Exclusive: Big Brother executives back prize fund twists

17 comments - Posted on September 20 2012 at 06:12pm

Conor, Luke S - Big Brother 2012 White Room prize fund twist

The executive producers of Big Brother have defended the prize fund twists used in recent series, claiming that the experience of being on the show can be more rewarding.

During this year’s series, housemates Conor, Luke S and Sara entered the ‘White Room’ to compete for £50,000, which was taken from the winner’s £100,000 prize.

Conor controversially won the cash, prompting a furious reaction from viewers who claimed he shouldn’t have been in such a position following his alleged bullying of Deana.

Last year’s run also saw Big Brother task the five finalists with splitting £50,000 of the winner’s money between them via a unanimous decision.

Speaking exclusively to bbspy, show chiefs Denis O’Connor, Katy Smith and Susy Price denied suggestions that such twists are unfair, saying that Big Brother ‘isn’t just about the money’.

They commented: “Over the years Housemates have always said that the idea of being crowned the winner has always been more exciting to them than the cash prize itself.

“The sense of personal achievement and being deemed the most popular Housemate of the series has always been first and foremost what keeps being driven.”

Big Brother UK’s £100,000 is currently the lowest-value prize fund of the English-language versions of the show. Big Brother USA has a US$500,000 (£308,000) grand prize for its winner – as well as $50k and $25k prizes for runners-up – while Australia offers AU$250,000 (£160,000) and a brand new car worth at least $27,000 (£17,350).

  • Our full interview with Denis, Katy and Susy will be posted this weekend

N.B. This is an exclusive article – please do not copy it in whole or in part without crediting ‘’ and linking back to this page.

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17 comments on this article

  1. Paul John Leadbeater says:
    Thu 20 Sep Reply !

    What utter nonsense they are talking and I can see viewing figures next year dropping like a stone. Am so angry with em and would like em fired as obviously they have made tv to suit them but not us. Yeah right Connor was popular that is a lie and a half. Simply I reckon that the execs have been swallowed by Channel 5 and obviously have had their hands ridiculously tied behind their backs. Hope they don’t ever put bellends like Connor in again as he is just a thug. Hope the rest of you who are posting can go to OFCOM and air how angry you are about it.

  2. lewis815 says:
    Thu 20 Sep Reply !

    @Paul John Leadbeater
    As much as I disliked certain aspects of the series, there is nothing that is OFCOM worthy. That is, nothing that should have not have been broadcasting.

  3. lewis815 says:
    Thu 20 Sep Reply !

    Typical answer from the generic and bland machine of Channel 5 that we have come to know and expect then.
    I have to disagree with them, yes, on Channel 4 this was the expectation, in the earlier series the accolade of winning would have been worth trading in £100,000 (or £70,000 as it was) – But now? The rating are so low and media interest in contestants is non existant! If you don’t win a good large prize at the end it’s just not worth it anymore.
    People could talk about the Big Brother “experience” – But being realistic, the “experience” is no longer what it used to be either.
    As Aaron (BB12) has alluded to – Channel 5 stick people in a house and then edit it to make “entertainment” – Thereby, making people who are a bit questionable look like horrid individuals (of their choosing) and screwing up some generally innocent lives.

  4. Paul John Leadbeater says:
    Thu 20 Sep Reply !

    Well its evidence of their cynicism then and they will lose viewers sharply. The producers have treated us like fools and aren’t respecting us either. All things that have been bored out of their short term greed. What annoys me is they give their chosen one a lot of advertising, bit like teleshopping in other words. These execs either change their policies or run the risk of being booted out.

  5. Jumpondees says:
    Thu 20 Sep Reply !

    I think the trade off in prize fund on UK BB is its great production values. UK BB seems to change series after series. US BB has a higher prize fund but production seems cheap. The US BB house has not changed in nearly 10 years except the paint on the walls. At least UK BB spends the money to change the look of the house and keep thing fresh.

