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Big Brother’s Big Mistake
The best things
By William Benn
SO the news has come out that is unlikely that the programme serves to illustrate this point: av-
In life are free
Big Brother will be coming to an would have been anywhere near erage viewing figures have nearly
end next year and, to be honest, as successful had it continued halved since series 7, the last se-
I’m not disappointed to see it go. under the guise of sociological ries to air before the fiasco).
But despite my present opinion I investigation – but it is ultimately
admit that when the programme the programme’s own quest for In order to increase or even main-
first aired I was as hooked as ev- “destruction” that has lead to its tain the same of level of emotional
eryone else. I even went as far as demise. response the show would have
So you want something for nothing – who doesn’t? As in niente,
to vote in the original series - as required hatred, wars and break-
nada, nowt. There’s no doubt that living in London can be a bit
I’m sure many people did - and As the show went on succes- downs. But these became unat-
honestly, I think it would be hard sive series aimed at provoking a tainable: the limit had been set,
pricey but with lots of free things to do – from arts, clubs, music
to find someone who has not greater emotional response from and pushing past it would have
and entertainment – going out need not go hand-in-hand with a
been affected by the programme the public; the contestants – in meant further outrage, job losses
at some point during its ten-year part playing up to the image of the and – in all probability - the end of
charge. Here’s a hand-picked selection for you to choose frombe- reign. programme - became more dra- the programme.
cause like The Guestlist Network, the best things in life are free!
matic, and the popularity of the
The difference between then and show con- tin- This was a no-win scenario for
now]i however, is in the way Big u e d Channel 4: the only available op-
@CellarDoor, Zero Aldwych,
Brother is packaged. When the tions were to continue with a
London, WC2E 7DN
programme launched production series that had become too
company Endemol billed the tame to be interesting,
@Ain’t Nothin’ But, 20 Kingly St, @Theatre Royal Bar, Gerry Raf-
Tuesdays 9pm – 1am, Cham-
series as “a serious experi- or attempt to engineer
Soho, W1B 5PZ fles Square, Stratford East, E15
pagne Charlie hosts this New
ment in human interac- one that would be too
Monday – Wednesday 6pm 1BN
York-styled open mic session for
tion”, and it was this destructive to be ac-
– 1am, Live Blues music in a
cabaret, musical and jazz sing-
rationale that I bought ceptable.
friendly, international and inti-
into when I first tuned
mate atmosphere.
in all those years ago. It is for this reason that
@Royal Festival Hall, Southbank
But the pretense of sci- they have taken a differ-
Centre, Belvedere Rd, London,
entific analysis was soon dis- ent route altogether and
carded, and now even Endemol decided to axe the show,
Fridays 1pm, Take some time
@The Lexington, 96-98 Penton-
admit that the aims of the pro- to and now we will be saying a big
out and enjoy some free lunch-
ville Rd, Angel/Kings Cross, N1
gramme are purely sensationalist; g r o w . farewell to Big Brother next year.
time music with an emphasis on
9JB proudly boasting on their website But in 2007 the Shilpa Shet- Is the show finished for good?
small-scale classical and con-
Saturdays 2-9pm, ‘Nashville on that: “The pressure-cooker envi- ty/Jade Goody fiasco took the Maybe not: I’m sure that staff
temporary music.
Thames Club’ can satisfy that ronment [of Big Brother] tests… sensationalist approach too far. from other channels are already
daytime clubbing pang in you relationships to destruction and Public outrage over the incident pitching tents together outside
@Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Not-
with honky-tonk/country music in leads to tensions, rows, recrimi- signalled that a limit had been the BB studio (while their oppor-
ting Hill Gate, W11 3JQ
a whiskey bar setting. nations and tears”. reached, and there became a tunist, money-hungry directors
Saturdays 4-8pm, Rough Trade’s
pressing, and previously absent, are pitching tents alone back at
free showcase with plenty of live Mondays from 8pm, Weekly
@Amersham Arms, 388 New Whether or not the original ratio- need to control contestants so as the office).
bands. line-up of dynamic comedians to
Cross Rd, SE14 6TY nale was ever truly believed by En- to avoid a similar disaster.
tickle your funny bones...
