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Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 00:27 GMT
Big Brother scores hat-trick
Big Brother contestants enter the house, July 2000
Six celebrities will follow in their footsteps
Reality TV sensation Big Brother, which launches its Comic Relief celebrity series on Friday, picked up three awards at a prestigious industry ceremony on Wednesday.

The show scored a hat-trick in the Indie Awards, which honour the work of independent production houses such as Bazal, which made the series for Channel 4.

It won the main Indie Award for best independent production of the year, the light entertainment prize and the new media prize for its work in bringing the internet and TV together.

First series: Nick Bateman's eviction caused a sensation
The company's creative director, Peter Bazalgette, also saw the firm which bears his name win the Pioneer award for its achievements in bringing shows such as Big Brother, Can't Cook Won't Cook and Changing Rooms to the screen.

Celebrity show

Mr Bazalgette told BBC News Online the programme had been "wonderful" for his company.

But he added: "We mustn't forget that it's originally a Dutch idea."

It first appeared in the Netherlands in 1999, produced by Bazal's parent company Endemol.

A similar format will be used for the week-long Celebrity Big Brother, which will see six celebrities - whose identities are a closely-guarded secret - live in the show's camera-filled house in the run-up to BBC One's Comic Relief telethon on 16 March.

Both BBC One and Channel 4 will carry updates on the personalities' progress as they are evicted out of the house every other day.

We found the toilets had all frozen over - the house was built for the summer, and the toilets couldn't cope with the cold

Peter Bazalgette on Celebrity Big Brother
But Mr Bazalgette revealed planning for the new show had not gone all to plan at the house in Bow, east London, which has lain unused since the original Big Brother ended in September.

"We've had some guinea-pigs from the company live in the house for three or four days to rehearse for the programme, and we found the toilets had all frozen over.

Portable toilets

"The house was built for the summer, and the toilets couldn't cope with the cold snap we had a couple of weeks ago.

"So we've had to get portable toilets in while we sort the problem out."

Ant and Dec
Top of the mornings: Ant and Dec win for SM:TV
Planning is also well underway for a second series of Big Brother proper, due to hit Channel 4 in the summer.

Mr Bazalgette added: "We've got planning permission until September for the house's current site, so that's where Big Brother 2 will be.

"But if we do a Big Brother 3 or 4, we'll have to find somewhere else, as we should give the land back to the local community then."

Other award-winners included Blaze Television for ITV's Saturday morning hit, SM:TV Live, which won best children's show.

The BBC's Castaway 2000 saw Lion Television win a factual prize, while the international success of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? saw Celador Productions win a Global Indie prize.

See also:

15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Celebrity Big Brother launched
02 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother's Darren quits Aids trip
12 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Mel's Big Brother anger
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