While it feels like the doors to the ‘Big Brother’ house have only been closed for all of five minutes, it’s nearly time to fling them open again and welcome a new batch of housemates.
Fresh from January’s ‘Celebrity’ run, featuring Kim Woodburn and a bunch of other “chicken-livered buggers”, ‘BB’ will be back for its 18th civilian series this summer, with reality fans braced for another summer of bitching, arguments and showmances, with (hopefully) a few laughs along the way.
While many details about the new season are still under wraps, here’s everything we know about it so far...
When does it start?
‘Big Brother’ bosses have confirmed the new series will launch on Monday 5 June at 8.30pm on Channel 5, with a special live show.
The launch will be going head-to-head with ‘Love Island’ in the schedules, as the first episode of the ITV2 series also airs on the same night. However, ‘BB’ will have a half hour’s head start over its rival, with bosses seemingly intent on stealing ratings glory.
What does the eye logo look like this year?
The eye has been given a ‘Best of British’ makeover, hinting at the theme of this year’s series.
A statement released by bosses said: “At a time of political upheaval and tough questions about unity in the UK, ‘Big Brother’ brings you an alternative look at Britain.
“The first taste is revealed today with the new ‘Big Brother’ eye, formed from a multi-coloured Union Jack flag, featuring a patchwork of eclectic images representing modern Britain.”
It seems Channel 5 are making a concerted effort to return the show to its social experiment roots too, as they added we should be ready “for a very British summer of contrasts, conflicts and collaboration...and more fireworks than you could imagine, as a selection of people, from a range of backgrounds, come together.”
Who is hosting?
Emma Willis is back to front the live shows, ushering in a new batch of housemates on launch night, chatting to them during evictions, as well as presiding over the finale.
What will the house be like?
Channel 5 is yet to reveal the official house pictures, but a crafty construction worker has leaked a whole album of snaps during construction work.
The photos - taken in February, shortly after the conclusion of the last ‘Celebrity Big Brother - show that the house has been completely gutted inside, with many interior walls removed, as well as the whole back wall of the garden.
While the house is revamped for every series, the layout has remained largely the same since 2013, but these pictures indicate we could be in for a major revamp this year. However, it currently remains unclear what use the second house - which was used as a task room during January’s ‘CBB’ - will have this time around.
During a recent appearance on ‘BUILD’, Rylan told HuffPost UK: “The house is SO different. When we did the second house last year, that was a massive change for us, but I’m totally just disregarding that for the moment because what we’ve done in the main house is absolutely unbelievable. It’s unreal.
“I got lost looking at it, and I go into that house every single day, I walk around the camera runs and look at the housemates... But when I was looking at the plans, I couldn’t even work out why that was there or here.”
He added: “There is something in the house I have been wanting for years, and it’s in there!”
Are there any rumoured housemates yet?
We know that producers have been on the look out for duos to take part in the new series, with Emma Willis appealing for contestants during January’s ‘CBB’. The audition website also read: “We’re on the lookout for outgoing pairs with strong opinions and stand-out personalities from across the UK! You can apply with anyone you consider to be family – all welcome to apply!”
As a result, many names have circulated in the press with as to who will be taking part, including porn star Gemma Massey, the the “Peru Two”, plastic surgery-lover Rodrigo Alves and so-called Kim Kardashian wannabe Janey Farrell.
Former ‘X Factor’ contestants Bradley and Ottavio - otherwise known as Bratavio - have also been rumoured for the regular series, rather than the ‘Celebrity’ run, which past performers have appeared on, such as Frankie Cocozza and Katie Waissel.
However, viewers of last year’s series will remember that former ‘X Factor’ star Ryan Ruckledge was among the contestants, so it is not a particularly unusual step for bosses to take.
Rylan teased on ‘BUILD’: “I can say that we were looking for pairs but I can’t say any more than that. Whether that means there’s only going to be pairs, or there’s going to be singles, I’ve got no idea. I mean I have, but I’m not telling you.”
Of course, the identities of the new housemates will be kept top secret until launch night, when Emma will officially unveil them.
Will there be any live streaming this year?
This is always a bone of contention between die-hard fans and Channel 5, but there’s no confirmation yet as to what live action we can expect to watch.
Is there a trailer?
Channel 5 have teased the new series with a 20 advert that mysteriously doesn’t feature Emma, Rylan or even narrator Marcus Bentley. Different voices are instead heard saying: “From every corner of the land, from have nots to have lots, from gamer to game for it - this is the United Kingdom of ‘Big Brother’, and everyone is welcome.”
There are also images flashed up on screen with quotes teasing the identity of the housemates. One says, “I am an heir to a country estate’, while another says, “I had to marry in secret”.
Watch it in full above...