Entertainment

Big Brother hosts urge audience to treat new housemates with kindness online

AJ Odudu and Will Best behind the scenes at the filming of the new Big Brother (Kieron McCarron/ITV)
AJ Odudu and Will Best behind the scenes at the filming of the new Big Brother (Kieron McCarron/ITV) AJ Odudu and Will Best behind the scenes at the filming of the new Big Brother (Kieron McCarron/ITV)

Big Brother hosts AJ Odudu and Will Best have reminded fans to be kind online to a new batch of contestants ahead of the series returning to British TV screens.

The influential social experiment show is set to open its doors on ITV for the first time in five years after it was axed by Channel 5 in 2018 amid a ratings slump.

Ahead of the launch show on Sunday evening, 35-year-old Odudu said in a video posted in Instagram: “Please do remember that all of our housemates are real people with their real lives.

“If you wouldn’t say anything to them in person, please watch out what you say to them online.”

TV presenter Best, 38, said: “We all just want to be fair and kind to everybody, and that way we can all enjoy this series together and we can support our housemates on the show and beyond.”

Odudu added: “Let’s make this the most positive series yet and give all of the housemates the respect that you would wish for if you were a housemate too. Is that a deal?”

The launch episode will see a new cast of “carefully selected housemates from all walks of life” arrive at the brand-new house in front of a live studio audience.

The new batch of housemates have received respect and inclusion training to set out the “expectation for appropriate behaviour and language” before they take part in the show, ITV has said.

As part of the broadcaster’s duty of care protocols, all housemates will be given the training to prepare them for life within the house – as well as undergoing psychological and medical assessments, background checks and a social media review.

Similar to recent series of ITV’s Love Island, housemates and their family and friends have also been asked to not post any content about the show on their individual social media accounts while they are in the house.

It comes as broadcasters’ duty of care policies have faced scrutiny following a number of controversies involving on-screen talent.

Big Brother has experienced its own fair share of controversy over the years including contestants being accused of making racist and sexist comments.

ITV has said the famous house will see the return of tasks, nominations and live evictions with the voting public playing a “crucial role” through the series – before voting for the winner of the show.

The broadcaster has also shared a first look at the garden which includes a blue, orange and yellow colour scheme, private seating areas and a hot tub taking pride of place.

The house entrance features a blue walkway which leads to a metallic silver tunnel in the shape of an eye, and a new addition of an upstairs area with a glass wall allowing the housemates to overlook the communal living area for the first time.

The famous diary room chair, where housemates share their personal thoughts and deliver casting nominations to Big Brother, is also returning with a new multi-coloured look.

The revival will also see TV stars Odudu and Best follow in the footsteps of former Big Brother presenters Davina McCall, Emma Willis and Brian Dowling, who all presented the popular programme during its 18-year reign on British TV.

Odudu and Best will host Big Brother: Late & Live each night in front of a live studio audience after the show has aired, which will feature the evictees’ first live interview, as well as celebrity guest commentary and weekly nomination results.

Big Brother: Live Stream also makes its return to screens, showing footage from the all-new house into the small hours every night on ITVX after Big Brother: Late & Live.

The social experiment programme, which sees housemates live together in a custom-built home for weeks without access to the outside world in a bid to win a cash prize, started in 2000 on Channel 4 before Channel 5 took over in 2011.

Big Brother: The Launch will air on Sunday October 8 at 9pm on ITV1, STV, ITV2 and ITVX.