  6. Stu says:
    Thu 20 Sep Reply !

    Next years BB will do better in the ratings than this years, it was up against some major sporting events yet still managed to maintain a steady audience. C5 needs a good mix of HMs next year [similar to to CBB] to attract viewers back to the show.

  7. Paul John Leadbeater says:
    Fri 21 Sep Reply !

    Stu with the events that have taken place this year I think the only way is down mate for ratings. A lot of die hard fans will switch off wheras the casual viewers will probably stay mantained. BB is dead in a lot of peoples eyes now and people don’t care for it anymore.

  8. Paul John Leadbeater says:
    Fri 21 Sep Reply !

    Sack these inept execs now!!!!!

  9. Sam says:
    Fri 21 Sep Reply !

    As the Exec Producers seem to think the Housemates are more interested in being crowned the winner than the prize money itself, maybe they should get rid of the prize fund altogether and spend it on a live feed instead.

    In addition, as they seem so blase about money, maybe they would be happy for Endemol to only pay them half their wages. Afterall, surely being a producer on Big Brother ‘isn’t just about the money’, instead the idea of being a producer on the show, along with the sense of personal achievement, is more exiting than the wages itself?

  10. lewis815 says:
    Fri 21 Sep Reply !


    Ha, I love this. To be fair I’d love to be a BB producer on half of their wages! Mainly because I know I’d do a bloody better job and send the ratings and interest in the show sky rocketing.

  11. CH5BBUK says:
    Sat 22 Sep Reply !

    I hope they pick housemates that are different ages and who are different from each other! :grin:

    One of my friends said that she stopped watching BB UK because most of the housemates are in their 20s and not different ages. :sad:

    I still watch BB UK but would find the show even more interesting if the housemates was different ages and different from each other like CBB! :grin:

  12. CH5BBUK says:
    Sat 22 Sep Reply !


    Would be so cool if BB UK let some BB fans take over for a series :grin:

    If I took over I would make sure theres:

    1) Live Feed
    2) The housemates would be different ages and different from each other
    3) The prize money would stay the same and no other housemate could take half of it. So the real winner takes all the prize money.
    4) Whoever breaks the rules the housemates get a tougher punishments and not just the hot water switched off.
    5) The BB eye would go back to how it use to be :grin:
    6) The Tree of Temptation would be back :grin:
    7) The save and replace would be back too
    8) The tasks would be tougher
    9) For 2 weeks they will have the rich and the poor side
    10) The BB diary room chair would look something like this and :grin:
    11) BB would be tougher and not a holiday :grin:

  13. CH5BBUK says:
    Sat 22 Sep Reply !

    Also Davina and Brian hosting BB together and bring back BBLB with Emma and Brian hosting also BB Big Mouth with Davina hosting again :grin:

  14. Stu says:
    Sat 22 Sep Reply !

    @Paul John Leadbeater
    BB is NOT dead, it’s doing well on C5 where their programmes hardly ever average a million viewers. also it’s not just the first showing of the main shows ratings C5 are looking at it’s the overall amount of viewers that are watching on +1, the lunchtime repeat the next day, the repeat on on 5* and those watching on 5Demand too which is probably giving BB about 3 to 4 million viewers

  15. Brekkie says:
    Sun 23 Sep Reply !

    You can convince yourself that all you like but the truth is it gets no more than around 1.6m on the first airing on C5/C5+1 combined, then at most rises to 2m with the repeats. Look at the Youtube vids too – most have views in the hundreds rather than thousands – so much for them appealing to “casual” fans via social media.

  16. Paul John Leadbeater says:
    Mon 24 Sep Reply !

    Stu if they carry on their cynicism they will lose voters and viewers. The final was virtually a quarter down on what it was like last year and that was down to production incompetance as well as Connor. Also some of the BBBOTS audience members and guests are incredibly naive and biased when they say something is good when its rubbish and bad when its great. Find the show incredibly dumbed down and patronising at times.

  17. Jillian says:
    Tue 25 Sep Reply !

    Just read this article and had the exact same thoughts, except mine went just a little further… when they are handed their paycheck they should be informed that half of their earnings have been donated to feed inmates in the penal system.

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