'Celebrity Big Brother': 35 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From Inside The Brand New House

HuffPost spent two hours as a housemate in the swanky new pad.

The ‘Big Brother’ house is about to fling open its famous doors once again, as a new bunch of celebrities enter for a new series of ‘CBB’ on Thursday.

But prior to their arrival, HuffPost UK was one of just a handful of journalists invited to have an exclusive sneak-peek at their new surroundings.

Channel 5

The house has been extensively renovated for the ‘Eye Of The Storm’ series, taking on a California-inspired theme, with lots of neon and tropical prints.

During our two hours as a housemate, not only did ‘Bit On The Side’ host Rylan Clark-Neal pop his head to officially welcome us, but we were given free run of the iconic abode to do some exploring. Here’s what we unearthed...

1. The ‘Big Brother’ house is based at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and has been here since 2002, when it moved from The Three Mills Studios in Bow.

2. It’s a stone’s throw away from the iconic George Lucas Stage, where the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy was filmed. ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘The Crown’ also use the studio, while older ‘BB’ fans may remember Davina McCall used to host her interviews in there during the Channel 4 era.


3. In between each series, the outdoor stage and studio remain, but the wrap-around screens and lights that bring the eviction arena to life are de-rigged and put in storage.

4. The spinning dual staircase that housemates enter and exit from is actually really shaky, which we’re sure doesn’t help with launch night nerves.

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5. There are actually two sets of front doors when housemates make their way into the house, with a tiny vestibule bridging the gap in between the TV screens on the outside and the actual front of the house.

6. This year, the indoor staircase has been closed off from the rest of the house, and housemates will not have access to it except for on launch/eviction nights.

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7. The layout of the house has been changed, with the kitchen once again becoming open plan in the main wing of the house, located next to a huge dining table.

8. However, the living room has been relocated out into the garden area, taking up the space previously occupied by the sauna from January’s series. Rylan remarked to us that it definitely has the vibes of the ‘Big Brother 6’ living room.

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9. Rylan also told us how there are little touches of another iconic series around the house. Can you spot them?

10. There is a pool and a hot tub in the house this series, which have been relocated to the other side of the garden, by what has always traditionally been the bathroom.

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11. The bathroom, though, has been converted into a Parlour, where housemates can pamper and preen themselves. How very ‘Love Island’.

12. This isn’t the only aspect of the ‘Love Island’ villa the ‘BB’ house has taken on - there is the addition of an outdoor bar next to the pool, where housemates can lounge and slip cocktails.

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13. All the grass in the garden is fake, and all the plants throughout the garden and house are also plastic, presumably because the housemates can’t be trusted to to water them.

Channel 5 / HuffPost

14. The ‘marble’ on the dining room table and kitchen work surfaces is also fake, as are the concrete slabs in the garden.

15. Actually, when you take a closer look at most of the walls, doors and fixtures, you can see that a lot of it is just painted MDF with effects on it.

16. There are 14 chairs around the dining room table, which gives us an indication of how many housemates will be entering on launch night.

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17. The Diary Room has moved back downstairs for this series and is located just off the dining area.

18. There is a vestibule between the door from the dining area and the actual Diary Room door, which is lit up in neon similar to the staircase entrance.

19. There is another door in this vestibule, but bosses were keeping tight-lipped as to where it led.

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20. The lighting in the main part of the house is extremely hot, and we now understand why many of the housemates skimp about not wearing many clothes.

21. There are lots of obvious cameras around the house, that haven’t exactly been placed discreetly. There’s one on a stand right next to the kitchen worktop, and also one on a podium next to the pool that act as a constant reminder you are being filmed.

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22. The pool is heated and surprisingly warm when we dip our hand in. Not quite enough to tempt us in though.

23. All of the fixtures, fittings and ornaments are nailed or glued down - even down to the rug in the living room.

24. The house has been kitted out with many items from the High Street. We spotted some bowls and cushions from H&M Home, and the bedroom chairs from Maisons Du Monde.

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25. The bedroom is situated behind the kitchen, and all housemates will share just the one room, as opposed to the two contestants have had during the last few series.

26. As previously mentioned, the bathroom is now also in a different spot, having moved back into the main house - although it is not a room we managed to get a peek at, so we can’t tell you exactly whereabouts it is situated.

Channel 5

27. The camera runs are a hive of activity, despite being deathly silent, and members of the show’s crew and camera operators who watch housemates’ every move.

28. The rules of the runs state that dark clothing must be worn; headsets and walkies must be worn at all times; noise must be kept to a minimum; and props must not be left unattended.

29. In the runs, black curtains are put over each of the one-way mirrors to stop housemates being able to see anything.

30. Rylan says he goes into the camera runs every single day he hosts ‘Bit On The Side’ to see what they are all getting up to.

31. Housemates do not have the luxury of cleaners coming in to the house, so if they don’t want to live in a pigsty, they must get their hands dirty themselves.

Channel 5 / HuffPost

32. All the locks to the doors are controlled by the producers in the gallery.

33. From there, they can also control things like hot water and speak to the housemates over the tannoy system.

34. The show’s crew are housed in a ‘production village’ on site, which is made up of various (very unglamorous) portacabins.

35. The house will completely change again before the launch of the next series of ‘Big Brother’, which will begin just days after the celebrities move out.

Check out the full set of house pictures below...

'Celebrity Big Brother' House 2018

‘Celebrity Big Brother’ launches on Thursday 16 August at 9pm on Channel 5.

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