Big Brother's Big Reboot – 7 Exciting Differences To Look Out For This Time Around

The original reality show is back with a bang, but ITV2 is set to put its own stamp on it.
New Big Brother hosts AJ Odudu and Will Best
New Big Brother hosts AJ Odudu and Will Best

Reality TV fans, brace yourselves. Big Brother is back.

The return of the original reality show is now just days away, with ITV2 launching its much-anticipated reboot on Sunday, five years after the door closed on Channel 5′s era.

AJ Odudu and Will Best will serve as its new hosts, while Marcus Bentley, who has been narrating the show since its inception, will be making a comeback.

But there’s also a whole host of other things BB superfans have to look forward to as ITV2 looks to put its own stamp on the franchise. Here’s everything we know so far...

The casting of everyday people

The latest instalment of Big Brother will include 16 housemates with “different accents” and “ordinary jobs”, whose ages from 18 to 50+, according to its executive producer Natalka Znak.

In an interview with the Guardian, she said she was interested in casting people who would provide “all the debates of modern society”.

“You do want the national things that people are talking about,” she explained. “Different generations approach things differently. I’m interested in that debate [and] in what young people think of old people.”

When the show was first announced to be making a comeback, fans were vocal online that they wanted to see ordinart people, rather than influencers or those who fit a particular beauty standard.

“The beauty of Big Brother is all you have to be is yourself and interesting, you don’t have to sing or dance or look a certain way,” its executive producer Katy Manley told Deadline, who also reported that the team had been inspired by the “range and diversity” of contestants on The Traitors.

AJ Odudu and Will Best
AJ Odudu and Will Best
Scott Garfitt/Shutterstock for NTA

The housemates will reflect changes in society

After 1,000 Zoom auditions, it beca,e apparent to Big Brother’s casting executive, Jay Khagram that the world has changed significantly since the show was last on air in 2018

“It’s fair to say that society generally has changed a lot through the pandemic, social media, the current political climate, etc. so housemates reflect those changes in society,” he told the Guardian.

Viewers can expect a line-up of contestants that is “completely fresh and unique” and “unlike anyone, we’ve ever seen on the show before”.

The production was “mindful and representative” of “changes in the way we tackle mental health, political viewpoints, empowerment, prejudice and equality”.

Contestants, as well as the production team, took part in inclusion and diversity training, as Natalka said: “People are from different backgrounds so [they] might not understand… why things might be unacceptable.”

The ‘best’ Big Brother house ever

The Big Brother house is an icon in its own right, but it will have a whole new look – and location – this time around, as the show’s previous home at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood was demolished back in 2019.

Big Brother’s new home is located at the Garden Studios in north west London, with its interior actually built inside a soundstage, similar to some international versions of the show, like Australia and the US.

While the house won’t be its own stand-alone building, Peter Tierney, ITV commissioning editor told Deadline it will be “the best Big Brother UK house ever and potentially one of the best anywhere in the world”.

Big Brother is known for its funky designs across each season, and the first episode usually sees hosts giving a tour of the house to viewers, to show off its latest features. Natalka said the new residence will be a “colourful-looking” house with an “aspirational” feel.

As revealed in an article by Broadcast, the living room will be double-height, with a mezzanine floor on another level – a first for the UK BB house. This will mean housemates will be able to look over into the communal space. While, of course, the Diary Room will be back, also with a brand new look and an iconic chair.

Live surveillance is back

Superfans will be familiar with the 24/7 live stream of the show aired on Channel 4. However, when Big Brother moved to Channel 5 in 2011 this was eventually scrapped.

This time around, BB devotees will be able to catch live action from the house each night after the nightly spin-off show Big Brother: Late And Live into the small hours, streamed live on ITVX.

Speaking of the return live feed, Natalka said she was not sure whether it would work again, until she observed “people’s obsession” with the late Queen’s lying in state, where she noticed people were “watching the queue for hours”.

An improved duty of care

Big Brother has set out a number of protocols to ensure the safety of its contestants. Housemates will be provided with a personal support plan, including sessions with a mental health professional prior to entering the show, throughout their time in the house and when they exit.

In addition to this, all housemates participated in respect and inclusion training which included the use of language and acceptable behaviour.

Welfare has been extended to social media, as contestants will have to deactivate their social media accounts in order to appear on the show. Friends and family cannot manage their accounts while their loved one is on TV.

We saw a similar rollout for Love Island in 2022, which was said to decrease the amount of social media abuse, which previously not only affected the contestants as they left and received their phones, but also their loved ones who would be managing their accounts.

Big Brother’s new voice?

Throughout Channel 4 and 5’s iteration, the voice of Big Brother was known for their authoritarian style, but it seems things could be a bit different on ITV2.

Tamsin Dodgson, the show’s creative director, told Broadcast that bosses had been “looking at the role of Big Brother and how they might have more of a personality and a character”, as the team look at different ways of “keeping it fresh for a new audience”.

Keeping some old touches

There are, of course, still many familiar and important elements that are also confirmed to be returning, to ensure the show is still the Big Brother we all know at love at its heart.

Weekly shopping tasks, nominations and live evictions are all back, and while the spin-off show has a new name (now called Late And Live compared to Channel 5’s Bit On The Side or Channel 4's Little Brother and Big Mouth), it too will also dissect the action from the house on a nightly basis.

Big Brother launches on Sunday at 9pm on ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX.


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