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What has been the social, cultural, political and technological impact the TV programme Big Brother has had on us, the television viewer?

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Introduction

What has been the social, cultural, political and technological impact the TV programme Big Brother has had on us, the television viewer? The TV programme Big Brother has had a massive impact on today's society for a variety of reasons. Some may say that it is the defining jewel-in-the-crown in reality television; it is without doubt the most recognised and quite possibly the most watched in an expansive genre. Its creation, by a Dutchman for the television company Endemol in 1997, spawned the first broadcast of the programme in Great Britain shortly after in 2000. And so the fly-on-the-wall docu-soap was born, followed by variations to the theme and structure, but in essence keeping the same core format of members of the public being kept locked away in a house, their every move captured by 30 cameras. The housemates are, for the most part, isolated within the house. They are allowed no access to the outside world using any medium and in some shows, even books and writing material are not permitted, with the exception of religious materials such as the Bible. ...read more.

Middle

They are, much like the housemates in Big Brother, monitored on small screens called telescreens, except the Big Brother contestants' movements and actions are edited and then broadcast to the general public via television, or sometimes streamed live with a 15 minute window in case anything libellous is said or anything explicit shown at an inappropriate time. In recent times, Britain has become increasingly paranoid of "A Big Brother state", where their every move is watched by CCTV cameras. Has Big Brother increased this sense of paranoia? Do we really live in an Orwellian society? There a 4,000,000 cameras in the United Kingdom. Mark Oaten, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said he was concerned: "We are slipping into a Big Brother society by stealth." (2) Up until around 5 years ago, no-one had heard of such a notion. But now, because of the TV programme, people are being made more aware of what a "Big Brother state" is, and of course the media are hyping it up-basically, the media is feeding the media. It is my opinion that Big Brother the TV programme has escalated this paranoia of being watched 24 hours a day by CCTV, as there is a resonance between what happens on Big Brother and what happens to the everyday man, woman and child on the street. ...read more.

Conclusion

So what lies in store for the future of "Big Brother"? The British version seems to be going strong, despite several criticisms, but whether the producers will continue to think of fresh ideas, coupled with dwindling viewing figures, some experts think the show will finally finish eventually in two years or so. The Australian format has ended after their viewing figures nose-dived and became too controversial, whereas the British format has seemed to weather the storm of controversy thus far. What is for definite that it has became one of the most successful TV programmes of all-time, has been cited as one of the 20 programmes that most changed the world and has made some lucky contestants cultural icons. One thing is for sure, the impact that is has had on the viewing public and the media in the last ten years is unprecedented and it won't easily be forgotten by us, the viewers, the media, and the people who have been lucky enough to have appeared on the show in the past 10 years or so. Sources: http://www.pete-bennett.co.uk/profile.html (1) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article470264.ece (2) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3370513.stm (3) ...read more.

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