Pig Brother: New Reality TV Show
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HAM ACTORS FOR PIG BROTHER
Friday, 31 August, 2001
Five pigs are about to submit their lives to 24-hour scrutiny in a twist to
the tail for reality TV spin-offs.
Pig Brother will see the five animals filmed around the clock as they eat,
sleep and roll around in the mud.
Viewers will be able to watch the action online and vote out their least
favourite each week.
The antics of Widdecombe, Blair, Brown, Beckett and Portillo are expected to
raise thousands of pounds for UK farmers hit by foot-and-mouth when filming
starts on Saturday.
The contest is the brainchild of Somerset organic farmer Richard Counsell,
who wanted to do something to help those families affected by the disease.
Mr Counsell devised his own version of Big Brother using different varieties
of pig after seeing how popular the TV show was.
Up to six million people are expected to log on during the month-long stream
to see how the politically monikered pen-mates get on.
About 18,000 people will be able to log on at one time or alternatively
receive e-mail or text updates.
Viewers will be able to vote pigs out by calling the hotline, with 20p from
each call going to the Farmers in Crisis fund.
And Portillo, a Gloucester Old Spot, is already the early favourite for the
chop, according to bookmakers William Hill.
But Mr Counsell has tipped Beckett to be first out.
Blair looks like bringing home the bacon, as the Berkshire breed is
favourite to win.
Portillo and Widdecombe are becoming close, with organisers witnessing some
"flirty" behaviour between the pair.
But those evicted will not have to fear the butcher's block, as the rare
animals will be kept for breeding.
Their home for the next four weeks is the creation of stars of BBC's
Changing Rooms, Handy Andy and designer Laura McCree.
The luxury pen castle comes complete with diary room and chickens as well as
turrets and a drawbridge.
The action will be captured on Sty Cam, Trough Cam and Pond Cam.
Australia is said to have become particularly interested in the project,
with 60,000 users expected to check out the action regularly.
Mr Counsell said: "The pigs were in the sty for around 20 minutes yesterday
and they ate one of my mother's favourite plants and broke a vase.
"The funniest camera is inside the pig sty. The chickens prefer roosting
inside with the pigs -- it's like Babe gone wrong."
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