Big Brother 10 News
Live Feed Furore Culminates In Death Threats
The furore surrounding Channel 4's decision to scrap daytime
Big Brother coverage this year has, outrageously, culminated
in the Head of the TV channel receiving death threats.
For years now, fans have been able to watch the show at any
time, 24/7, either online or by pressing their red button,
and live coverage was also scheduled on C4/ E4 during the
day. However, there is no red button live feed this year and
the live coverage doesn't start until late in the evening,
running through to about 5am.
So, viewers who would normally be able to watch the show
whenever they want have been left in the dark during the day
as-to what's going-on in the House. This has caused a huge
backlash, with fans posting furiously on discussion forums
and also starting petitions asking Channel 4 to reinstate
the live feed/ daytime shows.
Indeed, even Big Brother host Davina McCall – a big
fan herself – got involved by urging people to sign
such petitions on her personal Twitter page.
Former housemates also came out-of the woodwork to make comment:
BB5's Dan Bryan supporting the angry fans by dubbing the feed
an 'integral part of the show', but BB2's Stuart Hosking dismissing
all the fuss and claiming that fans aren't really missing
anything (um, except everything that happens during
In light of all the heat, Channel 4 went on record to confirm
that the daytime coverage won't be returning, with viewers'
editor Paula Carter saying that low demand in previous years
meant the broadcaster couldn't sustain the 24-hour live feed.
"Unfortunately, we found that less and less people were
watching the live feed, so although it must be very frustrating
for loyal fans, it has reached a point where we could no longer
justify offering this service on a twenty-four hour basis,"
said Carter on an online forum.
"I am very sorry to be the bearer of this news but I
hope that you will still be able to enjoy this latest series
of Big Brother," she added, while Davina backpeddled
by posting on her Twitter page that at least Channel 4 is
providing plenty of online video clips instead.
The thing is, Big Brother Online has got hold of the viewing
figures for the live feed last year, and while the press department
were happy for us to believe that the take-up was 'just a
few thousand', in fact the average daily audience for Channel
4 and E4 combined during Big Brother 9 was 480,000.
That's a lot of people to let down, and it has also impacted
tabloid journalists who are struggling to find stories each
day, unable to watch the events as they happen.
Still, while it's one thing to lobby the broadcaster, it
is totally unjustified doing what one deranged fan has done,
and that's issue death threats against the family of Channel
4 boss Andy Duncan.
For some complete nutter has e-mailed the Chief Executive
stating that unless the live feed is reinstated his daughter
will be killed. Commenting on the worrying correspondence,
a C4 insider said, "We're hoping that the writer was
just lashing-out and that the reference to 'killing a daughter'
was just added for dramatic effect".
Needless to say, the Police have been called and are investigating
the matter, doubtless trying to trace the sender of the sick
While we can't condone such behaviour on behalf of Big Brother
fans, we can understand the frustration and feel that Channel
4 has totally underestimated how much of a part the dedicated
viewers – the sort who watch lots of live coverage –
actually play in keeping momentum going by discussing the
show with colleagues, friends and other fans online.
Check back soon for more Big
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