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The wait is nearly over as ITV today revealed that the eagerly awaited new series of Big Brother hosted by AJ Odudu and Will Best (produced by Initial, part of Banijay UK) will start on Sunday 8th October at 9pm.

To celebrate the television event of the year and the return of the ultimate social experiment, Big Brother: The Launch will air on ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX in a disruptive multi-channel and streaming takeover.

Big Brother: The Launch will see a new cast of carefully selected housemates, from all walks of life, become the first people to take up residence in the brand-new Big Brother house as they arrive at the famous destination in front of a live studio audience.

Given its own contemporary new look ready for this reimagining of the show, the iconic Big Brother house will play host to all the action - clever tasks, nail-biting nominations and live evictions will be back.

The public once again plays a crucial role, voting throughout the series and ultimately determining the winner, who will walk away with a life changing cash prize.

Big Brother will be followed each night by Big Brother: Late & Live - an exciting new commission hosted live by AJ Odudu and Will Best from the site of the Big Brother house in front of a studio audience - giving viewers an additional hour of exclusive Big Brother content.

Big Brother: Late & Live will be the only place to watch the evictees first live interview alongside an array of unmissable exclusive features including access to the camera runs, celebrity guest commentary and debate plus weekly nomination results.

The iconic Big Brother: Live Stream also makes its return to screens, airing seven nights a week exclusively on ITVX, giving fans the opportunity to watch live footage into the small hours after Big Brother: Late & Live.

The following press interview with hosts AJ Odudu and Will Best is courtesy of ITV Press...

Tell us about finding out that you had been chosen to host the new series of Big Brother. Where were you at the time and how did you feel?

Will Best: I was working on another job. I was in a car with the crew and as soon as I got off the phone, the crew thought I had received bad news because of my reaction. It was big news to receive in a car full of people that you couldn’t tell about it! I love Big Brother and if you had asked me at the start of my career what show I would want to present, this would be it! I’m also getting to work with a really good friend - AJ is the loveliest person in the world and I’m so excited I get to do this with her.

AJ Odudu: I was on another job too and couldn’t say anything. I was so buzzing and excited. I didn’t tell anyone until my name was on the dotted line - it didn’t feel real. Me and Will have had celebratory drinks and dinner together since we found out.

How long have you both known each other? Have you worked with each other before?

Will Best: We used to host a show called Trending Live together. It feels amazing to be working together again.

AJ Odudu: I’m so lucky to work with Will - he’s funny, he’s supportive and the fact that we get to share this experience together makes it so much more exciting than it already is.

What can you tell us about the new series?

AJ Odudu: We know just as much as everyone else! We don’t know who the housemates are or what the house looks like yet.

Will Best: We’ll be finding out about the new series along with the viewers!

Have any celebrity friends or fans of the show reached out to you to congratulate you?

AJ Odudu: Everyone’s been so supportive and even Emma Willis and Davina McCall have congratulated us and offered some great advice.

Will Best: We’ve had loads of lovely messages! People have been so supportive and positive. The best thing though has been how many messages we’ve had from people in the industry just saying how excited they are that the show is coming back, it reminds you how universally loved it is. BB fans are everywhere!

Are you doing anything to prepare for the launch of the show?

AJ Odudu: I feel like nothing can truly prepare you for what’s in store when it comes to Big Brother. That being said, I have been rewatching some past seasons and planning my outfits.

Will Best: I’m having my first ever facial the week before it all kicks off, and I’m toying with the idea of really pushing the boat out and getting a massage. Other than that and a couple of camera rehearsals there’s not a huge amount we can do - once it starts, what goes on in there is up to the housemates. That’s the beauty of the show. And we’ll be discovering it all for the first time along with the viewers.

What are you most looking forward to?

Will Best: Meeting the housemates. They’re what make the show special, and I know they’re going to be amazing. Real people, properly representative of the UK today, all chosen because they’re genuinely interesting.

AJ Odudu: I’m most looking forward to meeting all the wonderful housemates and learning about their stories. Also, I can’t wait to say the words ‘Hello Big Brother house, this is AJ!’.

