|Brian Belo is the winner of Big Brother 8 (UK) in 2007. He also is a Big Brother historian by watching almost every single season of English-speaking Big Brother. You can check him out on twitter at @brian_belo or check out his blog: here.|
Today is Christmas Eve and Celebrity Big Brother UK have given us all an early Christmas present! A new housemate! They made a press release today of one of the housemates for the 2nd January 2018 live launch. Her name is Rachel Johnson and she is the sibling-sister, of the former London Mayor, Boris Johnson. Plus, the daughter of the 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' star Stanley Johnson. She seems like a fantastic booking, I've got to be honest - purely because she is so relevant to the mood of today.
Not only that but if she's related to Boris and Stanley, she is going to be reasonably intelligent. I know that is rich coming from me but us Big Brother lot have got a fair bit of stick in the past for dumbing down, so we ALL need help in trying to raise the value of this brand. I mean, I'm not being funny - but if you've been on Big Brother, you can not get away from it. This tag stay's with you forever.
I had to explain this to one of the Executive Producer's once. No matter how many hours they spend in the gallery room and offices, they aren't actually in the house on people's televisions. The housemates carry the weight of the show, good or bad - forever! When they are having a great year, amazing - fantastic, even! But when they are having a bad year, it's absolutely diabolical! You have to carry that tag everywhere with you; justifying yourself to just about anyone and everyone why you did that show in the first place! But so far, so good! Even BBC News (UK) were tweeting about it, this morning which was good. It's nice to see the show being taken seriously!
Anyway, without trying to sound like too much of a conspiracy-theory-absorber but with Big Brother Australia, there are few weird things. Pocket's of speech have gone missing from the clips. I remember when Blair McDonough first meets Gretel Killeen at the grand finale, she say's to him "Your name is Blair", which was a really poignant moment as the audience was chanting his name so loudly.
I remember it so vividly, because I wrote it down in a book somewhere. This was when I watched it again in 2010 after I had done the house. But if you watch the clip again. That sentence is no longer there. That is for me the freakiest thing ever because I clearly remember that happened. A few pockets of speech have also gone missing from the Big Brother 6 Australia episodes when they are nominating in the diary room. I remember as a kid, reading this used to happen with Hollywood films. I never thought I would experience it with Big Brother footage.
I'm currently getting loads of hunches about Big Brother & Film. I don't know how to explain it really, but it's a bit like when I was told to go to my Big Brother audition in 2007 and my gut said you'll be perfectly okay. I live my life, by following my hunches, it's like if you walk into a room and you can feel that 'you could cut the tension with a knife', that's usually because there has just been an argument. Those kind of hunches! Well I've never really been into film the same way that I've been into television, UNTIL recently! For the first time in my lifetime, film has really exploded FOR me! And that's not just because people in the Film Industry get paid more than reality television stars either, lol.
I was a TV & Film Studies student from age of 16 and I've got a national diploma in it, so I know film. Film Noir, the lot! But the whole time I had to study film, I didn't really think I was paying much attention because I wanted to be a runner on Big Brother *smirk*! Honestly, this is a true story! I wrote to Endemol when I was 15 asking for work experience as I studied Media Studies at GCSE level, and got an A in my exams in it - might I add! Endemol wrote back and told me to go and get further education in media studies and come back to them. So that's what I did! But then instead of becoming a runner on Big Brother, I became a housemate! Weird, I know!
I feel like I say the same thing, again and again. But here goes... So all my dream's became true and I got to be part of the Big Brother machine and I've got to say it's one weird machine. It's undercover, it's real cloak-and-dagger stuff! You would have to meet runner's and researchers for your interview at Paddington train station and wait for a person with a red umbrella with white spots to come and find you! At 19, I thought I was in a James Bond film. I never used to get out of my area of Essex. So going up to London to do this shifty - private eye - spy work, used to be a lot of fun!
But back to film, because I will never forget as to why Big Brother worked so well in 1999/2000 and film was not getting the same attention. You could relate to the reality stars, they told you everything about themselves, literally everything! Whereas now, reality stars are acting like they are Hollywood Movie stars, they are far too groomed and savvy. Basically, reality stars are not 'real' anymore! That is why it's not working in the same way that it once has done. Whereas the Film Industry has been absolutely humbled by the prescence of this still relatively new genre, that is reality television.
I did not get film as a kid. I used to think I only get to watch you for ninety minutes and then I lose the characters, plot and everything. Like you totally disappear, wheras television characters - there with me forever. Five day's a week, every week of the year. There seemed to be a point in watching television because, I wouldn't put all my time and energy into watching something and then it would disappear. For instance, I grew-up watching Neighbours as a kid. There seemed to be a point in that, because not only were you watching it but so was everyone else. It was a conversation starter even, if you were meeting new people. I think it was the character development of television that I loved because you really got to know your television stars.
