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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Big Brother baby plan scrutinised
Pregnant woman
The contestant is due to give birth in six weeks
Dutch authorities are investigating plans for a contestant to give birth on the reality TV show Big Brother.

Newly-launched TV station Talpa will broadcast the series from Sunday. The pregnant contestant is due to give birth in six weeks.

A social affairs and labour ministry spokeswoman said inspectors were examining a request for the newborn baby to appear on the show.

The Dutch have strict rules on children appearing on TV, in films or on stage.

Dutch cable channel Talpa was launched earlier this month by the billionaire creator of Big Brother John de Mol.

'Good TV'

The Christian Democratic party has condemned the idea of a birth on the live show, but the 27-year-old pregnant contestant, identified in newspaper De Telegraaf as Tanja, defended the idea.

"I think that my child will be proud of it later," she said.

The show's director Hummie van der Tonnekreek said Tanja would get "maximum care and attention" in the Big Brother house.

And Paul Roemer, director of Big Brother's production company, defended the plans.

"I am doing something that will bring about emotions and which is innocent and can do no harm. I think it will also be good TV," he said.

Sperm donor contest

The show, which has become increasingly controversial, first ran in the Netherlands in 1999 and has since been broadcast by countries around the globe.

Talpa is also behind a new reality TV show which sees a woman search for a sperm donor and is in the running to be made into a full series.

I Want Your Child And Nothing Else is among five programmes vying for a run on Talpa.

Other contenders include the efforts of five prostitutes to set up a business, while another features two people who have never met before becoming engaged.

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