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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Big Brother back to original format
Davina McCall
Davina McCall, pictured with 2002 winner Kate Lawler, will return as presenter

The fourth series of reality TV show Big Brother is leaving out the unpopular bars that split last year's house.

The next series is due to begin at the end of May on Channel 4 as the next crop of contestants are kept firmly under wraps.

Bars were erected in the centre of the purpose-built house for the first time during the last series, dividing the housemates into rich and poor sides.

But the move, which saw some live in poverty while others had luxuries, was criticised for splitting the house and not allowing interaction between all the contestants.

Executive producer Gigi Eligoloff said: "It's about character and personality, and this format should really allow people to display who they are.

"Obviously, it's also a game show, and there is a hard-edged element to it."


The 12 contestants, six men and six women, will once again be vying for the 70,000 prize money, with the ultimate winner voted for by the public.

Big Brother 4 bedroom
Big Brother 4's cosy bedroom

They will have to undergo tasks in order to win money for essential supplies and luxuries such as alcohol and chocolate.

An added twist for this year is that housemates will have to gamble at least 50% of their food budget on the tasks, whereas in previous years they have been able to bet as little as 10%.

The house is once again based at Elstree studios, north of London, with a new interior design to give it a fresh look.

After Big Brother

Davina McCall will return as the show's main presenter and for the second time she will be heavily-pregnant by the time the show starts.

The format has proved a huge success for Channel 4 with each series attracting more viewers, with 9.4 million tuning in the final of third instalment, which was won by Kate Lawler.

Big Brother house
The bars will not be returning for the fourth series

Although many of the Big Brother contestants find themselves in demand on the showbiz circuit after leaving the house, few have managed to maintain their profile.

Winners Lawler, Craig Phillips and Brian Dowling have been able to secure television careers while others, including Paul Clarke, from series two, have returned to their original jobs.

Back to basics for Big Brother house
02 May 03  |  Entertainment
Big Brother bars bring fury
30 Jun 02  |  Entertainment
Kate wins Big Brother
27 Jul 02  |  Entertainment
Betting on Big Brother
30 Jul 02  |  Entertainment
Time to rethink Big Brother?
26 Jul 02  |  Entertainment
The lure of Big Brother
24 May 02  |  Entertainment

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