It was the year 2000 and the new millennium ushered in a new TV show to our screens called Big Brother. It wasn’t the first reality TV show to be shown on UK television, but it changed the way that we think about television forever. A year later and another show would come onto out screens called Pop Idol. Again, it wasn’t the first talent show, but both these programs sparked a revolution that is still going on today.

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These days reality TV is huge in the UK and it’s hard to keep on top of the sheer amount of reality shows that are shown in the UK with the likes of Geordie Shore, Big Brother, Love Island, Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex dominating the channels, and also dominating the chat in offices and workplaces throughout the country. People have become obsessed with looking into other people’s lives, but PlayOJO’s talent show research shows that a lot of people think that these shows are rigged.

With Big Brother though, it was live and shown 24/7. If anything was set-up, you’d know about it and even those early days of Pop Idol felt so fresh and you trusted what was being placed before you. These days people aren’t so sure. The likes of The Only Way Is Essex have scenes that are clearly set up and more and more people are starting to doubt whether the likes of the X Factor are a representation of the truth.

People still watch these shows in huge numbers

Despite the skepticism and the decrease in popularity since those early days, reality TV is still delivering huge viewing numbers which is why these types of programs keep coming onto the TV with new ideas for shows and spin-offs made all the time.

How real they are or not is up for much debate as there is clearly a scripted element to a lot of these shows and recently 10 reality stars who called their own shows fake which shined a light on just how the producers manipulate these shows to try and get the viewing figures they need.

The type of contestants seemingly put ahead for these shows all look the same way too, they are pushed for the demographic they are trying to reach and these are people who are desperate to get onto television and perform. The producers will want contestants or characters that they can manipulate into storylines.

They clearly pick people who will be great for creating conflict with other characters and will help develop those stories. That first series of Big Brother in the UK seemed like a group of normal people all hoping to win a prize, now It feels like there are people being forced to play up to a role in order to get their 15 minutes of fame.

Despite the fact that most people feel these shows are rigged and despite the fact their characters aren’t relatable, their viewing figures show that they are here to stay. People still crave talent shows and reality shows, even with knowing that what they see might not always be real.

We’ve come a long way from the days of Big Brother and Pop Idol, but producers have landed on a formula that works which gets in the viewers and brings in the advertising revenue they want. Clearly these shows aren’t very legit at all, but clearly no-one seems to really care. It’s version of the truth that they are more than happy to consume.