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Exclusive: 15 things we learned at the Big Brother house

2 comments - Posted on June 5 2014 at 01:08pm

Big Brother 2012 Behind The Scenes - Signpost

To mark the launch of Big Brother 2014: Power Trip, bbspy went inside the futuristic new look house yesterday – here we reveal fifteen things we found out on our exclusive tour…

On Monday morning, months of work by a crack team of builders came to fruition, as the new Big Brother house was unveiled – with most fans raving about the sleek new design.

Channel 5 was so proud of it that they decided to show it off in a press tour – and for the first time ever, bbspy was welcomed up to the compound at Elstree Studios before the series, as the only fansite on an invite-only guest list filled with members of the national media.

Although we got a taste of the house back in September, when the National Trust opened it up for public tours, it felt even more surreal venturing in to the new version before its housemates have even seen it – and of course, we had to ensure it was kept pristine for them, by putting disposable covers on our shoes and ensuring we didn’t leave any secret messages (boo!).

Unlike September’s tours, all the cameras and electronics were in place this time, and we almost jumped when we approached a camera to take a photo – only for it to start moving up and down.

And we almost felt like we were actual housemates when Big Brother gathered the ‘journalists’ on the sofa – to watch show presenters Emma Willis and Rylan Clark appear on the plasma screen from the Diary Room!

Of course, we also closely investigated some of the finer details of the abode – read on to find out what we learned during our time inside…

1. The staircase is more enclosed than it looks

A few people have called for bosses to separate the entrance from the main house again – but this year it’s still in full view of the living area. However, the new floating steps are a happy medium – the perspex partitions on each side and the private landing make them feel a lot more enclosed than any other C5-era BB staircase.

Big Brother 2014: Power Trip house - entrance stairs

2. The classic Diary Room button is back

We must admit we were a bit sad when it was revealed that the iconic eye-shaped Diary Room doorbell – a staple of the Big Brother house since 2002 – had been replaced by a ‘hand scanner’, even though it better fit the technology theme.

But it seems bosses have had a change of heart, as the button is now back on the wall at the bottom of the stairs. We were told this was down to practical reasons (it worked better, basically).

However, hand scanner fans, do not fear – there’s still one by the Diary Room entrance. Housemates will press the button to alert Big Brother that they want in the Diary Room, then when they get the green light to go up, they’ll have to use their grubby mitts to open the door.

3. The Diary Room itself is *VERY* intimidating

Traditionally, the Diary Room is supposed to be a calm haven that encourages housemates to reveal their deepest thoughts. But that’s definitely not the case this time, as the new chair completely dominates the space – it’s a behemoth. As you might expect, thanks to the LED lighting in the padding and the screen in the headrest, it’s also incredibly uncomfortable.

4. The task rooms haven’t moved

As the house layout has been almost unchanged since last year, it’s no surprise that the task rooms are still in the same place. However, the door leading to them has moved – it’s now at the bottom of the little corridor on the other side of the staircase.

5. The house is literally packed with technology

For previous series of Big Brother, there has never been any more than two screens in the house – but for the technology-packed Power Trip bungalow, they’ve only gone and packed in a whopping 27 screens. That’s right, TWENTY SEVEN. That number includes the three in the Diary Room and the sixteen that make up the housemate wall near the lounge – and Big Brother is able to feed anything he likes to any or all of the screens at the snap of a finger.

There’s more LED lighting in the house than ever before – 1.5 kilometres of it. And as for the cameras, there’s *deep breath*: 27 remote control hothead cameras, 13 fixed cameras and one ‘rail cam’ in the garden, as well as six manned cameras lurking behind 58 two-way mirrors.

Big Brother 2014: Power Trip house - bathroom screen

6. The screens are partially replacing the Big Brother voice

It seems Big Brother is giving his mouth a rest, as we were told that some information formerly delivered by the ‘Voice of God’ will now be relayed via the screens around the house. The producers didn’t go in to much more detail, but did add that the monitors will also replace the laminates that task instructions were delivered on.

7. There are no iPads in the house… but there is a Windows Surface

We can now quash the persistent rumours that there are iPads in the house – because it seems Big Brother’s tablet of choice is in fact the Windows Surface. There’s one mounted on the wall next to the kitchen – bosses have confirmed that there is no internet connection in the house, but the housemates will be doing their shopping lists via tablet again, so we expect that’s what the Surface is for.

8. The sofas are just as uncomfortable as they look

Having thoroughly tested the lounge, we think it’s safe to say the housemates will be spending more time in their beds, as the sofas really are awkward to sit on – even cushions wouldn’t make them a more attractive prospect.

9. The bathroom shower controls are almost completely hidden

‘Where on earth are the shower controls in the bathroom?’ was one question that cropped up after the release of the official house photos. Turns out that it only has an on-off button – and it’s nestled out of sight among the plants on the walls. Sneaky!

10. There’s an outdoor shower in the garden

In addition to the plush new bathroom, there’s apparently an outdoor shower in the garden – but we couldn’t spot it when we sniffed around, so given that they keep tweaking the house until the show goes on air, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not there at all come launch.

Big Brother 2014: Power Trip house - garden

11. The spiral staircase leading to the pod is rather tight

Any larger housemates may find it a bit of a squeeze getting up to the pod in the garden – the spiral staircase that leads to it is very cramped. It’s worth the effort though, as the so-called ‘gogglebox’ provides a bit of a retreat from the loud colours in the rest of the house.

12. The pool is surprisingly big

On the other hand, while the pool may not look particularly impressive, it is in fact rather large – there’s easily enough room for all the housemates in there. Whether that will encourage any Anthony and Makosi-style antics remains to be seen…

13. The entire garden floor is astroturf

Usually in the Big Brother house there’s some form of decking, but not this year – the entire floor is covered in astroturf. Even the grey bits are fake grass. Meanwhile, perspex gates have been installed to shut off the spiral staircase and pool area.

14. There are drawers built in to the bedroom walls

When you look in the bedroom for the first time, the walls appear to be completely normal – but it turns out that Big Brother has craftily built drawers in to some of them to maximise storage space. The furniture has also been rearranged a bit since the press photos were taken – the chairs shown next to the bedroom door have now switched places with the beds on the opposite side.

15. Emma and Rylan read bbspy

We didn’t expect to get quite as warm a reception as we did from Emma and Rylan – but they’re every bit as charming in real life as they come across on the telly. And no, we’re not just saying that because it turns out that they check out our website – they genuinely are lovely. (If you’re reading this, hi guys!)

Shortly we’ll be posting a gallery of exclusive photos to illustrate some of these points – but for now you can flick through more of the official shots below.

Don’t forget to tune in to the opening night of Big Brother: Power Trip tonight at 9.00pm on Channel 5!



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2 comments on this article

  1. Jay says:
    Thu 05 Jun Reply !

    Great article, and after so many years of delivering up-to-date news, it’s great to see BBSPY enjoying the perks of the other journos. You’ve been my first port of call since you started reporting BB news, and you always will be.

  2. jennyjuniper says:
    Thu 05 Jun Reply !

    @Jay
    I agree, it’s a great site, along with tellymix and total big brother. In fact I rarely visit the original BB site anymore.


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