After a five-year hiatus, the iconic reality show Big Brother made a triumphant return to British television, capturing the attention of more than 2.5 million viewers. The latest installment of the series has found its new home on ITV, with a fresh cast of 16 contestants diving into the Big Brother experience, complete with a lively “housewarming party” filled with unexpected twists.
During the launch episode, viewers witnessed the contestants partake in entertaining games, some of which led to unforeseen consequences. For instance, one contestant named Jenkin, aged 25, had his suitcase dramatically detonated, resulting in him losing access to hot water for an entire day.
AJ Odudu and Will Best assumed the roles of the show’s new hosts, but comparisons were inevitably drawn to the previous eras when Davina McCall and Emma Willis took the helm. Davina herself expressed her “fear of missing out” during the first episode.
Big Brother first revolutionised British television when it premiered on Channel 4 in 2000, later moving to Channel 5 before being discontinued in 2018.
The show’s debut on ITV1 garnered an audience of 2 million, with an additional 527,000 tuning in on ITV2, which will serve as its primary home in the weeks ahead.
While critics have pondered the necessity of Big Brother’s return, they have also acknowledged its commitment to authenticity and entertainment value. Fans took to social media to express their enthusiasm.
Some critics lamented the decision to pre-record the opening episode, suggesting that the live launches were known for their electric atmosphere. Others questioned whether the new cohort of housemates could sustain viewers’ interest in an era of shortened attention spans, despite their diverse backgrounds.
Despite the varied opinions, reviewers praised the eclectic mix of personalities within the Big Brother house, from a bingo caller to a Miss Universe contestant, adding an element of intrigue to the series.
While ITV’s reboot has shown promise in revitalising the brand, it remains to be seen if Big Brother can recapture its former dominance in the public conversation, competing with more recent reality TV sensations like Love is Blind and The Traitors.