Big Brothers “POSITIVE” Contribution??

By Majed Iqbal


It’s that time of year again- Its dark and gloomy outside coupled with the usual regular interval of showers, but Channel 4 will give you something to spice up your boring lives with and provide you with endless opportunities to gossip about at your school breaks, at lunchtime in the college and uni cafeteria and over the desk with your sun reading colleagues.


Big Brother Celebrity Hijack


Yes, it’s that legalized voyeurism I’m talking about which allows you to beam into the lives of a group of eccentric contestants locked in a house together and then voted out one at a time by the viewers.


Viewers wait to see the tantrums, kick offs, love triangles, shouting and screaming, house mate rivalry and break down and depression of contestants to give them their kicks and something to identify with in their lives. Its LIVE- anything can happen any moment! And that is the spirit of the show which connects with the audience- and that is exactly the ‘high standard’, ‘first class’ entertainment we received in last years series in the jade Goody Vs Shilpa Shetty showdown.

With wide publicity in magazines, News, discussion and talk shows, and even free newspapers, event the perfect avoider of such ‘High profile’ entertainment cannot avoid not coming across the antics of this show.

However, there’s strong competition from equally appealing shows like The X Factor, I’m A Celebrity Get Me out Of Here, Strictly Come Dancing, Pop Idol and Brainteaser hitting home. So Big Brother has to provide ‘cutting edge’ entertainment to score highly in the TV ratings and this is achieved by towing the Jerry Springer ethos- by stretching the imagination of the audience through its participants- Hot topics, controversial topics, nail biting topics, cringing topics- you name it. This is the entertainment which channel 4 beams to its drooling audiences.

This years Celebrity Hijack format of the Show continues in its efforts to appeal to the no brains, TV obsessed, gossip driven and teetering on depression section of the British population. It is the same attitudes which seem to prevailing in our young- “Who can go the furthest and do the most extreme thing”.

On Big Brother it translates into who kissed who, whose tough and macho, how bitchy you can get, girls making out with each other and who can scream another person down. In the Streets of Britain, the same philosophy translates into more extremities with our young- Who can get the most high on the joint, who can pull the trigger, happy slapping, Bullying and preying on individuals, pranks involving knives, sexually abusing girls with remarks and moves- and a whole plethora of dare-devil antics. No matter how disguised, the show feeds off these same ashamed insecurities but this time boxed in one place and beamed out live to all.

Maybe the shows new formula of 18-21 year old contestants, each who have a unique talent may be seen as an attempt to putting forward positive role models and moving away from the chapters mentioned above. It still seems quite questionable. Just because your famous and have possess power of the pound in your pocket, does that make you immune from bad character- surely not- and as time has demonstrated again and again- the shelf life of celebrities is limited and full of disasters.

Last week Britney Spears was carried out of her home on a stretcher and taken into custody after police were called in a dispute involving her children. While officers were at her home they found that Britney appeared under the influence of an unknown substance”. Is there anything new!! Or just a deja-vu of celebrity mess up stories found in press, magazines, Showbiz shows which thrive on the greed for such information to beam out exclusive coverage!

Today, in Britain we are all in need of a wakening and can no longer afford to be mindless sheep. Every person is a capable person and needs to think about the course of their life and go beyond the circus entertainment which distracts us from fulfilling our potential. The day to day life deprives us of even a fundamental privilege- that is to think and reflect- and what a privilege it is indeed that can set a person to be glued to the theme of life and not in the themes displayed ion TV

Allah Almighty says in Surah Aal-e- Imraan “In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people of intelligence: those who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (3:190-191)


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