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Monday, 18 September, 2000, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
10 things to do without Big Brother

So what now? The last three ponder their futures.
Experts doubt television can be addictive - at least not in the strict sense. But millions of Big Brother "addicts" will nevertheless be feeling something like withdrawal symptoms now the programme has finished. What can take its place? Here are a few ideas.

10. Like beating any other addiction, you must have the will to crack it. There can be no half measures - visiting the Big Brother website and checking to see if, by chance, the video streams are still working will only induce a feeling of low self-esteem. Draw up an action plan to beat the craving. First step: after reading BBC News Online, put yourself beyond temptation by logging off.

9. Give yourself a task to complete in return for buying more or less than your usual amount of groceries. Maybe help save humanity by trying to think of ways the world could be protected if, as a government report says, there is a real risk of asteroids crashing into the planet. How about putting the Dome on wheels and strategically placing it so any asteroids can be bounced back into space? (Lose 20% of your food budget if you come up with an idea like this.)


Jason Queally in action: Two wheels good...
8. Take up a new sport, perhaps even unicycling. Who knows where it might lead? Olympic gold medallist Jason Queally only started cycling competitively in 1995, when he was 25. His reaction to winning gold was eerily similar to the sort of thing Big Brother evictees have been saying: "I think I'm in a dream... It's going to take a long time to sink in. I was just trying to absorb the whole atmosphere. I felt like a ghost out there - it was a very strange experience."

7. Rediscover all those things you used to like doing. Ring a friend you haven't seen for ages and go out. Go and see a film - and what better way of recreating "surveillance chic" than seeing Mike Figgis's new movie Time Code. The screen is spilt into four so you can pick and choose which of the characters to watch.

6. If that doesn't catch your fancy, try tracking down a print of Andy Warhol's 1963 film Sleep, in which his boyfriend John Giorno sleeps for six hours. And nothing else. It will remind you of all those great times when Anna and Mel would stare into the middle distance for hours on end before deciding to have another fag.


Andy Warhol: Had his own theories on the nature of fame
5. Or why not read a book. Sales of George Orwell's 1984, in which Big Brother made his debut, have reportedly doubled since the show started. In the US the author's estate is suing the production company which made Big Brother there, claiming that it has "traded on an association with Mr Orwell".

4. If you've decided snooping is for you, now might be the time to capitalise on it. A pair of binnoculars and a camoflage suit could help. With the nights drawing in, but the cold snap yet to bite, the neighbours are bound to have the lights on and the curtains open. (On second thoughts, it might be safer and more legal to stick to virtual snooping through one of the thousands of webcams in people's bedrooms, of which Jennicam is the most famous.)

3. Sow the seeds of disruption in your house by going round surreptitiously showing bits of paper with the names of your family or house mates on them. At the same time, be extra friendly and supportive to everyone you live with, particularly those whose names you are showing off. Note: this item not advised for those who live alone.


Taransay: One place they haven't been watching Big Brother
2. If you're a hardcore addict, you might benefit from some sort of substitute to help you break the habit. There's Jailbreak on Channel 5 and BBC One's Castaway 2000 which may satisfy part of the addiction. They're not the same, but they might help.

1. Anthropologist Desmond Morris has written that the real beauty of the programme is that it gave everyone gossip to talk to each other about. What we need now is something to take its place. Something to bring out that Blitz spirit again, something to make strangers become friends. Blockade, anybody?

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