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Big Brother's Reggie Bird slams the show's new format amid 'ratings disaster'

'Bring back the original Big Brother.'

Big Brother’s Reggie Bird has joined the growing list of former contestants who have slammed the current version of the once-popular reality show.

An industry insider told Yahoo Lifestyle last week that Big Brother won’t be returning to Channel Seven in 2024 after becoming a ‘ratings disaster’ for the network.

Big Brother’s Reggie Bird.
Two-time Big Brother winner Reggie Bird has slammed the current version of the reality show. Photo: Channel Seven

“Ratings are at a disastrous average of under 200,000 viewers tuning in overnight for the current series,” they said.

“Now [episodes are] being squished together to finish up prematurely next week in a new 8:30pm time slot, which is not what Channel Seven wanted. Seven are sad to see audiences switching off from the once-celebrated format.”

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Reggie, who is the show’s only two-time winner after competing on season three in 2003 and season 14 last year, has now taken to social media to share her thoughts on the show’s potential cancellation.

“Well could see this coming a mile away!” she commented on Yahoo Lifestyle’s post.

“As I’ve said all along with this Love Island format, the true blue Big Brother fans don’t want to see this! Big Brother has always been a social experiment seeing all walks of life interacting with each other! And this just proves they need to go back to basics!

“To not even have a live finale and squish the rest of the episodes into three more nights goes to show that Channel Seven want it off the air fast! Bring back the original Big Brother.”

Big Brother's Gretel Killeen and Reggie Bird.
Reggie’s season of Big Brother is the show’s most popular, with an average of 1.7 million viewers. Photo: Channel Ten

Trevor Butler slams the new season

Reggie’s comments come shortly after season four winner Trevor Butler criticised the latest season of Big Brother and said the series needs to return to its roots if it wants to succeed.

“I think it was a mistake making it the House of Love this year,” he told New Idea.

“They have got all of these pretty people in there - a whole lot of glamorous influencers - and they seem to be going for that Survivor, MAFS vibe with all of that artificial drama and excitement. That’s why it’s doing so badly.”

Trevor went on to argue that viewers preferred the show when it was “old school” and the cast was made up of “ordinary people”.

“It was more about the social aspect,” he detailed. “It has changed so much from when it was just people reacting with each other. We live in an age where everyone is immersed in social media. Why wouldn’t they just take advantage of people-watching 24/7?”

Big Brother season four winner Trevor Butler.
Season four winner Trevor Butler has also criticised the latest season of Big Brother. Photo: Channel 10

Ratings slump

Channel Seven obtained the rights to Big Brother in 2019 and announced its return in 2020, six years after it last aired on Channel Nine.

The reboot attracted an average audience of 830,000 viewers, which pleased the network despite the fact it was less than half of the season three viewership in 2003. However, after four seasons and one celebrity version rebranded Big Brother VIP, the ratings have well and truly plummeted.

The latest season premiered to just 274,000 viewers last month, with episode two falling to 213,000, and Seven has since moved the show to a later time slot and rushed the episodes to finish this week.

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