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Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 16:20 GMT
Celebrity Big Brother launched
Craig Phillips
Craig Phillips: The winner of Channel 4's Big Brother
Channel 4 and the BBC are joining forces for a Celebrity Big Brother special in aid of Comic Relief.

Six celebrities will move into the Big Brother house on 9 March, and one will be evicted every other day until Red Nose Day on 16 March, when a winner will be decided by a phone vote.


The rules for the celebrity participants will be strictly enforced - it will be interesting to see if any of the celebrities can survive them

Liz Warner, Channel 4

Shows will be broadcast daily on BBC One and Channel 4, with the final eviction taking place on BBC One on Red Nose Day.

The names of those involved will not be revealed until they move into the house. No fees will be paid, and money raised from the voting lines will go to Comic Relief.

Omnibus edition

The rules will be similar to last year's Big Brother contest which attracted up to ten million viewers to Channel 4, although there will be no cameras in the toilet or shower for this edition.

Coverage will be split between the two networks, with Channel 4 broadcasting the first live show on 9 March and daily half-hour updates, plus an omnibus edition after the week is over.

BBC One will show 10-minute-long updates each day, plus the final live show on 16 March. It will also show a special documentary featuring the celebrities involved prior to their entry into the house.

Both live shows will be hosted by Davina McCall.

Website updates

Updates will also be appear on Comic Relief's website, but there will be no footage streamed on the web for this edition.

"A technically complex, 24-hour streaming operation on the scale of the original Big Brother would be prohibitive for such a short project," said a spokeswoman for Channel 4.

Channel 4 commissioning editor Liz Warner said: "The rules for the celebrity participants will be just as strictly enforced - it will be interesting to see if any of the celebrities can survive them."

Jon Plowman, the BBC's head of comedy entertainment said: "We are delighted to mark the BBC's ongoing commitment to Comic Relief with a collaborative venture that we hope will raise lots of money for the charity on screen, and especially via Comic Relief's website."

Comic events

The show will once again be made by production outfit Bazal, which is owned by Endemol, the Dutch company who own the rights to Big Brother. Endemol is also donating its format fee to Comic Relief.

It is not the first time Channel 4 and the BBC have teamed up for Comic Relief - a special edition of Chris Evans' chat show TFI Friday appeared on BBC One in 1999.

Other Comic Relief events include specials from One Foot In The Grave, The Royle Family, Robbie Williams, EastEnders and The Weakest Link.

Organisers will be hoping to top the 1999 Red Nose Day total of 35m. Proceeds will go to causes in the UK and Africa.

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See also:

06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Comic Relief stars keep their pants on
17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Comic Relief storm for Dale Winton
02 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother's Darren quits Aids trip
21 Nov 00 | Northern Ireland
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19 Jan 01 | Wales
The 'damage' of Big Brother
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