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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 00:44 GMT 01:44 UK
Birth first for Dutch Big Brother
Baby Joscelyn Savanna with mother Tanja
The birth was shown eight hours later in a special programme
The Dutch version of the reality TV show Big Brother has broken new ground broadcasting a contestant giving birth.

Baby Joscelyn Savanna's birth was shown on Tuesday evening, eight hours after it took place, by agreement between the show's producers and the authorities.

The cameras focused mostly on the face of the mother, Tanja, but also showed the midwife assisting the birth.

Tanja, 27, one of nine contestants left on the show, was seven months' pregnant when she entered the house in August.

The contestants, whose last names are not given, must stay in the house until they are either voted off the programme in a viewers' poll or win the 400,000-euro (270,600) prize.

Big Brother was created in the Netherlands six years ago and has since been marketed in dozens of countries throughout the world.

Stretching the limits

Tanja, who comes from the northern town of Groningen, says she became pregnant by accident.

She gave birth in a special room in the Big Brother house, according to strict ground rules set by the Dutch Social Affairs Ministry.

"We are very proud of you," said fellow contestant Dido when Tanja rejoined the others afterwards.

The filming of the baby is restricted to just a few hours between now and the end of the show on 22 December.

She will stay in a room where cameras are not allowed, and where her mother and other relatives can visit her privately.

Talpa, the TV station that produced the show, has been accused of exploiting the birth to boost its ratings.

But spokeswoman Stephanie Dekker said the scenes were not explicit, and that more graphic birth footage had been shown on educational and medical programmes.

Correspondents say that prime-time TV viewers in the Netherlands have seen the bounds of taste and decency stretched in recent days.

On Monday, another network showed a reporter snorting cocaine and then being interviewed about the experience, the Associated Press said.

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