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Last Updated: Friday, 28 May, 2004, 22:21 GMT 23:21 UK
Housemates set for Big Brother 5
Big Brother 5 house
The house is a much more challenging place to live in
The fifth series of reality show Big Brother starts on Channel 4 on Friday, with the show's producers promising tougher challenges.

Executive producer Shirley Jones said the new house will be less welcoming, with only one bedroom, with not enough beds, and no morning lie-ins.

The winning housemate could win up to 100,000 - but he or she could end up with nothing thanks to new rules.

Last year's show was won by fisherman Cameron Stout, from the Orkney islands.

Ms Jones said she wanted the "whole experience to be a challenge for the housemates from start to finish".

The house ceilings are much lower and the living space reduced to make it seem more claustrophobic.


The potential prize money has been increased by 30,000 from the previous reward of 70,000.

But Ms Jones said they could lose the lot.

"Every Saturday they have to so a live task just to hold on to that prize fund," she explained.

"If they fail a task they get penalised in cash, at least 10,000 a week. It'll be interesting to see people's motivations once they realise that the money is at stake."

Cameron Stout with Big Brother host Davina McCall
Critics said the last series lacked any magic
The tasks this year will include some duties that will force the 12 housemates to make some "agonising decisions".

On Friday, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said shows such as Big Brother did fit within public service broadcasting remits because of their popularity.

"The point is that when Big Brother and Pop Idol or I'm a Celebrity... reach their climax, then there really is a sense that they become a national talking point and I think that's a good thing," she said.

"I think that it's perfectly legitimate to describe that within the broader remit of public service broadcasting."

This year's Big Brother begins at 2000 BST with the Dermot O'Leary-hosted Big Brother's Little Brother, before the new housemates are unveiled at 2200 BST. Davina McCall will once again host the series.

A witch, a male stripper and an ex-prostitute are reported to be contestants this year.

The new house has been designed by Markus Blee, who also designed the kitchen in ITV's Hell's Kitchen reality show, starring vitriolic chef Gordon Ramsay.

Housemates will again nominate two people every week, with the chosen members then going to a public vote to decide the weekly eviction.

  • A digital TV channel has unveiled a new reality show - watching paint dry over eight weeks.

    UKTV Style said its show Watching Paint Dry will star a wall, brushes and various paints over the course of a two-month webcast starting on Friday.

    The channel's head of lifestyle, Nick Thorogood, said it would be "at least as interesting" as other reality TV.

    "Every other reality show is full of boring drips, so we thought that we would go one step further," he said.

    Send us your reaction to Big Brother 5 using the form below.

    Your comments

    I think the contestants are the best yet, the fact they are all very unique will make it very interesting. I hope that Kitten wins, she is my favourite!
    Martin Brown, Sheffield, UK

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    Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.

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