too far with its beast headline? Calling women beasts because they don't happen to be blonde and slim is unacceptable sexist crap. Rebekka Wade should hang her head in shame. 

Just to clear one thing up: Channel 4 is a really good broadcaster. Tru,e it likes to break taboos with lots of sex, whether this is in the guise of documentary or reality TV, and chases ratings rather too much, but overall there is much to be happy with, but really what place does this station have being in public ownership?

It does very well commercially, and 'Big Brother' shows those commercial instincts off most finely.

It will make a fat profit out of the latest series, which, although is in early days, is designed with a headline-grabbing tabloid audience in mind.

I mean come on, 18-year-old blonde twins? A Victoria Beckham lookalike? A footballers wife wannabe? Posh Tory totty? A thousand front covers of tabloid flesh have just been instantly created.

Channel 4 does this all brilliantly. It does others things very well also, more reality, endless property, drama and film, all done with a popularist twist, which only occasionally comes really unstuck ('Celebrity Big Brother' and the cancelled show about masturbation spring to mind).

But really does it need to be owned by the state any longer? Channel 4 should be sold off so the Exchequer and the rest of the nation can benefit and it can worry less about offending Daily Mail editors.

  • Sean Murricane

    I think Channel 4 gets typecast for Big Brother. In truth the success of Big Brother pays for some of the most thought provoking and professional documentaries going.

    It’s a ratings powerhouse, certainly, but if that was the only criteria for selling something off we should get rid of most of the BBC too…

    Everything goes a little “Silly Season” over the summer with BB, however it can be seen as either a light-hearted bit of fun, which, lets face it, doesn’t really matter in the long run* or a neccessary evil, which brings in viewers and money for their other, more constructive output.

    *note I am totally avoiding any mention of the CBB fiasco here – that was an exception rather than the rule, I feel.

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