New BBC1 chief stays aloof as 'Big Brother' breeds cousins

The new controller of BBC1 said last night that Big Brother-style shows had no place on her channel.

The new controller of BBC1 said last night that Big Brother-style shows had no place on her channel.

In her first major announcement since taking charge last week, Lorraine Heggessey told The Independent on Sunday: "I predict that we will now see a lot of copycat Big Brothers. I am not interested in running one of those."

The success of Big Brother has already sparked a bidding war among television executives buying up "reality television" programmes.

Jailbreak is currently being screened on Channel 5 while ITV is in negotiations to secure the rights to Survive, a big hit in the US.

An ITV spokeswoman said: "Obviously, what Big Brother has shown us is that reality shows fascinate people. "

Experts predict that such programmes will become increasingly sexually explicit as viewers become bored with more staid formats. John de Mol, the Dutch television producer who devised Big Brother, has already come up with Chains of Love, in which participants must choose from four members of the opposite sex to whom they are chained for 24 hours a day for a week in a Big Brother-style house.

The final episode of Big Brother, shown on Friday night, was watched by a peak audience of 10 million - or 57 per cent of the watching audience - while 7.7 million people voted, including 2.5 million phone votes in two hours from 9pm on Friday.

Craig Phillips, from Liverpool, won the £70,000 cash prize after receiving 3.5 million votes - 120,000 more than second placed Anna Nolan. There is anecdotal evidence of callers trying for up to two hours before finally getting through to the vote hotline to register their support for Anna.

But a Channel 4 spokeswoman said it had no reports of phone problems and people who wanted to vote had got through.

The three Big Brother finalists were both exhausted and overwhelmed as they were paraded in front of journalists at a specially arranged press conference yesterday outside the Big Brother house in east London. Most of the questions centred around Anna's perceived new role as a lesbian icon, which left the Irish ex-nun looking a little bewildered.

Bookmakers may also look a little bewildered. William Hill estimated Craig's victory had cost the industry £250,000, representing the biggest outlay on a television-related bet since Who Shot JR? vexed the nation.

The Big Brother house will now be dismantled and packed away to return for a future series. Channel 4 has first option on a second series, and six months to decide.

It will be hard for Channel 4 bosses to resist, however. Liz Warner, the Channel 4 commissioning editor who oversaw the programme, said yesterday: "We set out to produce compelling entertainment and have ended up creating a cultural phenomenon that has changed the relationship between television and the web."

Craig's decision to donate his winnings to a family friend, Joanne Harris, who has Down's syndrome, has had the effect of opening a debate on whether the National Health Service discriminates against people with disabilities.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week