As Big Brother prepares to exit with more of a whimper than a bang, new research shows presenter Davina McCall's reputation has benefited the most from the long-running reality TV show.
According to 47 per cent of the 3,000 respondents to PRWeek/One Poll's latest survey, the chirpy presenter has been the main reputational beneficiary. The public also felt celebrity magazines had enjoyed a boost from Big Brother, thanks to the endless 'reality star exclusives' produced by the show, with 16 per cent saying these publications had benefited the most.
It seems Channel 4 has called time on Big Brother not a minute too soon, with 68 per cent of respondents saying more recent series of the show were worse than the earlier series. Craig Phillips, winner of the first ever Big Brother, was chosen by 37 per cent of the public as the winner who had been most successful, ahead of season two winner Brian Dowling, who was chosen by 27 per cent of respondents.
Overall the Big Brother contestant who became the most successful was the late Jade Goody, according to an overwhelming 84 per cent of the public. Five per cent said 'Nasty' Nick Bateman, who appeared in the first ever season of Big Brother, was the most successful former contestant.
But while 80 per cent of the public thought Channel 4 had made the right decision in canning Big Brother, 84 per cent said another reality show format would spring up to replace it. The public is realistic about the reality-show celebrity - 63 per cent would like to see the end of them, but 82 per cent predicted the 'reality celeb' was here to stay.
HOW I SEE IT - IAN MONK, FOUNDER, IAN MONK ASSOCIATES
They shoot horses, don't they - so why was this dying freakfest not put out of its agony before this unloved series?
As I wrote when BB11 started, it is a dead parrot of a TV show. The cynicism that has always been its hallmark now belongs to viewers who realise they've been had.
A production line powered by exhibitionism and mindless ego that has made front page celebs out of talentless nonentities has ground to a halt.
What a fitting epitaph that the PRWeek research shows BB's most enduring star was Jade Goody. She who was made, then broken, then re-invented by 'reality' TV before the tragic reality of death took her.
Davina McCall is seen as the BB icon whose reputation has most benefited. But will her enduring BB image haunt her as she seeks new roles in TV? Talent shows - X Factor, BGT - will still thrive. Reality TV that depends on faking it without talent is dead.
- Do you think the more recent series of Big Brother were as good as the first few series?
Just the same 23%
- Which Big Brother contestant do you think has been/was the most successful?
The late Jade Goody (Season 3) 84%
'Nasty' Nick Bateman (Season 1) 5%
Chantelle Houghton (Celebrity Big Brother winner) 4%
Replacement - 84% of respondents though another reality TV show format would replace Big Brother
Celebrities - 82% said the end of Big Brother would not spell the end of 'reality show celebs'
Final series - 80% agreed that making this the last series of Big Brother was the right decision
Favourite show - 9% said they enjoyed Big Brother more than any other reality TV show.