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The BBC's Torin Douglas
"There are even cameras in the bathroom and lavatory - for legitimate programme reasons"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 July, 2000, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Former nun is Big Brother favourite
Views from the Big Brother webcam
Webcam views from inside the house
Former trainee nun Anna has been made the favourite to survive Channel 4's 64-day Big Brother TV experiment.

The 29-year-old Londoner has been given odds of 4-1 by Ladbrokes, after making an early impact on the programme's 24-hour live Internet link.

On Saturday evening, she announced that she quit training to become a nun because she is gay.

Anna entering the house on Friday
Coming out: Anna
Ten strangers are being filmed in a London house for the series - which starts on Tuesday - with one being voted out each week until the last one left receives 70,000.

Anna is currently the favourite to win the prize, followed by 30-year-old computer consultant Thomas, from Northern Ireland, on 5-1.

Joint bottom are 22-year-old Darren, from London, textile artist Nichola, 28, from Bolton, and Liverpool builder Craig, 28.

Ladbrokes spokesman Andy Clifton said: "At this stage, we are as much in the dark as anyone else about how the relationships between the inmates will develop.

"But I'm hoping an ex-nun will be the perfect mixture of saint and sinner to cope with anything the others may throw at her."

Craig
Man of clay: Craig
Ladbrokes also think Darren will be the first to be kicked out of the house on 28 July, at odds of 4-1.

Another online betting site, Flutter.com, is offering person-to-person wagers on who will sleep with whom and who will sleep with whom first.

The number of hits on the show's website has now topped 100,000, bringing the show's web server down for a time on Monday morning.

So far, internet viewers - and the tabloid press - have enjoyed the sight of Craig stripping naked and covering himself with clay during a pottery session.

There was also a tell-all secrets game, when 26-year-old Londoner Melanie revealed she had once had a lesbian affair, and 23-year-old Andrew said he had taken part in a live sex show in the Philippines.

This revelation led to a reporter knocking on the front door of Andrew's parents, Denis and Linda, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Andrew entering the Big Brother house on Friday
Traveller's tales: Andrew
Answering the door in his slippers, Denis told the Daily Mail: "We are an old-fashioned married couple. Andrew is obviously part of a different age. We were very surprised.

"But he is a grown man and he's going his own thing."

When they entered the house on Friday, the contestants were only allowed to bring a small suitcase and a bag of belongings. TVs, CD players, telephones, radios, pens and even calendars are banned.

There are limits on the amount of toiletries the contestants can bring. Provisions must be bought from a weekly grocery budget or from bonuses won by performing tasks set by the producers.

Big Brother makes its TV debut at 2100 BST on Tuesday, with highlights presented by Davina McCall every weekday evening.

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See also:

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