Britain’s 2006 Celebrity Big Brother TV programme (4th) (UK)
The last session of Celebrity Big Brother ended on Friday, January 27, with Essex girl Chantelle Houghton being voted the winner. But several days before this happy ending, the house was in turmoil. Big Brother had set up a game to be played - the Banker Game - which would involve intrigue, betrayal, and deception.
Unwittingly, Preston and Chantelle came to be the head bankers, through answering the telephone that had been placed in the room, and being invited to take on this task. Along with their responsibility, of buying shares on the stock market, came a secret status of membership in a private social club, unknown to the rest of the housemates, who were ‘just a bunch of bankers’.
On different occasions, the two headed off through the dining room to the Private Members’ Club, to partake of champagne, chocolate, cigars, and scrumptious food. They were not permitted to share this secret, however, and hiding it became increasingly difficult as the other housemates became suspicious. But they not only had the luxury of their existence, they also had the responsibility of getting the housemates to perform two tasks successfully, in order to win a decent amount of food, drink, and cigarettes. The alternative would mean the housemates would be restricted in what they could have. Thus, Chantelle and Preston had to ensure that the housemates completed the tasks successfully.
But there was another side to Big Brother’s scheming. The housemates had been informed that they must lose the tasks the head bankers set for them in order to win the larger amount of food and treats. Furthermore, they were not permitted to tell Chantelle and Prescott. So while the two head bankers tried their best to get the housemates to complete the tasks, the housemates were attempting to undermine the efforts of the two, so that they could fail, thus win. The gameplaying that ensued, the contradictions leading to frustration, with each side working towards a different agenda, with Big Brother exerting its power to create even further havoc in the play, was captivating entertainment.
All this was the result of an ingenious setup by Big Brother. In this microcosm of our daily world, first came the withholding of information - the secrets - then the suspicion, the guilt, and the apparently contradictory agendas. Tensions building, secrets divulged, frustration and disbelief at the betrayals followed, while defensive behaviour and anger towards perceived wrongdoers had the House in turmoil. The housemates did win the extra large supplies, but in the final run of things, was that what really mattered? They were all working towards the same goal - more food and goodies, even though they didn’t seem to see that in the heat of accusations and defensive outbursts. This, indeed, was Big Brother, the way we understand he would be, and is.
Links updated April 2012
Added April 16, 2012
Videos of 2006 Celebrity Big Brother UK:
Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFvKZSU9hqA CBB 2006 highlights
Bankers private members club (15 Pt 2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjFiGNJonxs&feature=relmfu
Further tasks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjYIVxl7mN0&feature=relmfu
Housemates: see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity_Big_Brother_2006_(UK)
Chantelle Houghton (winner) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chantelle_Houghton
Michael Barrymore (runner-up) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0058214/bio
Dennis Rodman http://www.dennisrodman.com/
Faria Alam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faria_Alam
George Galloway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Galloway
Jodie Marsh http://www.jodiemarshtv.com/
Andrew Major (Maggot) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggot_(rapper)
Pete Burns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Burns
Traci Bingham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traci_Bingham
Jimmy Saville http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Savile
Richard and Judy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_and_Judy
See also: Big Brother Celebrity George Galloway MP, Jan 13, 2006: http://suemcpherson.blogspot.ca/2006/01/big-brother-celebrity-george-galloway.html