Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Big Brother

I know it is an easy target , but the latest Big Brother does seem to have plumbed new depths . I admit I have not watched it. I have though read reports of the contestant, Shahbaz Choudhary, who has walked out after less than a week.

In a bid to up ratings and keep alive a tired format, Channel 4 have collected together a ragbag of attention seekers. So what, its just entertainment. The problem is when they put someone who is vulnerable into a highly stressful goldfish bowl , watched by millions , as they start to crack. This is not the first time of course, it has happened mostly with the 'celebrity' versions.

Shahbaz threatened on air to kill himself . Hey never mind the first people to shag on BB, here we have potentially the first on air suicide ! Channel 4 state he was screened to ensure he was mentally stable to appear. It does not seem a very effecctive process to me. It would seem ratings are more important than the human cost.

As I said I have not actually watched any of it but it seems Shahbaz's behaviour was concerning enough for the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation to write to Channel 4 expressing concerns.

It seems we now have the high tech version of the 'freak show' of Victorian times, parading the vulnerable and the mentally unwell. And at the risk of coming over all PC ( and whats so wrong about that anyway) I would like to see people who have mental health problems shown in a more positive light.