Big Brother's Tim Dormer reveals why he thinks reality TV is 'dead'

EXCLUSIVE: Big Brother winner Tim Dormer shares his honest thoughts on the current reality TV landscape.

He’s appeared on three different seasons of Big Brother around the world over the past decade, but fans shouldn’t expect Tim Dormer to return to reality TV anytime soon.

The 37-year-old disability support worker and former radio host tells Yahoo Lifestyle he believes the format has run its course.

Big Brother star Tim Dormer.
Big Brother star Tim Dormer reveals why he thinks reality TV is ‘dead’. Photo: Channel Seven

“Reality TV is just not what it was,” he says. “Can I call it? It's dead. Reality TV has died and I think we need something new.

“I think we're all wanting something real again in our lives.”


While Big Brother used to be one of Australia’s most popular reality shows, attracting an average audience of 1.7 million people at its peak, recent seasons with a new pre-recorded challenge-based format have seen a major decline.

However, Tim believes it’s unlikely people would tune into Big Brother's original format if it was still on the air today because of how differently viewers consume content.

“The original series was just people sitting around on a lounge having conversations that would go for like 10 to 15 minutes, but we were all captivated because it was so new to just watch natural behaviour like that,” he details.

“But then that isn’t enough for us as audiences now. If you look at TikTok, we’ve got 10 seconds before we're like, ‘Next!’. I just don't think the original format of Big Brother would even work. We all want the high drama, we want the overproduced, but is that real?”

Big Brother star Tim Dormer and Sonia Kruger.
Tim won the tenth season of Big Brother in 2014. Photo: Channel Nine

'I had a tantrum'

Speaking about his experience on last year’s season of Big Brother, which saw new housemates compete against legendary former housemates, Tim admits he initially turned down the offer to return.

“I said, ‘No, I'm not that guy anymore’,” he recalls. “I actually was a bit afraid of that guy. I think I had kind of been living in his shadow since 10 years ago. He was a big character, that younger version of myself.

“I thought about it and we all went through that same awful lockdown where everything kind of changed and I think it got to the point where they kept calling me and I thought, what the heck, life’s been pretty crappy the last couple of years, maybe it is just something fun to do.”


Although he was thrilled to return alongside the season’s eventual winner Reggie Bird, Tim admits he was shocked by how different the format was from his original season.

“I had a tantrum,” he laughs. “I think it was day three, I had a big tantrum and I said, ‘This is not Big Brother, I do not know how to do this’. And they said, ‘Go and have a timeout, go and lie down on your bed’.

“It’s different now. It's really different, and the whole process is so different. They pre-record it and it was nearly a year in advance before it went to air.”

Big Brother star Tim Dormer on last year's season.
Tim admits he had a ‘tantrum’ when he returned to Big Brother last year. Photo: Channel Seven

Tim's upcoming project

10 years on from winning Big Brother, Tim shares that he’s excited to be working on a “very big project” that will reflect on his highs and lows over the past decade.

“I’m writing a book,” he reveals. “I was diagnosed with autism last year, which totally changed my world. And it's a fascinating story that I won one of the biggest social reality TV games as someone who didn't know they were autistic, which stereotypically brings a lot of challenges in social situations and reading people.

“It’s really fascinating unpacking my brain and I'm excited about next year to get that story out and share some of the lessons that I learned from my time in the spotlight and where I've landed. It's kind of like a closing of 10 years looking back and I’m ready to start this next chapter moving forward.”

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