Big Brother housemates to grow their own food

Big Brother housemates will have no excuse to complain about food rations - they will grow their own food this year.

Producers said this year’s 16 wannabes will have to cultivate their own potatoes and carrots and season their food with herbs from the garden as they released the latest pictures of the house.

The snapshots show that a luxury bedroom and not just the uncomfortable dormitory-style room with short beds and scratchy blankets awaits this year’s housemates.

The two bedrooms are intended to divide the contestants competing for fame and the £100,000 prize in this year’s ninth series of the Channel 4 show.

Other changes unveiled today include two staircases leading to and from the outside world, leading to speculation that the housemates might arrive in pairs.

The diary room has been built under the stairs instead of directly in the house to make the contestants sitting on the diary room chair feel more cut off from their housemates.

As well as having boxes to grow vegetables in the garden, this year’s “green” Big Brother house means there is also a large recycling bin in the kitchen.

A luxury bedroom next to the garden features eight double beds complete with velvet cushions, a walk-in closet and burgundy and gold drapes.

Housemates will be told to choose the bed they want as soon as they have all entered the house.

Anyone in the bath and shower will be on view to those sitting in the living room through a transparent door.

A jail, in the form of a tiny claustrophobic area enclosed by metal bars in the garden, is ready for use if any housemates need to be punished.

This year, the 13-week series features more contestants than ever before – but there are less toilets in the house than last year.

The housemates will get tokens to use if they win tasks for luxuries like hairdryers and hair straighteners.

Big Brother executive producer Phil Edgar-Jones refused to confirm reports that a blind housemates would be one of the contestants.

But he said: “You can feel your way around and see your way around the house. You could even get around on your hands and knees.”

He added: “There’s a good balance of sexes and sexualities.

“There will be a mixture of some people who want to be there for the experience and some people who want to chase fame.”

He said: “The joy of Big Brother is not what we do but what they do. We’re trying to do things to create a mix of people that would never normally share a room.

“That’s what we’re excited about, seeing how they react together.”

He denied Big Brother fatigue had set-in with viewers, saying: “Certainly in the build up there’s much more excitement about it this year than last year.

“Ratings are not my main concern while I’m making it.”

Mr Edgar-Jones confirmed that Celebrity Hijack is unlikely to make a comeback following its disastrous outing earlier this year.

Big Brother executive producer Sharon Powers said: “On launch night it should be quite interesting to see who decides to bag themselves a luxury bedroom.

“The first bedroom is not one you want to sleep in. It’s the smallest ever and it’s for eight housemates.

“The mattresses are extremely thin and the beds are extremely uncomfortable and extremely short.

“It’s designed to be very basic. It’s fundamentally not a place you want to while away the hours in.”

She added: “We want things to be difficult. It’s not a holiday camp.

“We’re going to operate a regime of zero tolerance this year. We are sick and tired of housemates coming to the diary room asking to leave and talking to each other about nominations.

“We’re not going to tolerate rule-breaking. If housemates break the rules you have to spend the night in jail.”

Big Brother starts tomorrow on Channel 4.

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