Channel 7’s Big Brother house may be famously cut off from the rest of the world, but it turns out even it isn’t safe from the pervasive spread of coronavirus.
A promo clip for the program today reveals that a single contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus temporarily suspended the game during shooting, as the house was placed in full lockdown.
“A Big Brother crew member has been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19,” host Sonia Kruger announced in the video. “The decision has been made to pause the game.”
The cast members, cut off from virtually all news and outside communication during their stint on the program, were horrified at the announcement made in the diary room by the all-knowing Big Brother voice.
“Big Brother has been made aware that a crew member has come into contact with a confirmed coronavirus case,” the voice announced. “The Big Brother house will be placed in lockdown, and the game will be suspended.”
The scary news prompted a visceral reaction from housemates, including Keiren, Marissa and Chad, who each audibly gasped at the shocking announcement.
It comes after the cast was informed of the global pandemic back in March, when shooting was just getting underway, though the initial revelation was kept off-camera.
The shattering revelation was made in March, at the height of the pandemic’s spread, just 28 days into the social experiment.
This time, with the fixed cameras left running though not moving, the housemates’ ongoing reactions will be visible to the whole nation, as they are left completely to their own devices, with crew members seemingly kept away from the set.
As they are left with nothing to do, the promo hints that agitation grows among the cooped up gang, and tensions look set to boil.
The news was first broken to the housemates that the pandemic had resulted in a nationwide lockdown back in March, with the lack of access to technology or news leaving them completely unaware of the unfolding global events.
In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle at the time, Channel 7’s production company Endemol Shine confirmed the housemates had been informed and that production on the series was following the government’s social distancing guidelines.
“Endemol Shine Australia takes the health and safety of our crew and contestants extremely seriously,” a spokesperson said.
“We are working in line with current guidelines and production on Big Brother is continuing.”
They also confirmed the housemates’ families had been contacted and were being kept up to date on the situation.
“Housemates have been brought across the current situation and we are in constant contact with the families to keep all involved up to date,” they stated.