I enjoyed watching 'Big Brother' the first couple of years, but lately it has become rather tired, with the producers attempting to find ever more bizarre methods of heightening tension in 'the house', hoping thereby to boost viewing figures.
They appear to have succeeded this time around by engineering situations desgined to arouse suspicion and mistrust amongst the housemates. Last night, this policy seems to have resulted in an outbreak of physical violence between two of the participants. Channel 4 may, in an attempt at high-mindedness, state:
"At the end of the day, it is the health and welfare of the housemates that we are concerned about - the game show element is secondary.
"We want to talk to them individually and see how they are all feeling today. Then we will take a view on what to do next."
- but we all know the truth; their tactics have back-fired and have been an integral reason why this violence has erupted.
UPDATE: (17JUN04 17.05 BST) Of course, what is really worrying Channel 4 is this and where it could lead, if it is held that the television company has behaved irresponsibly in setting up this emotionally volatile situation.