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EDITIONS
Monday, 8 July, 2002, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Record numbers watch Big Brother
Jade Goody enters the house
Jade has become notorious for her gaffes
The eviction of Adele Roberts from Channel 4's Big Brother scored the gameshow's highest ratings - excluding its two previous finals - with 7.1 million viewers.

Adele's eviction, which was accompanied by booing and whistling, was watched by 34% of Friday night's terrestrial audience.

Despite press criticism of the excessive gimmicks and manipulation in the third series, viewing figures have improved on previous years.

Alex Sibley
Alex Sibley is now only second favourite
But Channel 4 has denied a report in the Sun newspaper that the show was edited last week in favour of contestant Jade Goody.

Dental nurse Jade, 21, had been a strong favourite to be evicted when the nominations were announced on Tuesday, but personal assistant Adele, 23, was voted out in a landslide result announced on Friday.

A Big Brother spokeswoman told BBC News Online: "We do to great lengths to make sure people are represented fairly.

"Obviously, it is an edited show - we have to get 24 hours of coverage into 24 minutes - but we don't deliberately edit storylines."

This week Jade will not face eviction, as this weeks nominees have not been chosen by the housemates.

Instead Kate Lawler, 22, IT desk administrator, and PJ Ellis, 22, a trainee solicitor, will face the public vote after the nominees were decided in a weekly task.

Favourite

On Saturday, the remaining six contestants in the TV reality game show had to draw lots to decide which two people would be able to see a video message from loved ones.

The catch was that both would then find themselves automatically nominated for eviction.

Firefighter Jonny Regan, 29, is the current favourite to win at 5-4 with official bookmakers Ladbrokes, having overtaken previous favourite male model Alex Sibley, 23, from Hornchurch, Essex.

Tim Culley, 23, a recently-graduated student from Worcester, is the outsider at 40-1.

BBC News Online's coverage of Big Brother 2002


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