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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Big Brother 5's audience plunges
Shell Jubin
Shell Jubin is one of this year's Big Brother housemates
Audience ratings for Channel 4's fifth series of Big Brother have dropped sharply after 6.7 million people tuned in to watch the launch night.

Friday's programme followed the last ever Friends show, which attracted a record 8.6m viewers.

But Saturday night ratings for Big Brother had dropped to 3.4 million, and 3.3 million on Bank Holiday Monday.

Housemates this year include a political activist and an air steward who entered the house wearing a thong.

This year the contenders will be battling it out for 100,000 prize money, which Big Brother has the power to reduce for failed tasks.

Kitchen ratings

Producers have also introduced a tougher regime, including too few beds, which has lead it to be dubbed "evil" Big Brother.

The changes were in response to disappointing reviews and ratings for Big Brother four, which was eventually won by Orkney fish trader Cameron Stout.

Previous years had seen huge ratings for the reality show.

Meanwhile, Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen on ITV1 enjoyed a surge in viewers on Monday night.

The reality show, starring former MP Edwina Currie, comic Al Murray and former Bros singer Matt Goss, attracted an audience of 7.8 million - up almost three million on the previous night.

But the show, which sees celebrities working as cooks under the Michelin starred Ramsey, was sandwiched between two episodes of Coronation Street.

The soap's explosive storyline between Sarah Platt and her gay former boyfriend Todd led to a Bank Holiday special of three episodes in one evening, attracting an audience of up to 11. 4 million.

Big Brother contestants unveiled
31 May 04  |  TV and Radio
Housemates set for Big Brother 5
28 May 04  |  TV and Radio
Big Brother house shows ugly side
23 May 04  |  TV and Radio


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