Big Brother 2003 finally over

The results are in. Cameron is the winner of Big Brother 4, marking the end of another 64 days of very cheap television. Yet, I'm amazed to find myself one of the few people who finds this a relief.

Am I in a minority because I don't find the culmination of a fish trader from Orkney beating the three remaining housemates Ray, Scott and Steph… enthralling?
For nine weeks of the past four years Big Brother has - in some cases involuntarily - become a daily aspect of our lives.

The figures are extraordinary: More than 4.3 million votes were cast in this year's final, taking the total number of votes for the whole series to nearly 12 million.

And what is this gripping wonder that has repeatedly captured the addicted attentions of millions across the world?

A reality TV show, which merely consists of thirty-four cameras and 40 microphones recording 12 housemates' every move.

Of course, Big Brother in itself contradicts the term "reality TV show", as the characters are largely acting - unless they completely lose the plot - with producers editing feverishly to show us all the "juicy" parts to court our undivided attention.

Many people will be familiar with shows like "Popstars: the Rivals" and "Fame Academy" where aspiring singers sweat blood (and pride) to achieve recognition, to show off their talents to achieve their dreams.

These shows give young people a chance to find success in a difficult work area.

But Big Brother contestants are trying to achieve only stardom.

And, of course, £70,000.

So why watch it? It is just 12 people in a house, bored. They are just normal people with normal jobs.

However, this simple concept has turned Britain and other countries - even continents - Big Brother mad, taking over our magazines and newspapers with day-by-day gossip, with devoted websites, daily highlights, quizzes, 24-hour TV and Internet viewing, not to mention its own spin-off show, "Big Brother's Little Brother."

Is this the beginning of the end for quality television?

What will we be watching next if we can happily watch 12 volunteer prisoners sleeping?

Are we sailing towards George Orwell's '1984' where Big Brother is a reality? Where the more addicted we get to loving Big Brother, the more it controls our lives?

A truly terrible destiny in front of televison screens awaits us soon: Big Brother 5… and we've got no-one to blame but ourselves!