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Reality TV merry-go-round shows no sign of halting after Big Brother 2013 launch


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Celebrity Big Brother has returned to our screens, as the eye-gougingly repetitive reality TV calendar continues to prove that brainstorming sessions at the UK's biggest stations continue to end with the same conclusions.

So Channel 5, airing their third edition of CBB, adding to the previous nine created by Channel 4, not forgetting the three standard editions of Big Brother from Channel 5, plus of course the ten that Channel 4 aired before handing over the mantle, adds to a grand total of the twenty fifth edition of the same scenario being wheeled out before the public's eyes.

Big Brother appears to still attract an audience of sorts. A certain buzz still emanates from social media sites on launch night, plus average viewing figures at a reported 1.5 million for this particular series means it is the most successful edition since the transition to Channel 5.

However, it is up to some debate as to the actual purpose of viewing the show as it currently stands. Upon its first ever show back in the 2000, Big Brother presented a fresh, broad concept. Collect a bunch of ordinary members of society, throw them all into a sufferer of claustrophobic's idea of hell, and film the entire ordeal for the viewing pleasure of millions of people. A genuine sociological experiment was born.

The years went by and obviously, to keep the show fresh, things had to be shaken up. Big Brother descended into little more than an old age Victorian freak show. The contestants selected were done so due to their eccentricity, controversial nature or downright unstable character. The housemates of recent editions resemble more of a line up of escapees from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest,sSpecifically paired up in order to clash; ants tossed into a box and shaken. All of which, of course, makes brilliant television for the people sat at home watching.

The celebrity arm of the show offers an even more tragic recipe. Much the same concept, only the housemates here are often distant relatives of David Beckham's gardener, or perhaps were once a roadie for Bananarama. Whichever path to 'stardom' was taken by each housemate, their motive for joining the show is often to attempt to reclaim the spotlight, as the public eye has shunned them back into the bin after their five minutes of fame, reclaiming a spot in the shadows just next to Peter Andre and Paul Danan.

This years contestants are no different. A quick glance over the list reveals more of a 'Who? Who?' than a 'who's who' of celebrity. The usual mix of soap stars and ex-pop stars are joined by a more than surprising appearance by Ron Atkinson, once the manager of Manchester United. He is not only known within football however, as his racist remarks made about a black footballer whilst commentating for ITV in 2004 earn him the tag of popular culture icon. Sophie Anderton also makes an all to predictable entry to the Big Brother house. She has become somewhat of a veteran of reality shows, adding to her appearances on I'm a Celebrity, as well as Celebrity Love Island, only strengthening her optimisation of the desperate nature of the niche group created by reality TV, as X-list celebs endlessly scour the networks for face time and column inches.

And so, this collection of washed up nobodies must dance for the ringmaster, the viewing public, all in the hope of providing some reality TV controversy that Channel 5 so desperately requires in order to continue to flog this dead horse. Look no further than Big Brother for reality TV's most controversial moments. The race row involving Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd, or perhaps that special moment between Kinga and a wine bottle. Elsewhere, Channel 5's The Farm produced a moment of magic back in 2005 when Rebecca Loos made one pig the envy of the rest of the farmyard. And who can deny a sense of enjoyment when viewing countless celebrities sitting down on I'm a Celebrity to enjoy a spot of Kangaroo anus - but only if they eat all their Crocodile penis first of course!

Ultimately, it is surely evident enough that after thirteen years of Big Brother, along with the reality boom it kick started, that television is ready to move on. A quick glance over to America, ignoring all their even more brainless celebrity culture, and a production line of endless quality TV shows is in full swing. Britain was once known for its creation of high quality TV drama and gritty film making. All that can be hoped is shows such as Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones can shine a light on British Television makers of future who hope to dismantle the tragic cycle of reality dross currently poisoning the countries eyes and ears. All is not lost however....the X Factor starts in a couple of weeks!

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