Shropshire Star comment: It’s time to scrap this freak show Big Brother

It’s a peculiar world when the winner of a TV game show slams the very show that made him a star.

Is it time to close the doors to the Big Brother House?
Is it time to close the doors to the Big Brother House?

Shropshire builder Craig Phillips built his career on the success he enjoyed in the original Big Brother. And yet now he thinks the programme makers should pull the plug.

The innocence of the first series has long gone. Big Brother has become a freak show, a way to flog cheap advertising while fading celebrities and wannabes are making fools of themselves for financial game.

The show in 2018 is all about viewer numbers, generating money and engaging viewers to vote. The spirit of 2000 has long since been lost.

Craig wasn’t in it for the money. Money was a by-product of his success, rather than an end in itself. When Craig pocketed a £70,000 winners’ cheque, he gave it away to a Shrewsbury girl who suffered from Down’s Syndrome. That he went on to enjoy a successful career as a TV DIY expert, featuring on This Morning and Craig’s Trade Tips, was entirely unexpected. And that he built a multi-million pound property portfolio can be attributed more to his own entrepreneurial flair, common sense and hard work rather than his 15 minutes of fame.

Craig is one of life’s good guys – the same cannot be said for many of those who have followed him into the mad house.

Craig’s disaffection towards the show that provided him with a springboard is mirrored by the feelings of many. There is dismay at the wider obsession with social media, at the 24/7 whirl of Insta-Twitter-Snapchat messages. And while we all know that we can’t go back and while many are sensible enough to avoid looking at our shared past through rose-tinted shades, we can but echo Craig’s sentiments.

For much of the so-called reality TV is reductive and pointless. There is no elitism in the argument that our terrestrial TV channels might be populated by content that has greater merit.

Though some celebrities find validation in making themselves look odd, the inherent narcissism and vanity of shows like Big Brother is not lost on the majority. There was a time when people earned celebrity because they were talented: now it is a goal for the needy and vainglorious.

We’re with Craig. It’s time to turn off.

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