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The Editor's New Year Message

Long-time visitors will know that I usually take the opportunity to write an 'Editor's Xmas Message' at this time of year, supposedly reflecting on the past 12 months in the world of our fave TV show, Big Brother.

This year, however, it's more of a 'New Year's Moan' and thankfully, just a few days into 2004 and Christmas Day seems so long ago. Thank God all that card writing, untangling of Christmas Tree lights and intense thought about what pressies to buy is over for another year...

Actually, for me the latter part of that sentence is slightly inaccurate, mainly because I did the time-honoured 'bloke' thing of starting my Christmas shopping on the 24th of December. My philosophy? If Argos didn't have it in stock, you were getting a voucher!

You can't blame me really though; the 90-minute trip 'nipping' to my local ASDA store just to buy one specific CD was rather ridiculous. Even more ridiculous though, were the, ahem, 'lovely bargain hunters' who'd clogged-up my entry to the overcrowded car park and were seemingly ecstatic that they'd managed to buy 3 bagfuls of cauli and carrots for just £2.

"Arrggggh, GO AWAY. I have legitimate 'last minute' shopping to do!" Some people, huh?

I must remember to calm down next year and to get into the spirit a bit more. Christmas is all about giving and not receiving they say, which basically meant that I had to pretend to be pleased upon receiving the obligatory tat like cheap aftershave, novelty socks and a bulls**t detector. Oh, ha-bloody-ha.

It's okay though; it's not as if I wanted something remotely useful like the Ricky Gervais video, 'Tommy' cologne, or the keys to a Lotus Elise/ Lamborghini Gallardo. Actually, thinking about it, all my recent talk about buying myself a bright yellow Lambo within 12 months may have had something to do with my receiving a BS detector!

Seriously, I'm not that much of a scrooge and I had a great Christmas and New Year really. I hope you all got what you wanted, had fun buying other people gifts, didn't eat too much turkey and refrained from embarrassing yourself at the Christmas party.

Of course, traditionally now's the time for making woefully ambitious vows to change your life. You know: promise to get fit, to get a new wardrobe, a more fashionable hairdo, a new car, move house, climb the career ladder, blah blah blah.

Well, I've decided to burn off the season's excesses by getting my Quality Street-enhanced butt down the gym this winter. A 6-pack stomach in time for the summer? Don't count on it!

To be honest, it's something that I've been threatening to do for bloody ages but it'll be nothing short of a miracle if I last more than a month on the old treadmill of boredom. Still, if anyone wants to sponsor me (something I appealed for last year and had a positive response - thanks) as an incentive, I might even sign myself up to run a Marathon and raise some money for 'chari-dee'.

Please get in touch if you can spare a few quid and would like too show your appreciation for all my (our) hard work on the site over the past few years aka: watch me suffer!

And now on to the subject of Big Brother.

Let's not beat around the bush and try to pretend otherwise, Big Brother 4 was a bit lame. I mean, several of us in the BBO office had a conversation about it in the Autumn and we literally couldn't remember the names of several contestants (it's easier for you now, as their pics feature at the top of the page).

The upside of this, however, is that Big Brother 5 in 2004 will inevitably be a much better series. True enough, many fans threatened to stop watching the show last summer and despite all the spiel from Channel 4 about it being a ratings success, programme makers Endemol have more recently conceded that they chose the wrong contestant group.

So, there's life in the old format yet and the success of Series 5 depends on two things: firstly, the Producers must immediately discount 'nicey' applicants who aren't prepared to stick their necks out, in favour of choosing fiery, argumentative, controversial, manipulative, arrogant, loud, funny, camp or dippy people; basically, the types who aren't afraid to say what they mean or do what they want.

Secondly, and probably just as important, is that we fans must remember NOT to boot out the controversial characters too early-on. During BB3 we managed to keep dizzy youngster Jade Goody in the house when there was a very good chance of an early exit. For BB4 however, we reverted back to our old ways of gunning for the loud-mouthed contestant, by evicting Anouska way too early.

Lessons learnt, Big Brother fans?

Right, that's enough waffle from me and it just remains to wish you all a Happy and Successful New Year. The BBO team are really looking forward to Big Brother 5 now and we thank-you for your continued support. See you again soon, hopefully in our Forums during BB5.

Regards, JD

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