Big Brother is back for a brand new civilian series on Channel 5 this Friday from 9pm. With much speculation about the future of the show, we caught up with Rylan to get his take on how the new series shaping up and whether or not this really is the end of Britain’s original reality show…
Celebrity Big Brother was a big hit with fans this year, how do you think it compared to previous series?
It was a great series, if I’ being honest you just never know how it’s going to go but something big seems to happen every single time! Look at Lee, Jasmin and Casey for example, or the David’s dead thing! This time around nobody could have guessed how things were going to unfold. You couldn’t have written it!
Initially, it was clear a lot was set up around Stormy Daniels. Her not going in though gave the others more airtime. Are you pleased she didn’t go in?
Well with that first task it was clear to see the first week was based around Stormy and when she pulled out a few hours before launch I don’t think some people were very pleased. You know what though, each to their own. Nobody is a housemate until they go in. I think it goes to show, as I said the following night that no housemate is bigger than Big Brother. I don’t know if I’m pleased she went in or if she didn’t. If she had gone in, who knows what else could have happened? I’m just really pleased with how it turned out to be. It goes to show that the show is still great.
All Channel 5 boss Ben Frow has said about the show’s future is “no Big Brother next year” – what do you understand that to mean?
I have no idea how to take that and I genuinely don’t know anything. If I did know something I would have said by now, you know me! We’re very honest about it. There’s the risk that the contract is up this year, our contracts are up too and I’m surprised we don’t know anything yet and it is so late in the day. I love the show, it still has plenty of life in it whether that’s in this form or a different form and I have always said I’m a superfan and there’s no reason for it to end now.
Speaking as a fan of the show, do you think Channel 5 is the right home for it?
As a fan I just love Big Brother. I think this series has shown it doesn’t matter where it sits, I don’t think that is important. What does matter is how it’s produced. Look at the recent celeb series, there was no outside contact this year, it went back to two housemates up for eviction every week and there was no meddling it the format. I’m all for the big brother religion, it’s a game and these are the rules and I prefer no meddling. Sometimes twists do work but sometimes it works better without it, and the superfans love it. I talk to fans all the time and I pass their feedback on and my own feedback and we always say the show is a social experiment… lets see what happens when we put people in a house together, and it is a game.
Further to that, we had more access on BBOTS this year and we had more access in the house, so that meant we could give a lot more backstage insights and people definitely love that as well. The series was so well produced, it is a social experiment, it is people living in a house and the drama naturally unfolds from who is in there.
So in your mind, Big Brother isn’t going anywhere?
It all proves there’s still life in it, it’s 18 years old tomorrow! The 18th series. Not many shows do that. How many shows still get talked about like this after all that time? I love working with Channel 5, I’ve done my chat show and BBBOTS is fantastic to do. They’re great and I just hope it stays and we can continue.
Like the celebrity series, everything is pointing to the new civilian series going back to basics. Does that mean chickens?
I don’t know about chickens although I’d like them! People loved the celeb series this year and those classic elements will carry over into the civilian series. It’s definitely more of a game this time. I don’t know if you saw on BBBOTS but I had a Big Brother coin. That coin will play a massive part this series. I can’t tell you anything more about it, but I cannot wait to see everyone’s reaction. Yeah that’s all I can say… this series is very much a game.
Big Brother works best when it sticks to its own roots rather than trying to emulate other things, but the Love Island comparisons keep coming. From the teasers, all the housemates look young and fit, don’t they?
I’ve seen the teasers and it does seem like a young house but I wouldn’t go just on age. It’s a very different selection to what I think we’ve seen in the last few years. Don’t read into the ages, read into what the people do. They are normal people and they do have normal backgrounds and I think viewers will love that, it has been cast in a very different way this time. I think people will quickly forget about age, age doesn’t come into it, you could be 17 or you could be 70 it’s about people, their backgrounds and their personalities. So yes it’s a young house, but I don’t think it plays any part in that.
Speaking of back to basics, as it’s a game will we see more of a psychology angle this time like in the old days of Big Brother?
I’d like to get more of the psychology into BBBOTs, definitely. I think there will be more of that angle because of how the game will be played this year, more psychoanalysis. I think everyone will be very pleasantly surprised and after the celeb series, the fans will see we’re listening. It’s me being the voice piece internally between the fans and the producers and yes, all I can say is they’re listening. Equally, if you’ve never watched the show before you should do, because it genuinely will be so interesting to see what happens with these housemates and how they play the game.
Big Brother launches this Friday at 9pm on Channel 5, followed immediately by Big Brother’s Bit On The Side (BBBOTS) with Rylan.
Follow @rylan on Twitter for more Big Brother insights.