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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Big Brother gets tough
The UK's Big Brother II
The UK's Big Brother II: Thrived on personality clashes
Makers of the Dutch version of Big Brother have said they plan to make their third series of the hit reality TV show more confrontational.

The next series in The Netherlands - where the original format originated - will be called Big Brother: The Battle.

It will feature a house split into two. One side will be luxurious while the other will be downmarket.

Contestants will compete to win the right to move over into the other side.

Producers at Endemol TV say they hope their new show's mix of strife, contention, contests and showdowns will keep viewers' excitement high.

Tasks

The original format of Big Brother has been sold worldwide by its Dutch creators.

It sees contestants shut away from any contact with the outside world and under constant surveillance by cameras.

Big Brother house
Big Brother kept housemates under surveillance

Each week, one of the housemates is voted out by the public until the winner is left at the end of the series to walk away with the prize money.

Weekly tasks are set by Big Brother but the show's true interest lies in the natural confrontations between housemates as they learn to live with each other.

Endemol are keeping full details of their new deliberately confrontational format under wraps.

However, they did reveal that the series would begin with just six contestants.

A further 12 will be hidden away in a secret lair.

Each week, two of these contestants will be moved out of their hideaway and into the Dutch house.

Money

Viewers will also be treated to a run of three one-hour teaser promotional programmes before the series begins on 14 September.

Brian Dowling
Brian Dowling was the winner of the UK's second series

The Dutch producers have also upped the stakes where the ultimate prize money is concerned.

The amount has been raised from 250,000 guilders (71,000) to about one million guilders (284,000).

Endemol first launched Big Brother in October 1999. It has since been sold to 15 countries, including the UK, US, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Australia.

In th UK, the second series has just finished on Channel 4 and again proved a big ratings winner - and the object of continued media coverage.

See also:

03 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Big Brother chair tops auction list
17 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Nick beaten to Brother chair
12 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Watching Big Brother
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