Are you nervous about anything when it comes to hosting the show?

AJ Odudu: I think it would be weird if I wasn't nervous, of course I am. But that’s all part of the magic so I am welcoming my pre-show butterflies.

Will Best: I get nervous about everything, so hosting a huge live TV show definitely comes with a few butterflies! But weirdly the closer it gets the less nervous I’m getting, and the fact that I’m up there with my mate AJ means as soon as it starts, I know it’s going to be fun.

What do you think it is about Big Brother that connects with the audience?

Will Best: The fact that it's real people, who properly represent a snapshot of the UK right now, means there is so much more for an audience to connect with. It’s unfiltered and unpredictable which makes for unbelievably engaging telly.

AJ Odudu: Big Brother lets us dive into the psyche of the human mind and connects the audience to people from all walks of life that you might not ever normally meet. I remember watching Brian Dowling and he was the first openly gay man I’d ever seen - what a joy! And Nadia Almada who was the first trans person on the show, which was so insightful as growing up in Blackburn I didn't see that diversity in my day-to-day life. It really is the people and their stories.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge the new housemates will face? Do you think you’d last long in the house?

AJ Odudu: I think the biggest challenge is that the Big Brother house is 24/7. You share the same bedroom, the same spaces, the same food, everything! I grew up with five brothers and two sisters and all ten of us (including my parents) lived in a small space under the same roof. I love my family to bits, but I’ve done my time, I’m riding solo now.

Will Best: Probably being without their phones! Most people (myself very much included) can’t go 30 seconds without checking it, so that first week is going to be tough. Then there’s the fact they’ll be in there with people who, in the outside world, they’d probably never meet, let alone live with. That’s going to test them in all sorts of ways. And no, I don’t think I’d last long in the house. I‘ve got a sneaking suspicion I’m riddled with annoying habits.

Who would be your ideal housemate to live with in the Big Brother house?

AJ Odudu: To be completely honest, I would have to say my co-host Will. We’ve been friends forever and I think he’d be the perfect ally and just great company.

Will Best: Am I allowed to say AJ Odudu? Not only would she be an amazing housemate (she’s one of the funniest people I know, and manages to be incredibly kind whilst also not taking any BS, which is a beautifully rare quality and has BB winner written all over it). It would also just feel right to have my real life BB partner in crime in there with me!

What personal item could you not last without in the house?

Will Best: Does my dog count as a personal item? He’s called Sandwich, he’s a shaggy fluffy mess, and he’d be an asset to proceedings. If that’s not allowed, probably some piece of exercise equipment.

AJ Odudu: My headscarf. I cannot sleep at night without it.

What would you be ordering on the shopping list?

Will Best: Weirdly my favourite snack is currently pan sautéed Brussels Sprouts on toast. So probably that, which coincidentally is another reason I wouldn’t last five minutes in there before being voted out.

AJ Odudu: Cheese for my cheese on toast and then maybe a cheeky Margarita.

What’s your favourite Big Brother moment of all time?

Will Best: “David’s Dead”. It had it all. It was hilarious, dramatic, tragic, poignant…all in one rollercoaster reality tv episode.

AJ Odudu: My favourite moment of all time is the legendary housemate Nikki Grahame’s iconic outbursts; God rest her soul. She gave us unforgettable diary room moments like ‘Who is she?’ and ‘the mountain of cornflakes’. It doesn’t get more iconic than that.

Who’s your favourite legendary Big Brother housemate?

AJ Odudu: Alison Hammond. She was funny, positive, and always a joy. No wonder we still see her on our screens to this day, the UK couldn't let her go.

Will Best: It’s impossible just to choose one! So I’m going to have to choose my favourite group of housemates, and I’m going old school - BB3. Huge names in there, and especially nostalgic for me because that was the first series I was properly obsessed with. Kate Lawler, Jade Goody, Spencer, Alex Sibley, Alison Hammond, Adele Roberts, PJ, Sandy (who wee’d in a bin then climbed the fence never to be seen again), Lee the bodybuilder - I loved them all.


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