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Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Networks clash with reality TV
Survivor
Survivor starts on ITV on 21 May
ITV and Channel 4 could go head to head with their rival reality TV programmes Survivor and Big Brother 2.

Survivor, based on the phenomenally successful US show, will start on 21 May just four days before what is expected to be the launch date of the new series of Big Brother.

Richard Hatch
Richard Hatch: Winner of the US Survivor
Channel 4 has yet to confirm the date but the new batch of contestants are expected to enter the house on 25 May.

ITN Asia correspondent Mark Austin will present Survivor, in which 16 contestants abandoned on a desert island compete to win the 1m jackpot.

A 30-minute introductory show will be screened on 21 May followed by the first episode, during which the first person is evicted.

'Rigorous challenge'

The 16 contestants have to complete a series of challenges to survive on the show.

Adverts for the show have started to appear on the network and in the first week three-and-a-half hours of the programme will be shown.

Mark Austin said: "It was fascinating to work on a television project as exciting as this.

"It was a really tough and rigorous challenge for the survivors, both mentally and physically."

The American version was one of the biggest TV ratings successes ever recorded in the US.

Unlike Big Brother, Survivor is pre-recorded and ITV bosses will face trying to keep secret the identity of the eventual winner.

The new series of Big Brother will run for up to 21 hours a day on digital network E4 as well as regular programmes on Channel 4.

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See also:

08 May 01 | TV and Radio
Big Brother goes digital
03 May 01 | TV and Radio
Watchdog bites French Big Brother
24 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Big Brother contestants muzzled
04 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Reality TV still a hit
21 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Survivor creators sue contestant
24 Aug 00 | Entertainment
US TV's million-dollar Survivor
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