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Sunday, 23 December, 2001, 13:52 GMT
France's literary take on Big Brother
Loft Story protests
France's previous experiment with the format drew protests
France is re-inventing the Big Brother format for intellectuals, according to the Observer.

The newspaper has reported that the French public TV network La Cinq is to screen a programme in January in which four would-be novelists are locked into a house together.

There will be four bedrooms in the house, which the writers will be expected to keep to

Antoine Henriquet, La Cinq
Given the task of producing a 10-page novella in four days, they will be filmed continuously as they fight over one laptop computer, each others' egos - and face faxed demands from the producers for a twist in the plot.

Called Vous Connaissez la Nouvelle? (Do You Know The Story?) the programme is produced by independent TV company Ego Productions.

The company has said that the series will be quite different from the wave of Big Brother imitations which have swept the world.

'Four bedrooms'

Ego spokesman Antoine Henriquet said: "We are not influenced by the shallow, sensationalist agenda of Big Brother."

Mr Henriquet insisted the aim of the programme was to introduce literature to viewers who felt it had little relevance for them.

"There will be four bedrooms in the house, which the writers will be expected to keep to," he said.

The names of the two men and two women - two established writers and two beginners - are being kept secret.

Warring couples

The programme will be in two parts: First, the edited highlights from the four-day writing spree, then an interview with each writer by a celebrated literary figure.

The programme is the creation of Pascale Breugnot, the first producer to bring reality shows to France.

In the past Ms Breugnot has been responsible for Psy-show on Antenne 2, in which warring couples discussed their problems with a qualified psychologist, and Perdu de Vue on TF1, which helped members of the public to find long-lost loved ones.

See also:

16 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Life with Big Brother
11 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Greeks protest against Big Brother
25 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
France launches digital TV bids
24 May 01 | TV and Radio
Reality TV around the globe
30 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
French Big Brother faces censors
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