The End of an Era
After 18 amazing years, Big Brother will close its doors at Elstree Studios for the final time. Big Brother has had an extremely successful run as it is the longest running reality series in the UK to date. The first series of Big Br other UK premiered on the 18th July 2000. The house relocated to Elstree Studios for Big Brother 3 in 2002, where the house has remained ever since.
Since the house relocated to Elstree Studios we have seen a total of 619 housemates pass through the famous Borehamwood bungalow, 42 Big Brother’s including 17 Classics and 21 Celebrities, 1 Celebrity Hijack, 1 Ultimate, 1 Panto and who could forget 1 Teen. Big Brother has been on air over 1,817 days to include the Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother series. Big Brother is always watching with 87 cameras and 110 microphones in the house to make sure not a moment of drama is missed.
A conservative estimate of viewers and live audience over the run at Elstree Studios is 2.5 billion with an age group from every age group. The first ever series at Elstree Studios was the most popular series reaching an average record rating of 5.8 million viewers with the season finale reaching an astonishing peak of 10 million viewers. The first winner at Elstree Studios was Kate Lawler after surviving 64 days in the house. The highest viewing figures for an eviction night were when the late Jade Goody was evicted in 2007.
Davina McCall was the original presenter for this iconic series for a total of 10 years. In 2011, Channel 5 acquired Big Brother where Brian Dowling, the winner of Big Brother 2 and the winner of the Ultimate Big Brother in 2010, was announced as the new Big Brother presenter. On 2 April 2013, it was confirmed that Dowling would be replaced by Emma Willis, who had previously presented Big Brother’s Bit on the Side. Emma has become a great success and is now a leading TV presenter as is Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, Rylan Clark-Neal.
On 14 September 2018, Channel 5 announced that the 19th series was to be its last on Channel 5. On November 5th, Cameron Cole was crowned the last winner of Big Brother UK.
Elstree Studio’s reputation for high quality television continues with top Light Entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing and its partnership with BBC Studioworks providing state of the art television technical facilities. Elstree is home to many other top productions such as, award-winning, The Crown, Pointless, The Chase, The Voice and many more.
We remain very proud of our television and film work here and continue to thrive as the UK’s No. 1 Film & Television Studio. Films include The Danish Girl, The King’s Speech, Paddington and many more.
Since the success of Big Brother it has been copied by many other reality shows.