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Thursday, 24 May, 2001, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Big Brother fever set to return
Craig, Darren and Anna from Big Brother
Big Brother made stars of Craig, Darren and Anna
Big Brother fever is expected to grip the country once again when the new series of the Channel 4 reality TV show begins on Saturday.

The 10 contestants selected for the series enter the Big Brother house on Friday but viewers will have wait a further 24 hours to find out who they are.

Big Brother captivated the nation last summer
Big Brother captivated the nation last summer
Channel 4 is hoping to build on the success of the first series which drew 10 million viewers for the finale, and is launching interactive services on digital TV and mobile phones.

The broadcaster is hoping more people than ever will immerse themselves in the Big Brother experience.

'Totally involved'

Liz Warner, commissioning editor at Channel 4, said: "This year, with interactive TV and text messages, we are pushing the boundaries further.

"There is even more opportunity for the nation to get totally involved with the Big Brother house."

Mobile phone users will be able to follow the action by purchasing a 4.99 voucher from BT Cellnet.

The voucher, which lasts for four weeks, will give users text message updates and access to a phone information line.

TV feeds from the house will be available on E4, Channel 4's entertainment channel on cable and digital services, for up to 21 hours a day.

Eviction vote

The feeds from the 37 cameras and 40 microphones will allow viewers to witness the minutiae of life in the Big Brother house.

Viewers will also be able to choose four from viewing options and make their weekly eviction vote through their remote control.

Davina McCall
Davina McCall returns as the Big Brother presenter
Quizzes, news updates and polls will also feature in the programme on digital television.

Last summer Big Brother established itself as a TV phenomenon and stories from the house in east London where the 10 contestants live for nine weeks made headlines.

The antics of 'Nasty' Nick Bateman, who was evicted from the house for cheating, Craig, Anna, Tom, Andrew, Nichola, Caroline, Darren, Mel, Claire and Sada made the front pages of the tabloids who battled to be the first to Big Brother exclusives.

The rules for the second series remain the same.

Weekly tasks

The 10 contestants will battle it out to be the remaining member in the house after nine weeks, collecting 70,000 in the process.

Each member of the house nominates two fellow contestants to be nominated every Monday and each Friday one member is asked to leave following a poll of viewers.

Big Brother house
Thirty-seven cameras and 40 microphones will capture the action
To keep viewers' interests high, Channel 4 ensures the members are given weekly tasks to perform.

The broadcaster will be keeping its fingers crossed that the new contestants repeat the behaviour of their predecessors.

The flirting, arguing and Machiavellian machinations of some of the members made for riveting viewing.

Craig Phillips won the first series of Big Brother and donated his winnings to a friend to pay for an operation.

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