Tuesday, January 16The Voice of London

Reality TV Leads; UK and Asia

Words: Fatima Nasir

The most popular celebrity reality TV show in Britain and Asia, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here and Bigg Boss are both the most talked about in their target audience this month. The finale of I’m a Celebrity 2017 aired earlier this month whereas the Bigg Boss Season 11 finale is a few weeks away.

I’m a celebrity 2017, is officially over and it was a ‘huge huge success’. This year’s series became the most watched on ITV with an average viewership percentage of 46% for the channel. The show scored the highest audience of 11.2M compared to X Factor averaging around 5 Million.

With Aamir khan, a British-born Pakistani ex-boxer in the jungle the show is a favourite in Asian households. Amir Khan made it to the semi-finals only to be eliminated.

Asian media production houses have attempted to create reality television series following a similar format. Which channel picks up the idea and decides to air the series may vary in accordance to viewership and rating predictions.

Two of the most watched TV shows across India and and Pakistan being Bigg Boss and Fear Factor run on the correlated concepts for example nominations, weekly elimination, weekly tasks, food rations, manipulative hosts, controversy and of course a celebrity show cast completely cut-off from the outside world.

The Asian-version of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, Bigg Boss is a massive hit in Asia and the British-Asian community more than, the British-version including my own family gathering up every day at 9 GMT sharp to watch the latest episode on Colors TV(Indian TV Channel). The ‘Weekend ka waar’ episode airing every Saturday and Sunday featuring Salman Khan, one of the highest paid and experienced Bollywood actor as the host.

There are prominent differences though in the two reality television shows as the Indian version has its own take, mixing two British reality TV show ideas Big Brother and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

Most celebrities entering the shows are mainly interested in an increased fan base along with popularity, success and fame.

I’m a Celebrity additionally, pays participants however in Bigg Boss there is only one prize money for the winner and the rest are attracted for fame and better projects when they leave the sets.

Controversies continuously follow the two leading reality tv shows making them more captivating and appealing to viewers keeping them interested. The producers are inclined to sign celebrities with controversial pasts or contrasting personalities as a way of increasing TRPs.

Hosts become a major part of the narrative as they steer and manipulate the secluded celebs in the Bigg Boss house and the I’m a Celebrity jungle.

Voice of London asks viewers their opinion on the two reality TV favourites.