Inside the new Big Brother house

Pictures of the biggest-yet Big Brother house are released today ahead of the ninth series of the reality show.

TV bosses hope the new brightly-coloured purpose-built complex will provide the backdrop for must-see viewing after audience figures dropped to their lowest ever last year.

The programme – which began in 2000 – has spawned the likes of Jade Goody and Kate Lawler, as well as short-lived moments of fame for numerous wannabes.

But it suffered a drop in popularity last year, when 'Big Brother 8' attracted an average of 3.8 million viewers compared with the previous low of 4.5 million for the sixth series.

It marked another setback for Channel 4 – who decided to axe this year’s 'Celebrity Big Brother' in the wake of the race row involving Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

With the exterior painted in pink, orange, yellow and green, this year’s house is the biggest ever.

The first glimpse inside reveals a sumptuous bathroom featuring an ostentatious swan tap attached to a huge bath surrounded by flowers, greenery, gold statues and blue velvet sofas.

But the bedroom – in the familiar dormitory-style – offers far less luxury in the form of thin, scratchy blankets and uncomfortable mattresses.

There is a large living area with comfy sofas and plush coverings as well as an ultra-modern separate kitchen area with a red theme.

Housemates are again treated to a swimming pool, this time set in a garden with more greenery than ever before.

It has an enclosed seating area and an Alice in Wonderland-proportioned giant ashtray for smokers to sit in.

Sharon Powers, creative director of Big Brother, said: “We’ve got a really exciting group of housemates ready to go into the Big Brother house.

“But they need to remember that the Big Brother rules are there for a reason - Big Brother will not tolerate rule breaks and will be tougher than ever on housemates. It’s going to be really exciting to see how they rise to the challenge of life in the house.

“For the housemates, and the viewers, it’s going to be a summer to remember.”

Davina McCall will host the show – which starts with the new housemates arriving on Thursday, June 5.

BB newcomers George Lamb – whose father Larry plays Mick in 'Gavin and Stacey' - and Zezi Ifore will replace Dermot O’Leary to present the spin-off show 'Big Brother’s Little Brother'.

Last year, Brian Belo won the £100,000 (€125,495) top prize, beating twins Sam and Amanda Marchant in the viewers’ poll.

The 20-year-old data clerk from Essex in the UK went down in BB history when he told the housemates he had no idea who Shakespeare was.

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