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Big Brother’s big auditions

This weekend saw Manchester’s craziest people together in one room for auditions for Big Brother 8. And of course, Mancon were there in the thick of it…

Published on February 5th 2007.

Big Brother’s big auditions

What were you doing at 9am on Saturday morning? Chances are you were tucked up in bed, snoozing through a hangover and looking forward to a nice cooked breakfast in front of Saturday morning TV.

Want to know where Manchester Confidential was? We were stood outside New Century House in the freezing cold, with hundreds of what can only be described as nutcases, waiting to audition for Big Brother. Purely for research purposes of course.

As Big Brother has progressed, the contestants have grown wackier and wackier, with the ‘social experiment’ side of the show being shoved out in favour of sex, bullying, and interesting activities with wine bottles (remember Kinga?). We were interested to see what types of people would get through the first stage of the audition process this year, so went down to take part.

Arriving at 9am, Kelly and I were greeted with a slow moving queue, which we waited in for just half an hour before being admitted inside the building. Brilliant – this wasn’t going to take as long as we’d thought. We’d be back home in bed before we knew it.

We were herded up the stairs, being granted a delightful view up the skirt of the 6ft girl ahead of us, and into a large conference room where we were greeted with the sight of… the longest queue in the world. Space Mountain was nothing compared with this.

The queue snaked up and down, gradually leading to the front of the room where the auditions were taking place. It was impossible however to see through the crowds what exactly was going on at the front. Every now and then there would be some whooping sounds and a round of applause, and rumours of dance routines and hand stands began to make their way along the queue. Oh dear.

Oh well, not to worry… yet. We still had a good couple of hours of queuing ahead of us, so we cracked open the hob nobs and amused ourselves by watching some of the crazy folk in the queue trying to outdo each other in the ‘wacky’ stakes with sing songs, dancing, and strange attention seeking sounds.

After three hours we eventually found ourselves at the front of the queue and the audition process finally came to light. I stood aside and pushed willing volunteer Kelly forward to take part, while I watched in amusement.

Auditionees were split into groups of around ten people, each led by a member of the Channel 4 recruitment team. Within the group, the hopefuls were then split into pairs, and had to tell their partner all about themselves, and report back on eachother to the rest of the group.

When the group had all got to know eachother, they were asked to order themselves in a line, with the most attractive at the start and the least attractive at the end.

The final task was a debate/discussion, based around the question ‘if your best mate’s partner tried it on with you, would you tell your best mate?’ – giving the more forceful in the group the chance to have their say and not listen to anyone else’s opinions.

Finally, the group were lined up and asked to hold out their arms, while the group leader selected the lucky people that had made it through to the next round and stamped their hands. Ah, that’s where the vicious rumours about hand stands had come from then.

The ‘lucky’ few were then sent through to another room to fill in forms, have their pictures taken and show their ID, while the unsuccessful applicants were told ‘don’t worry - the fact that you didn’t get through is a good thing, trust us. It means that you’re normal’.

From what we saw, the people put through on the day were the ones with the wackiest appearances, the loudest, most annoying personalities and the most controversial views. So it looks like this year Big Brother is ignoring criticism from all sides and pushing the limits to create as much palaver as possible. And let’s face it, we’ll all be glued.

Jayne Robinson

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