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Big Brother Betting
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Trends reveal favourites beat bullies
in Big Brother betting odds
Big Brother betting is one of the best ways of making watching this particular brand of reality TV more worthwhile. It has proved a relatively straightforward task to pick the winner in the past as the bookies' odds have rarely been wrong.
If you are not averse to backing odds on shots then gambling on each eviction can even become a tidy revenue source. In the recent Big Brother and CBB series the favourite to depart the house at each eviction session is more often than not the one who is actually asked to pack their bags on the night.
In the 2011 Celebrity version, no one was in any doubt that Sally Bercow would be the first to leave the house. She was odds on to be the first casualty of public opinion and off she went as if by magic, mercifully removed from our TV screens at the earliest opportunity.
As the unattractive wife of the dislikeable, diminutive Speaker of the House of Commons she was part of the political status quo and therefore untrustworthy and unworthy of any public support. She also offered little in the way of entertainment or visual enjoyment for viewers. Sniping at David Hasselhoff's ageing ex wife wasn't clever or funny.
A general rule of thumb for Big Brother betting is that older women are always going to be up against it in the Elstree house. You could also quite reasonably point out that Sally Bercow absolutely wasn't a celebrity in anyone's mind except perhaps her own, but that cannot be a feasible reason for her singular failure to attract public support.
But betting is never a certain art and Denise Welch, aged 53, managed to lift the Celebrity Big Brother crown in January 2012.
Chantelle Houghton, the undisputed nobody posing as a celebrity succeeded in winning in the fourth Celebrity Big Brother series in 2006. It probably helped that she was prettier and had a personality more likely to attract the support of the viewing public.
If you are a seasoned Big Brother fan and have a good idea of the likely winner from the start, the best way of making betting pay is usually to place your bet on the outright winner as early as possible in the series. Only if the most feasible winner makes a massive, opinion turning gaffe mid series are the prices on offer for credible candidates likely to become more generous as the series progresses. If that happens you will probably want to hedge your bets anyway.
Occasionally an individual who actually is a celebrity enters the Big Brother house and makes a promising start but ruins their chances of victory as the series progresses. Vinnie Jones is an obvious example. He was the clear favourite in the Celebrity Big Brother betting in 2010, but managed to alienate Big Brother viewers by failing to hide his tendency to be a control freak and propensity to behave like a testosterone charged, arrogant bully. Admitting to paying £400 for a pair of socks wasn't a particularly wise move either.
Bullies and villains often do fairly well in reality TV programmes as they tend to make more interesting viewing than the thoroughly mediocre, mild mannered diplomatic types but they very rarely win. Playboy twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon could be accused of bullying ultimate winner Denise in 2012. These dreadful blonde twins made it to the final day but were the first evicted at that stage, coming fifth. Their delusions of grandeur went down about as well as their playground bullying antics. No girls you are not that 'hot', Hugh Hefner et al just isn't that fussy.
A look at the past winners of both versions of Big Brother suggests that people will ultimately vote for a person that they like at the time. The very first UK series was won by the extremely personable Craig Phillips. In the Celebrity version Mark Owen and Bez (Mark Berry) fitted the bill. They were not people struggling to suppress the urge to throw someone through a window.
Alex Reid, victor of the 2010 Celebrity Big Brother started at fairly long odds in the Big Brother betting but shortened to odds on by the final. Maybe he was supported by some form of sympathy vote as Jordan, his ex wife, had become a figure of fun and derision. She was submitted to a record number of trials in another reality TV show, Im A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, before walking out of that show.
The 2011 non-celebrity version of the show was also won by a handsome young man, Aaron Allard. There was a public split about whether he was charming or simply a game player. The former view won out but he was the only winner to be met with some significant jeers on his exit from the house. Nobody could deny he had a softly spoken and intelligent vulnerability that appealed to a mass audience. There was an obvious nice-guy facet to his character.
There is something slightly perverse about a programme that encourages viewers to spy on the mundane actions and interactions of plebeians and Z list celebrities. Viewing figures tend to increase when there are feuds or furtive romances. Theories on what had happened when two housemates were witnessed canoodling under the same duvet in the Big Brother communal bedroom filled the tabloid press and temporarily boosted TV audiences.
It comes as no surprise that the origin of the television concept was a brainstorming at a Dutch TV production house. The first ever series was screened in the Netherlands in 1999. A year later it was adopted by the UK, USA, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Portugal and Argentina. At its most popular, the show was a peak time television hit in over 60 countries. Today, in the UK at least, it is looking distinctly tired and predictable but Big Brother betting remains popular.
2011 saw big changes. Since the first series in 2000, both versions of the programme had been shown on Channel 4 and presented by Davina McCall. In 2011 Channel 4 finally loosed its grip and sold the programme to Channel 5. Brian Dowling, victor of the 2001 Big Brother series, took over as the new presenter. A new live spin off programme was also born, the subtly named Big Brother’s Bit on the Side presented by the ever-pregnant Emma Willis or was it just a pot belly? Either way the bump had gone by 2012, either delivered or worked off - 'You Decide'.
Whilst the move to Channel 5 could be seen as a relegation, demand dictates that the best online bookies continue to offer odds for the Top Man and Top Woman. You can even bet on the gender of the winner with some firms in addition to the ubiquitous outright winner and eviction markets.
With both a Celebrity Big Brother and a standard 'public' show being screened each year, the opportunities to prosper abound. Predictability may do little to enthuse the average television viewer but it is extremely good news for fans of Big Brother betting.