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Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 09:04 GMT
Big Brother goes underwater
The Bowl
Life in a goldfish bowl: The Bowl is becoming a cult
A Norwegian internet company has taken reality TV to a new level - by running a version of Big Brother set in a tropical fish tank.

Since last Friday, the internet portal ABC Startsiden has been featuring The Bowl - with a webcam following the fortunes of five fish in a tank in the company's Oslo offices.

Already, one has been evicted from the tank, and another will leave each week until the competition ends on 8 December.

The Bowl
Fans can read about what the fish had for dinner
ABC Startsiden's chief editor Ernst Larsen told BBC News Online: "We have 300,000 visitors a day, but people said to me that the site was looking a bit dull and grey, so we had to do something to liven it up."

Reality TV shows have been a hit in Norway - although Big Brother has yet to air there - and the adventures of Tanya, Klaus, Wanda, Pål and Oddvar are already making a splash with Norwegian net users.

"We have a lot of visitors who discuss the fish, and give them personalities and emotions," said Mr Larsen.

The first fish to be evicted was Oddvar.

The Bowl
Wanda the angelfish ponders her next move
"Oddvar had to go because the fans thought he was making trouble for Klaus the goldfish - he was ganging up on him, and biting his tail," explained Mr Larsen.

"Nasty" Oddvar is now "in a secret place" after being removed from the tank.

All the fish boast their own biography page, with details such as favourite song.

Pål the snakefish is looking a likely winner but Mr Larsen has a dilemma.

"We haven't planned a prize for the winning fish yet," he explained.

"After all, if we give them too much food, they'll die."

However, he does plan to treat his aquatic charges to a party when The Bowl comes to an end.

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