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Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 14:05 GMT
Big Brother 3 sparks places scramble
Big Brother2
Big Brother contestants were watched 24 hours per day
More than 150,000 people have applied for the third series of Channel 4's reality TV show Big Brother.

The broadcaster has been forced to hire more staff to deal with all the applications, which have doubled since last year's series.

However the shows bosses are keeping quiet on reports that this year's format will be radically different from previous series.

The show has been a massive hit for Channel 4, with more than seven million people tuning in to see Brian Dowling win the 70,000 first prize last summer.


It will be a huge lottery as to who gets in

Tim Gardam, Channel 4
The contestants bare all to the nation as their every move is monitored by cameras 24 hours a day, and they are also broadcast live on the internet.

The station's director of programmes, Tim Gardam, would not give details of changes to the show, but said: "It's going to be a bit different.

"We've hired extra people to wade through the applications.

"We've had to hire an extra van to bring in all the (audition) tapes. It will be a huge lottery as to who gets in."

Vanessa Feltz was on Celebrity Big Brother
Vanessa Feltz was on Celebrity Big Brother
There have been reports that the format will change - instead of just one house, there will be two, one of which will be well furnished with all the mod cons, while the other will be sparse and uncomfortable.

The contestants move between the rooms depending on how they do at challenges, say the reports.

That new format has worked well in the Netherlands, but Mr Gardam said Channel 4 was not planning to follow foreign formats.

The Dutch were the first to experience Big Brother and the format has been sold around the world.

Scrutiny

The first series in the UK was massively popular with the tabloid newspapers following the contestants every move.

Craig Phillips won the show after he helped expose fellow contestant "Nasty" Nick Bateman's underhanded tactics of trying to influence the evictions.

The shows success spawned a whole host of reality TV shows including Survivor, The Mole and Jailbreak, however in the UK none of these have come close to equalling the popularity, at least in the media, of Big Brother.

The show spawned a celebrity version in aid of charity, which was eventually won by comedian Jack Dee.

The new series will be screened during the summer.

See also:

09 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
US Big Brother man in more trouble
06 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Big Brother auction restarts
05 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Big Brother chief's voter advice
21 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Paul and Helen: We're an item
08 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Weakest Link meets Reality TV
23 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
US reality TV turns deadly
24 May 01 | TV and Radio
Reality TV around the globe
22 May 01 | TV and Radio
The end of reality TV?
13 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Vanessa leaves Big Brother house
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