Big Brother is a reality TV show broadcast on Channel 4, in which a number of contestants live in an isolated house trying to avoid being evicted by the public with the aim of winning a large cash prize at the end of the run. It is based on the Big Brother series produced by Endemol. The show's name comes from George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopia in which Big Brother is the all-seeing leader. The main shows are hosted by Davina McCall and narrated by Marcus Bentley. As well as in the United Kingdom, it is also available in the Republic of Ireland.

Big Brother UK series 7, is currently in broadcast in the United Kingdom as part of the Big Brother reality television series. It is airing on Channel 4, starting on May 18, 2006 and due to end on August 18, 2006, making it the longest series yet at thirteen weeks long. The series has been criticised by many different organisations for the introduction of a man with Tourette syndrome to the house and forbidding, for a short period, contestants to speak in Welsh. On the opening night, the programme obtained a peak audience of 8.1 million viewers, one million greater than the previous year's show.

The show format is unchanged from previous years. A number of contestants (known as "housemates") live in a purpose-built house at Elstree Studios, totally isolated from the rest of the world. Each week, one is evicted from the house, usually by way of a public vote from housemates' nominations, but there are exceptions. The final housemate to leave wins £100,000. There is no runner up prize.

Housemates

Of the twenty-two housemates introduced into the house, fourteen entered on the launch night. This is greater than previous years of the show. Due to the departures of Shahbaz and Dawn, two new housemates, Sam and Aisleyne, were introduced as part of the Meal or No Meal task. George walked from the house on Day 13 as he didn't want to be famous, although he was never officially replaced. On Day 23, Susie entered the house as Big Brother's lucky Golden Ticket winner. Finally, five more housemates entered on Day 44 (Jonathan, Spiral, Jennie, Michael & Jayne) to the House Next Door, totalling 22 housemates — a new record.

This series overall has seen the largest number of housemates to leave without eviction with three so far exiting the house. This beats the third series, where there were a total of fourteen housemates and two walk outs; and the fifth series, in which two were ejected and the series had a total of thirteen housemates. Series seven's housemate numbers also top the sixth series of the show, in which even after the "Secret Garden" twist, there were only a total of sixteen contestants. At one point there were more additional housemates than original housemates in series seven. During Week 9 following Nikki's eviction there was a total of 6 additional housemates and five original housemates having entered the house on launch night.

More than years previously, Big Brother has been criticised in the media for both its choice of housemates and its practice once the housemates are inside. Initially the programme faced accusations of exploiting a man with Tourette syndrome, by accepting him as a housemate. The Tourette Syndrome Association of the U.K. (TSA UK) "claimed the broadcaster had deliberately cast someone with relatively strong symptoms in order to make him a 'figure of fun'." The TSA UK claimed that this year's contestant, Pete Bennett, could suffer in the house, and also stated that parents were concerned that their children could be subjected to bullying as a consequence of Pete's behaviour inside the house. Channel 4 said Pete's inclusion could educate people about the syndrome.[49] His condition was reported to have been aggravated by drug use.[50] Pete's mum said "I'm angry when people say Pete shouldn't be on the show - that it is in someway exploitative. It's ridiculous. Do we want people with Tourette's to be accepted or marginalised?"[51] In The Guardian of July 11, Rebbecca Atkinson remarked "At last, in series seven, and not a day too soon, there is a disabled housemate"

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