Big Brother execs want "genuine and likeable" people instead of "freaks" for new series on Channel 5

Big Brother 2011 auditions

Big Brother execs have said that they're on the lookout for "genuine and likeable" housemates for the show when it returns to Channel 5 this year. Speaking at the auditions in London last weekend, show producers Katy Smith and Susy Price said they didn't want "freaks" or "a shock factor" for the new series.

Asked what qualities they were after, Katy told DigitalSpy: "It's really hard to pin down because we don't look for one particular kind of person. After interviewing person after person, you notice that they tend to say the same sort of things. They say 'I'm crazy' or 'all my friends say that I should do it'. It's really exciting when someone surprises you and says something that you weren't expecting them to say.

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"We all make judgements when people walk in, on what they are wearing and what they look like. If they are different to your expectations that is always exciting. People often have interesting lives and stories to tell. We look for those charismatic traits where someone makes you sit up and listen automatically."

Meanwhile Susy added: "We're not looking for a shock factor. People say that we want freaks, but we really don't want freaks. We want people who love life, who will make the house fun to be in and fun to watch. People like Josie from last year. People who are genuine and likeable."

With declining ratings and 11 series of the show having aired, Big Brother has gone from a show that made nobodies famous across the country overnight to a Z-list creator, but the new team think this change will help the show. "It's not a stepping stone anymore to getting your own TV show," Susy says. "But I think that's a good thing, because generally the housemates that are brilliant are the ones who are doing it for the whole experience.

"They want a challenge and want to meet other people and that always comes across well on the show. Also, there's always a new generation of people who have watched the show as kids who are now old enough to apply. People's interest in the show has never waned over the years."
Katy: "There are still only a very small number of people who have had the Big Brother experience. From that perspective it's still very unique and something money can't buy. Nobody can come in here and bribe us. If you're lucky enough to get through on your personality and character, you are about to have a unique experience that can't be replicated ever again in your life. It's still a social experiment, you'll still have no access to the outside world and people will be watching you. It's the same Big Brother as it's always been."

Big Brother 2011 will air on Channel 5 from September, after Celebrity Big Brother returns in mid-August

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