Back to the film industry mirroring Big Brother. Number one, which is a big one and I didn't think it was at the time - but Big Brother (UK) is at Elstree TV & Film Studio's. The studios have been around since 1914 and they have filmed so many Hollywood blockbusters there, that it's not even funny. They filmed the original Star Wars triliogy there and in the last decade, The Academy Award - Oscar Winning, The King's Speech. When I done Big Brother in 2007, I just wanted to do Big Brother.
There are so many Film coincidences with my year of Big Brother, for a start it was labelled "BB8" as it was the eight season and the control gallery room where the producers, loggers and researcher's watch us live twenty-four hour's a day from was in the 'The George Lucas Stage'. George Lucas is the creator and director of the original Star Wars films, again in 2007 I did not think anything of it. In-fact I was quite dismissive, which looking back was really bad as it was a huge accolade that out of all the Big Brother's in the world, my production office's were in 'The George Lucas Stage'. The BBUK control room and galleries are in a media village now, the other side of the studio. Now the Star Wars franchise is back, I keep finding it weird, I keep hearing 'BB-8' everywhere. A little voice keep's saying to me, you're the winner of 'BB8'. That's weird, what does that mean?! I know I sound very David Icke, but all these little thing's that I keep picking-up on are starting to scream at me now 'pay attention to the sign's and clues'!
My film coincidences keep tallying-up! I've been to Pinewood Studios since originally being on Big Brother to film show's and walked the circuit where Sean Connery had his car chase. When I watched it on DVD, I thought, I've walked all around there and that was fim in the 1960's and one of the biggest film's in history. Little thing's like that, I used to take for granted all the time and think absolutely nothing of. Now my hunches, are saying - take notice of them and make a point of them. So I'm blogging it! That alone in itself, that I've tread on the same piece of concrete as Sean Connery, is something that I can not begin to fathom or comprehend really.
Then with Australian Big Brother, there are The Logan's! The Logan twins, Greg & David Matthews. Because I watched all of Big Brother 5 (AU) with them in, I alway's notice the name, Logan. Again, I didn't think it was a big thing. But now I can not seem to get away from it. Hugh Jackman's film 'Logan', Daniel Craig's film 'Logan Lucky'! Then Zac Efron wore a similar workout shirt to 'The Logan's' - "Same But Different"! That's when I thought to myself, 'The Logan's' are in the atmosphere! They were head-strong, they were a power-block. Not only that but then The Australian Movie star's Chris & Liam Hemsworth film-star trajectory was and IS on the rise. It's not just because they are Australian and brothers but there is most definitely something about Chris and Liam Hemsworth that makes me go 'Logan's!'. At first anyway, it was an invite for me to find them relateable as Movie Stars! I can most definitely relate to them now because of the 'Logan's!'. I've watched all there film's now and they have certainly have made me look at thing's differently and they have, without a shadow of a doubt, changed the film industry! Just like The Logan's in The Big Brother House, they are a power-block! When I first heard Geneva in Big Brother 5 Australia use the term power-block, for them - it stuck! The Logan's alway's used to win Friday Night Games, the competition-Total Wipeout- style show in Big Brother Australia. Whilst The Hemsworth's have cleaned-up The Hollywood Movie business. It sounds like I'm clutching for a grasp of a point here, but I'm only going with my hunches. Again, the same with the Australian actor, Hugh Jackman and his film 'Logan'! It's been bothering me for a long time to get the jist of this whole paragraph and just blurt all this out! It makes more sense in a blog then a tweet.
It sounds stupid, but I feel like The Hemsworth energy is following me. Preceisly in both of my Big Brother season's. When Katniss Everdeen walks onto stage for the first time during 'The Hunger Games', the stage and set there is so similar to stage when I won Big Brother. Then the Big Brother diary room in 2015 looked liked the Bifrost from Thor, where Idris Elba's character, Heimdall - teleports Thor & Co, where they need to go! Even the eviction interview set and graphics was the same as the Bifrost. It well and truly creeped me out, in all honesty. Not only that, but when I first tried to leave the house, they put me back in the bunker on my own. I woke-up the next morning with the television on, of the Big Brother eye - glaring at me! By this time I had watched three of 'The Hunger Games' movies and I was totally freaked-out!
