You might think that the Big Brother House and The National Trust have absolutely nothing in common, and you’d be mostly right, apart from the recent developments which have seen the Trust enter into a collaboration with Initial, the Endemol Company that produces Big Brother, and Channel 5. The result being that the public can now view the Big Brother House as it has now joined the prestigious Trust.
But isn’t this a little ‘tongue in cheek’, I mean, aren’t we used to seeing houses of specific architectural or historical value under the National Trust emblem? Well, apparently the Trust believe that the Big Brother house deserves its place within the nation’s heart, as it has been described by critic’s as ‘the most important house in Britain’, and if there is one thing the Trust likes, it’s important houses.
Evidence of this can be seen on the last ‘Eviction Night’ of the Big Brother series of the summer in 2013, when an estimated 2 million sat down to watch who would win the show. Compare this to just under the same amount of people who visited the Tower of London last year, and The National Trust figure that people who watch the programme are just as likely to want to visit the house as well.
The National Trust is renowned for showcasing beautiful houses and estates that have historical attributes attached to them, but more often or not, it is the people who have occupied the houses that draw the most attention. And you can certainly say that the Big Brother house has seen its fair share of top class celebrities, and even made a few. From Stephen Baldwin, Ivana Trump, La Toya Jackson, Verne Troyer, Mark Owen, and Vinnie Jones.
Anyone who wishes to visit the Big Brother house will be able to buy a guidebook which will provide information about the varied housemates and the property itself. There will be a volunteer on hand to meet and greet visitors, and to direct them, and organised signage which will help to show people where to go. And there is a leaflet which as been specially produced for the event, which likens the infamous Diary Room to a confessional in a church, whilst the living room is said to be similar to a medieval great hall.
To launch the opening of the Big Brother house, the National Trust are laying on a Grand Opening Gala on Thursday 26th September, which will feature past and present housemates, including celebrities. There will be media broadcasts from the ‘Bit on The Side’ studio, which will include panel discussions on whether the house should have been opened to the public. The tickets for this Gala have sold out but you can enter a ballot to win 6 tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 23rd September and the winner will be drawn on 24 September.
After the Grand Opening Gala the house will then be open to the public and members of Trust for the following two days – Friday 27 and Saturday 28 of September. Tickets are £16 for the public and £14 for National Trust members and concessions. They will be available only online at The National Trust from Monday 9 September.
This is the first time that the Big Brother house will be open to the public, and it is thought to be an attempt to get younger people interested in the work of the National Trust.
The National Trust’s London director Ivo Dawnay said: “The great houses of our past reflected the tastes of the day and so does the Big Brother House.” Whilst a Channel 5 spokesman said: “We and Big Brother are very excited to be working with the National Trust to open the house up to the public.”
For more information, visit The National Trust.