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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Police called in to Big Brother
Big Brother
The warring parties had to be held apart
Police have launched an investigation into a drunken row between contestants in the Big Brother house.

Officers from Hertfordshire Police were called to the house in the early hours of Thursday after calls from viewers.

Live coverage of the Channel 4 reality show was cut in the early hours after violence broke out in the house.

Digital channel E4, which screens the show throughout the night, suspended coverage between 2am and 3am while the situation was defused.

The local police have made enquiries about events in the house last night following a handful of calls from members of the public
Channel 4 spokeswoman
Producers eventually sent in security guards to divide the warring parties.

Video tape

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said in a statement: "Following an number of calls from members of the public regarding an alleged incident in the Big Brother house last night Hertfordshire Constabulary can confirm it will be obtaining a video tape of the incident later today.

"Our officers are currently in liaison with members of the Big Brother production team to see whether further action needs to be taken."

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "The local police have made enquiries about events in the house last night following a handful of calls from members of the public. At present they have given us no indication of any issues arising from last night's broadcast."

Big Brother contestant Emma
Emma was temporarily removed from the house
The row erupted after Emma Greenwood, 20, and Michelle Bass, 23, returned from a bedsit where they had been able to spy on others for the past five days.

Hurled abuse

They came back to the house during a fancy dress party, with the fight breaking out a few hours later.

Emma and another housemate, 23-year-old student Victor Ebuwa, had to be separated after they made threats towards each other and he poured white wine over her.

Meanwhile fellow housemate Jason Cowen, 30, threw furniture and hurled abuse at other contestants.

Emma has clashed with Victor in recent weeks, and was furious when he later branded her racist and stupid.

As the live feed was cut viewers saw only a pre-recorded loop of images from the house during the hour.


A Channel 4 spokesman said: "The welfare and safety of the housemates is always our overriding concern, and with that in mind, the production team decided to intervene last night at a point where they felt the confrontation between the housemates had reached an unacceptable level.

"Our on site security team defused the confrontation and the housemates were calmed down and sent to bed."

She added: "The Big Brother production team has been talking to all housemates individually over the course of today with a view to sorting out tensions in the house and are closely monitoring them.

"They will be encouraging the housemates to work through their issues as a group. If they do not feel this is feasible they will consider an alternative course of action to guarantee the welfare of the housemates."

Kitten in the Big Brother house
Kitten has already been evicted for bad behaviour

The current series of Big Brother has already caused controversy, with housemate Kitten Pinder being evicted after just one week, having received three formal warnings from producers over her behaviour.

The tension in the house has seen ratings soar, with Wednesday night's main Channel 4 show attracting 6.3 million, not far off the 6.7 million who tuned in to see the launch night of the fifth series two weeks ago.

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