I mean, Big Brother in 2007 was fun for me as it was a new experience and I was an exuberant teenager, whereas in 2015 I woke-up to that eye on the television in the bunker and I thought I've got to get out of here. I majorly had Katniss Everdeen hunches then, I had bad cramps in my stomach the whole time. That's another thing, I've never discussed but for me, the whole time you are in Big Brother - you feel physically sick. You feel nausea. The first time I was in the house, I learned to fight it off and just go whatever. I didn't used to feel it in the caravan, because it didn't feel like I was on a television show in there - whereas I did in the house. The second time I done Big Brother, the sickly-feeling in my stomach would not go away. Everything felt really stagnant. I just kept getting a hunch telling me to get out. Eventually I did, when I jumped over the wall.
Big Brother 2015 (UK) was still at Elstree Film Studios, the same studios that have been open since 1914. Now, I've been told that lot's of television studios have weird energies. But that house by 2015 felt nothing like it once used too. I believe it's haunted! Something's going on there. Apparently Coronation Street's studios were haunted by past actors, actresses and crew members, before they moved sets. I believe it's the same with Big Brother. I don't know if the Film Business of yester-year want us there making Big Brother!?! When you think about it, it's not exactly doing the actor's guild any good! I pick-up on thing's, like I'll wake-up in the middle of the night and I'l think to myself, look on that person's profile and they will have posted exactly what you are thinking! It freak's the life out of me in all honesty! I've tried to leave social media, so many times! There is no reason for me to have social media what-so-ever! But all I'm picking-up on is there is loads of bad shit going on, that's why I have to post bit's here and there. Like The Big Brother (UK) house is built on the set for the 1955 film 'The Dam Busters'. I will wake-up and go on twitter and an Elstree Studios historian will have tweeted something relevant to 'The Dam Busters', then I will remember that, that is what The Big Brother house is built-upon!
Then there is the Big Brother worldwide thing - I will literally be thinking about Big Brother Holland where in Season 5, the woman gave birth to her baby in the house! Then I will go online to look for something else and I will see an article about how someone is going to give birth in Celebrity Big Brother next month. Then, I'll get woken-up in the middle of the night and think Big Brother forever. Literally just the term 'Big Brother Forever'! Then I get a hunch to research Big Brother village, which is Big Brother 6 Germany! When I research it on wikipedia, the season itself was orginially called 'Big Brother Forever' and was scheduled to air without an end. But it finished just under a year!
I'll be completely honest with you, during my twenties's - I thought 'Big Brother' was a show I done as a teenager, I can wash this all off now and get on with my life! I can NOT seem to shake-off this show! So now apparently the Film business is now relevant to me as they are now mirroring Big Brother and reality television in general. The film industry most definitely vibe-off of reality television as we do them. I can see it, from there point of view - because we do give normal responses. There are "Um's & Aww's". Which are actually very important for the viewer to relate too, because it is just normal chit-chat!
With 'The Hunger Games', I watched the first one purely by accident. I went to the cinema with an old friend and we literally didn't even know what we were going to watch. Then when it began and 'the girl on fire' walked on stage, my friend was like"I'm sorry mate, but do you want to leave?! Afterwards he was like, that was such an awkward film to watch with you! Haha!". After that I became a bit obsessed with 'The Hunger Games', but I made sure that in future I went to the cinema alone, to watch the rest of them. So none of my post-Big Brother-karma rubbed off on anyone. I've said it like a million times, but being in that house for 78 day's is weird. But I do think it sharpens your visual and perceptual skills. It intensifies how you can read people and what they are about. No other time in life, do you live with just seeing only 10 to 15 people, for that amount of time. No papers, magazines, or television. There's no relaxtion method in that house. So we were alway's running on alert! The weirdest thing coming out of the house was even realizing that it was even in a TV & Film Studio as we were in there for so long! Then it was weird with little thing's like when the phone rang and stuff! Being in a car, just about everything about normal life, freaked me out! And that's not normal.
But, yeah - there's definitely something spooky going on with Big Brother and film. When I get anymore thought's or hunches, I'll let you know. But anyway, Merry Christmas guy's - all I'm starting to get now is that if anything is important and of worth you'll feel it in the pulsation of the undertone's! It's not about massive commercialisation anymore. It's like when I first watched Laguna Beach when I was 19 in 2006, I watched it on MTV:UK and not many people were watching it in the UK! Then it grew a fanbase overtime in the undertones. It's a bit like that now, all the cool stuff is happening in place's that nobody else is looking. It's like I'm nothing, I'm no one, but I've definitely been in some very important building's and felt vibe's and stuff of what this and that mean's. So I start to piece together the jigsaw puzzle together from that really. Again, Merry Christmas guy's!