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Interview With Celebrity Big Brother's Executive Producer
A short while ago, Channel 4 caught up with a certain Mr.
Phil Edgar-Jones, top brass at production company Endemol
and Executive Producer of Big Brother.
About the fact that the Celebrity show will be a mini-version
of the real thing, complete live hour-long programmes every
night, regular editions of Big Brothers Little Brother,
and live streaming on e4, he said, Basically, were
taking over Channel 4 for ten days.
When Phil talks about the show, its unmistakably with
the enthusiasm of a true BB fan. Oh, I love the programme,
he readily admits. Im a huge fan of it, so I love
the fact that I can sit there and watch everything happen
every single day. And you never know what it is thats
going to happen. The sheer unpredictability, thats the
absolute beauty of it.
And it's not just the on-screen antics that catch his attention
either: The viewers take us as much by surprise as the
housemates. They vote people out we never expected to be voted
out half the time.
Even with two prior series under Endemol's belt, the sheer
success of Big Brother 3 was something that also surprised
Phil. We didnt quite expect it to go through the
roof the way it did this year, its turned into a real
summer event. Theres a lot of anticipation before it
starts with people waiting to see who the new housemates are.
This aspect certainly hasn't changed for the Celebrity version
of the show, that's for sure!
So, how does the selection process for Celebrity Big Brother
work? Despite widespread opinion, it's not just a case of
sending-out a sackful of invites and hoping to find six celebs
mad enough to do it! As Phil explains, "We compile a
'wish-list' of who we want in there, but we want people from
a variety of different backgrounds in the celebrity world.
Weve also got to consider how well their characters
will work together in the house (...or not, as the case
may be! - Ed)
And about the previous rumours that the celebrity housemates
just pop-in, do a couple of hours filming each day and then
go back to their lives of luxury, well, these have been shot
down in flames this time around - events in the house will
be broadcast live on e4 and the 'net, around the clock.
As Phil puts it, "We want the celebrities to live the
Big Brother experience the same way that your normal housemates
would live it, so the show is essentially the same. Of course,
the one key difference is that this show will be raising money
for charity. When the question was posed about whether
there's likely to be any surprises for the celebrity show
like the bars, the response was short and sweet: "If
I told you that, they wouldnt be surprises!"
Of course, he recognises that the nature of the programme
is different, almost paradoxical, when the people in the house
are already famous faces. Its one of the aspects that
fascinates Phil most about Celebrity Big Brother. With
normal Big Brother, were making ordinary people extraordinary.
With this, were making famous people very, very ordinary.
Its their ordinariness thats the most exciting
On that note, Phil recalls the time when Tim Culley tried
to get a 'Glorious British Revolution going during BB3.
About the ginger one's failure to encourage his fellow housemates
to revolt, Phil said, "They discussed that for a while
and then came to the diary room and threatened to walk out.
Eventually they just had a cup of tea and forgot it all. For
me, that just summed up the British way. It tells you more
about our national characteristics than thousands of documentaries
and news programmes.
And that is essentially why we fans like to watch it, because
the show lays bare the housemates true personalities and allows
us to see people at their most honest and open. Reaching a
wider age-range than the normal show, Millions of Big Brother
fans will be tuning-in to watch Celebrity Big Brother 2 and
we've got a feeling that Phil Edgar-Jones would be one of
them even if he didn't work on the show!
Don't forget to check back soon
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