DIARY: Victory at Midnight as Big Brother picks Josh as its new housemate

By the time you read this the votes will all be cast and the

results well-known: the second series of Channel 4's Big Brother will

have claimed its first victim.

As regular viewers of the show will know, the programme-makers have

attempted to enliven the format this time around with the 'voting in' of

one new housemate even before any reject is booted out.

As voter interest grew last week in the three prospective entrants to

the house, the winning candidate's PR firm is claiming a major victory

in the battle for air supremacy.

Midnight in London, the PR firm behind gay and lesbian housing

association organiser Josh Rafter, scored a coup with its viral

marketing campaign to secure him a coveted berth in the house.

'Channel 4 are doing their own stuff,' says Midnight MD Lindsay Edmunds,

a close personal friend of fitness fanatic Josh. Her agency has

masterminded the campaign in favour of Josh (entitled 'Josh and Pecs',

cheesily enough) along with web promotions firm Webziggy - where Josh's

real life housemate Lisa Thomas works.

Media relations, posters, flyers, T-shirts and an online campaign

including sending e-cards in support of the Soho candidate, have proved

a roaring success.

The site - www.joshandpecs. com - managed to get 16,000 hits in three

days at the end of last week, before the vote which left Kent-based

model Natasha and grandma Anne, Josh's two rivals, looking pretty


The real test, though, will come tomorrow (Saturday) when Josh enters

the house in place of either chirpy schoolteacher Penny or dancer Helen.

PR campaigns can only get you so far.

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