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Sunday, 12 November, 2000, 03:45 GMT
Mel's Big Brother anger
Hill leaving the house with Davina McCall
Hill was hurt by the some viewers' reactions to her
Big Brother contestant Melanie Hill has said she felt she was stereotyped as a "sexy little babe" before she set foot in the television show house.

Hill revealed her anger at her treatment to BBC One's Panorama programme, which was screened on Sunday.

The 26-year-old became an instant celebrity when she took part in Channel 4's ratings winner in the summer.

But she says she was hurt and surprised by the hatred she experienced from some viewers reacting to the way her character was portrayed on screen.

The interview with Hill formed part of a Panorama programme focusing on the "reality TV" trend.

Mariella Frostrup
First-time Panorama presenter Mariella Frostrup
Critics said the subject was not a suitable one for the long-running current affairs strand, but the corporation defended the programme and its presenter, Mariella Frostrup.

A BBC spokesman said: "Not every edition of Panorama is about nuclear disarmament.

"Reality TV is not a lighter subject, it is an exploration of a new social trend.

"The phenomenon has been reported widely in all newspapers over the summer yet no one has taken a wider look at what's happening globally."

'Manipulation'

On the programme, Hill revealed that a script written by Big Brother producers for her introductory video had included the line "I'm Mel, and I'm a sexy little babe".

She said she had felt uncomfortable with it and had raised concerns with the producers.

She now believes she was "naive" to have listened to their reassurances.

"I feel angry with the programme-makers because we had no idea what they were going to do with all the footage and what they did with it was manipulate it into little stereotypes," she said.

"Unfortunately these stereotypes aren't real, they're just caricatures.

"I think the term 'reality TV' is totally misleading. It's not real. It is TV. It is tabloid TV."

'It's only a game show'

Fellow Big Brother contestant "Nasty" Nick Bateman was also interviewed for the Panorama programme.

"I think one of the problems with the whole show was the public thought it was real," he said.

"They lost sight that it was a game show."

Ron Copsey from the BBC's own reality TV series Castaway, and US chat show host Jerry Springer also featured on the programme.

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See also:

06 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother's perfect moment
16 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother climax watched by 10 million
09 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Mel is latest Big Brother evictee
18 Sep 00 | Entertainment
TV 'castaway' complains of bias
06 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Springer's 'silly' show
22 Sep 00 | Entertainment
BBC defends boss over Frostrup
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