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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Big Brother's global controversy
By Caroline Westbrook
BBC News Online

Big Brother
The fight is the latest controversy to hit the series
The drunken fight which erupted on Big Brother on Wednesday night is just the latest in a string of controversial incidents so far this series.

The last three weeks have played host to nudity, food fights and alleged sexual encounters between housemates Michelle Bass and Stuart Wilson, to say nothing of other arguments between housemates.

And evictee Kitten Pinder also made her mark by refusing to comply with Big Brother's rules and writing graffiti on the walls of the house, bringing about her own expulsion from the show.

All of which makes previous series look mild-mannered by comparison.

However, while UK audiences may not be used to such antics on the show, controversial behaviour is commonplace in other Big Brother houses around the world.


Big Brother USA Series 2
The second series of Big Brother USA saw a knife scandal
The second series of the show, broadcast in 2001, saw housemate Justin Sebik expelled from the house after he threatened fellow contestant Krista Stegall with a knife. The pair were kissing in the house when he held the blade to her throat and said "Would you get mad if I just killed you?" Stegall later sued TV network CBS, who broadcasts the show in the US.

In a separate incident, contestant Scott Weintraub was thrown out of the house just five days into the fourth series after he threw a tantrum in the house and began hurling furniture around. He was evicted after other housemates said they feared for their safety.


Merlin Luck
Merlin Luck used his 15 minutes of fame to make a political statement

The latest series of the show, currently screening in Australia, attracted attention after housemate Merlin Luck used his eviction to make a political statement. The 24-year-old, from Sydney, sat through the live post-eviction show with his mouth taped shut, while holding a sign that read 'Free the refugees'. Despite the best efforts of Luck's father and the show's host Gretel Killeen, Luck refused to speak throughout the entire show.


The Danish version of Big Brother is credited with producing the first conception in the history of the show. Housemates Sissel, 20 and Robert, 21, were seen getting intimate with each other on the show earlier this year, but news of Sissel's pregnancy was not announced until she had been voted out of the house.

Their version of the show is no stranger to controversy - midway through the series in 2001 the seven remaining contestants walked out of the house, saying they had chosen to "vote out Big Brother". After negotiations four of them agreed to return on the condition they could have visitors.

Arab territories

The Arab version of Big Brother was axed midway through the series earlier this year following religious protests against the show.
Arab Big Brother
The Arab version of the show was taken off air mid-series

The house, in Bahrain, featured segregated sleeping areas and separate prayer rooms for male and female, but still ran into trouble with governments and viewers complaining that it undermined traditional Islamist values. Events came to a head after 1,000 protesters attempted to storm the house and the Saudi housemate began boasting that he had managed to infiltrate the women's quarters.


Things became heated early on in the Portuguese Big Brother house - the first series saw one housemate, Marco, thrown out after kicking another housemate in the stomach. He later broke down on live TV and begged for forgiveness. Another couple, meanwhile, were given their marching orders after having sex in the house. They later got married.


The French equivalent of Big Brother, known as Loft Story, landed in hot water after protestors against the show besieged the location three times in one week and tried to invade the studio. Police had to use tear gas to repel the activists, who complained that "trash TV turns people into idiots".

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