As part of this week's build up to the launch of Celebrity Big Brother 2011 on Thursday night, we were invited along to have a good old nose around the new house - and here's exactly what we saw! Getting the chance to step into the most famous house on British telly made us quite excited, but fortunately we managed to compose ourselves to write this for you!
Our tour starts in the camera runs of the new house, peering behind the blacked out curtains through the mirror into the bathroom. It's really quite surprising, as others already in the house walk inches from your face without noticing, just how well these two-way mirrors work.
Looking at the house through the camera runs isn't what we came here for though, and we quickly moved into the actual house via a huge false wall, stepping into the new living area, which is flooded with light - and cameras. This year's house features 42 of them in fact, "and they don't make a sound," our guide tells us. "You used to be able to hear them whirring and moving, but these new ones are completely silent."
Silent and also discrete, while a handful of visible cameras protrude from the wall it's hard to believe there are over 40 stuffed into such a small space.
We then explore the kitchen, part of the open plan living area. It's got all the essentials in place: A kettle, toaster, cutlery, and scales - although we don't imagine any of the celebs having a go at baking in the house.
All around the living area is so called ‘HD wallpaper’, featuring textures including tiles and wood. “It’ll look real with the HD cameras,” they explain.
From the kitchen we move into the bathroom, through a see-through glass door connected to the living area. It's hot, very hot. "The floor is heated," we're told. A half-egg-shaped bath tub sits proudly in the centre, whilst off to the side is a shower, featuring duct tape and wooden poles keeping it together.
"They're just fitting a modesty panel for the celebs," we're reassured; "It'll be gone for the normal series."
The shower has two heads - to encourage people to bath together and 'get it on' - we're again informed by our guide. It's certainly true that this year's producers are hoping for relationships to blossom in the house.
From the bathroom we step straight out into the garden, where the pool is the first thing to catch our eyes. Although, after dipping a toe in, we find it to be freezing - and it's only August! In the corner is a "chill out area", featuring a BBQ and Minibar. To the right, is a sauna; it’s small and intimate, you'd be lucky to fit more than a couple of people in there - but we expect that's what bosses are after.
Over the pool is a bridge, leading to another door. We're not allowed in, but our guide insists it's just the task room, somewhat of a letdown for us.
Meanwhile running over the top of the garden is a new feature for this year's show and a Big Brother first - a zip wire camera, allowing for one, long continuous shot of the housemates as they move about the house.
From the garden we go back into the living area and access the bedroom, somewhat hidden behind a 'secret' door to the side of the kitchen.
There are 11 beds - 8 singles and 3 doubles - "Some housemates are going to have to share," they tell us. The bedroom is cool and lavishly decorated, with glittery plumped pillows atop of purple duvets. In the middle is a communal bedroom table, with two vanity mirrors. "Are these real mirrors?" we ask, already paranoid having been in the house for all of 15 minutes.
Through the closet and we find the gym. "Is this here as part of someone's contract?" someone asks.
"No comment," is the reply.
Regardless of why the gym is there, it's not staying for the normal version. "We're not sure what it will be yet," we're told, "We haven’t decided."
We then head off to the diary room, with its mirrored entrance proving dazzling. Inside there are yet more mirrors, and two doors. Straight ahead we go into the diary to find this year's chair, a red and golden design sitting proudly in the surprisingly long room, with a small camera at one end. Inside the other door, who knows?
Ending our tour we climb the spiral staircase and stand at the top of the entrance, where on Thursday twelve celebrities will start their stay...
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