Big Brother snubs influencers in favour of ‘ordinary people’ for new series

30,000 applications became 16 housemates

Big Brother is set to snub influencers in favour of ‘ordinary people’ for the cast of the new series.

The hit reality show returns to UK TV for the first time in five years this Sunday night on ITV2.

Show bosses have revealed how they took on the unenviable task of cutting down some 30,000 applications to just 16 housemates.

AJ Odudu and Will Best pose in front of the Big Brother eye
Big Brother on ITV2 and ITVX. Pictured: AJ Odudu and Will Best. ©ITV Plc

According to Big Brother’s casting executive, Jay Khagram, those who applied included former contestants and even their children.

“It’s fair to say that society generally has changed a lot through the pandemic, social media, the current political climate, etc so housemates reflect those changes in society,” he said of taking on the job of casting the show.

Speaking to the Guardian, Khagram teased the final line up of housemates chosen “feel completely fresh and unique and … unlike anyone we’ve ever seen on the show before.”

Big Brother’s executive producer, Natalka Znak, added that the team was after contestants with “different accents” and “ordinary jobs”, with an age range spanning 18 to above 50.

Znak made clear it they were after “a variety in age [and] backgrounds so it is a social experiment, because they’re just trapped in that [Big Brother] world.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed that housemates would undergo ‘respect and inclusion training’ as part of the casting process.

Meanwhile, Lucas Green, chief content officer at production company Banijay, told the publication that the show would offer an alternative to the current plethora of reality dating shows.

“It’s good Big Brother isn’t just about love and romance, betrayal and what you look like; it’s really healthy to have a big show that’s … about societal relationships rather than love and sex,” Green said. “It’s good to have Big Brother back as a counterpoint to being judged on what you look like.”

Big Brother returns for 2023 with a brand new series on Sunday, 8 October at 9PM across ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX.

AJ Odudu and Will Best helm the show’s return as well as its nightly side show.

Together with the highlights each evening ITVX will air live feed into the early hours online.

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