Endemol celebrates a decade of Big Brother in Africa


Endemol South Africa, the television and audio-visual entertainment company, will in May 2012 celebrate 10 years of broadcasting reality show, Big Brother, on the continent.

Pay TV broadcaster M-Net first commissioned Endemol South Africa to produce the South African version of Big Brother in 2001, which was subsequently followed by the second season of Big Brother South Africa in 2002.

In 2003, Endemol produced Big Brother Africa (BBA), the first ever continental Big Brother in the world, which featured 12 housemates from 12 different African countries. It was during this first season of Big Brother Africa that housemate; Gaetano Kagwa from Uganda swapped places with Big Brother UK contestant Cameron Stout. Gaetano was chosen to join the UK Big Brother after passing a cocktail-making challenge.

In 2006, Endemol South Africa teamed up with a Nigerian production team to produce Big Brother Nigeria. Big Brother Africa 2 was produced in 2007, and since then Endemol South Africa has produced Big Brother Africa 3, 4, 5 and 6.

M-Net has again commissioned Endemol to produce the upcoming seventh season of Big Brother Africa, which will premiere to viewers in 47 African countries on 6 May 2012.

BBA is headline sponsored by Coca-Cola, and the cash prize has been increased to US$300,000. This new season is yet to commence but there are already a few surprises that viewers can look forward to, including the addition of two new countries; Liberia and Sierra Leone to the Big Brother house for the first time ever. This season, Ethiopia bows out of the game and Mozambique will take on a new role that will be announced at a later stage.

Managing director of Endemol South Africa, Sivan Pillay said, "Big Brother has long proved its blockbuster status as one of the world's leading formats. In Africa, Endemol has found creative ways of continuously engaging the amazing African audience that has grown year by year with more twists, turns, surprises and great reality entertainment. The M-Net Africa team has also been a wonderful broadcaster to partner with and has been a driving force in making the Big Brother platform in Africa stronger than ever."

Executive producer of BBA, Marie Rosholt says, "The fact that Big Brother is in its 10th season vindicates the popularity and staying power of reality television. Big Brother has remained a ratings winner growing its fan base every season. The success of the Big Brother format lies in its powerful ability to engage and absorb viewers who have a direct involvement in the series through the 24 hour television broadcast as well as the Big Brother social media interactions. This year Big Brother reinvents itself with a brand new treatment taking the series to another level."

Biola Alabi, M-Net Africa managing director says, "From the very first edition to the most recent one, Big Brother has been consistently popular, widely viewed and extremely well received across the continent. Our audiences enjoy the compelling mix of entertainment, drama and reality viewing that has come to make this series one of the most dynamic in the world. Among the key successes of the format, and one of the most significant features, is the ability for fans to engage and interact with the show across a variety of platforms. M-Net is proud to have commissioned and screened every single Big Brother production created in Africa. Further we congratulate Endemol on their ability to produce fresh, new, must-watch entertainment every season."