Fridays 10pm – 3am, ‘Whip
demol is debatable but either way But it is likely to be off our screens
It’ has super resident DJs who
what started out as an interest- Big Brother had lost its license to for a while at least, and I for one
@Camden Head, 2 Camden
you can count on bringing you
ing opportunity to examine how toy with emotions as it pleased hope Channel 4 move away from
Free ART Walk, Camden, N1 8DY
lashings of cool party anthems
regular people reacted to living and as a result, it could no lon- such sensationalist programming
starting Oct 19th, ‘Every Other
'from AC/DC to MGMT and from
in close proximity with each other ger top what had come before; and put on something more posi-
@Somerset House, The Strand, Monday’ is a new fortnightly gig
Missy to Kissy' alongside cutting-
soon turned into a chance to cre- anything that came after would tive in its place. Whatever they at-
WC2R 1LA showcasing best new comedi-
edge beats with their mega
ate ‘good television’ by squeezing be an anticlimax. Once the public tempt to replace it with you can
Mondays 10am-2pm A year- ans & established acts in one of
sound system and late-license.
as many self-confessed egotists had seen “tensions, rows…and guarantee one thing: with all of
round programme of contem- Camden’s oldest boozers. and polarised personalities into tears” then dislikes, debates and the airtime that will be freed they
porary exhibitions – currently
@Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Not-
as competitive and uncomfort- sobs were no longer enough to will have many chances to get it
themed around London Fashion @The Comedy Café, 66-68
ting Hill Gate, W11 3JQ
able a space as possible. sustain their interest (a sharp rat- right, and no excuses for getting
Week. Rivington St, Old Street, EC2A
Wednesdays 7pm-2am, ‘Death
Good television it may be - it ings decline in the last three years it wrong.
Disco’ is Alan McGee & Danny
Wednesdays, you’ll never know
Watson’s weekly night has seen
at ‘New Act Night' if you'll see
some super top-name DJs and
the funniest act of your life or a
is a haven for indie celebs and
cringe-worthy first performance
punk veterans.
that you should have been
spared from. If you don't go you'll
@The London Fields, 137 Mare
never know...
St, London, E8 3RH
Sundays 8pm – 2am, Disco
Bloodbath's Damon Martin, Dan-
2 for 1
iel Shepherd and weekly guests
take this gastropub to new levels
on best available seats!
@Gagosian Gallery, 6-24 Britan-
with disco, techno, electro-pop,
nia St, Kings Cross, WC1X 9JD @CellarDoor, Zero Aldwych,
new wave and indie beats.
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – London, WC2E 7DN
Celebrating its 8th sensational year in London,
6pm Despite its small size, the Mondays 9pm – 1am, ‘Life’s a
@The Redchurch, 107 Red- STOMP is now FRESHER, FASTER AND FUNNIER
Gagosian has hosted shows Drag’ sees drag queens take
church St, London, E2 7DL than ever before, with new routines, new choreogra-
by seriously big names such over this basement cabaret
Wednesdays 8pm – 1.30am, If phy and new music.
as Howard Hodgkin, Carsten space.
it’s a general genre-mix of music
Höller and Cecily and Gilbert
you’re looking to bop to, you’ll This multi-award winning show has a universal lan-
and George. @The Retro Bar, 2 George
find hip hop, DnB, R&B, funk guage of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance. Eight
Court, Charing Cross, WC2H
and reggae tones in this Shored-
performers use everything from Zippo lighters to plas-
@Saatchi Gallery, King’s Rd, 6HH
itch establishment.
tic bags, bin lids and even the kitchen sink to create an
Chelsea, SW3 4SQ Sundays 8pm, ‘Marvellous Mu-
explosively feel-good rhythm.
Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm sicals’ is hosted by the unique
@Cargo, 83 Rivington St,
Free admission to all shows - in- Myra DuBois with not just mu-
Shoreditch EC2A 3AY
Stomp also has performances on Sundays at 3pm
cluding temporary curated ex- sicals, but a dash of showtunes
Fridays 7pm – 3am, ‘Eat Your
and 6pm!
hibitions, as part of the Saatchi and other delights.
Own Ears’ = popular weekly
Gallery’s aim to bring contempo-
freebie with continuous genre-
rary art to the widest audience
hopping line-ups
have seen it, take someone who hasn’t and share
possible. the pleasure’ - Boston Herald
2 for 1 on best available seats!
Valid for all performances excluding
Saturday evenings until 18 October
Simply call the Box Office on 08448
Check out
112 334 and quote ‘Guestlist Offer’.
Subject to availability.
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