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Friday, 15 September, 2000, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Judgement day for Big Brother three
Big Brother contestants Craig, Darren and Anna
One of the three will be 70,000 richer on Friday night
The day of reckoning has finally arrived for the three remaining contestants on Big Brother.

By 2330BST on Friday, one of the trio will be 70,000 richer after what is expected to be the biggest phone vote in British television history.

Viewers of the Channel 4 show will choose between chirpy Scouser Craig, ex-nun Anna and father-of-three Darren. Craig is the bookies' favourite, with Darren the outsider.

Lines will initially close at 2045BST, when the person with the least number of votes will be evicted. They will then reopen for the public to choose between the remaining two contestants.

Big Brother contestants Andy and Mel
Millions tuned in to see Andy's snog with Mel

Whatever happens, it will the first time any of the three have seen the outside world for more than nine weeks.

Oblivious

Since they arrived at the camera-filled house in east London with seven other contestants they have had no access to newspapers or television and are oblivious to events such as the petrol crisis, Mo Mowlam's resignation announcement and England's historic victory over the West Indies at cricket.

By contrast, their every move has been monitored on the internet, with edited highlights on TV, including "Nasty" Nick's eviction, Tom's massaging techniques and Andy's snog with Mel.

All the former contestants will be waiting outside the house to greet the survivors and rumour has it extra security has been drafted in to protect Nick from Caroline and Nichola.

The response to the programme has been unprecedented, leading to the creation of a new phrase - the Big Brother phenomenon.

Millions of people have tuned in to get their daily fix and around 2,000 are expected to turn up at the house on Friday night to watch the grand finale.

Fireworks and music will accompany the flatmates leaving the prefabricated house and when they have gone the building will be flat-packed and stored away, in case another series is commissioned.

Production company Endemol are giving first refusal to Channel 4, which has screened the show for the past nine weeks.

Channel 4 has six months to decide upon whether to commission a new series - with ITV and Channel 5 also reportedly interested.

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See also:

15 Sep 00 | Entertainment
More than a gameshow?
15 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother set to return
14 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother's closing-down sale
13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Big Brother reveals all
13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Wary bookie ends Brother bets
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