Twenty Twenty: A Pop Culture Podcast

Reality TV: Big Brother, Faking It and a new kind of fame

October 20, 2020

The year 2000 saw the launch of two new reality TV shows. Big Brother made instant celebrities
of ordinary people and was deemed the most addictive show on telly. Faking It won two BAFTAs and took home an International Emmy, but remains a cult hit.

In this episode, we discuss these two shows and what they can tell us about the UK at the turn of the 21st century. We also explore the concept of reality TV fame, then and now. CW: mentions of self-harm

If you're in the UK, you can watch all of Faking It on 40D or its available to buy on Amazon. The early seasons of Big Brother are less readily available, but Channel 4 did a "Best Bits" show recently where you can enjoy memorable moments from across the seasons. 

Other links mentioned and clips used in this episode:

0:34 - Big Brother, Series 1, Day 22 - Davina Intro

1:00 - Faking It - Faking it Changed My Life

12:58 - Big Brother, Series 1, Episode - Phycologist comments on Mel  

15:07 - Big Brother, Series 1 - Confronting Nasty Nick 

19:20 - Reality TV Me, Jia Tolentino - you can find in her book Trick Mirror, and here is a video of her reading the essay

22:27 - Big Brother, The Reunion, Radio 4 - Tim Gardam quote 

24:00 - Faking It - Faking it Changed My Life

28:45 - Faking It - Shop Girl to It Girl

31:09 - Faking it - Lawyer to Garage MC