Gutsy new BBA series back on screens

MILLIONS of Big Brother Africa viewers are in for a treat. The much-anticipated BBA: Sensational Season 5 will hit the small screens earlier than usual this year.

The popular but controversial reality show starts on July 18 and will be beamed on DStv's M-Net. Twenty five contestants from 14 countries will move into the Big Brother House.

A golden prize of $200000 (about R1,5million), the same as last year's, is up for grabs.

M-Net Africa managing director Biola Alabi has promised fans in more than 40 countries across the continent that they will get a more edgy, tactically challenging and more intensely strategic show than ever before.

"What a great moment this is - to bring back a show that our audience loves for an incredible fifth time. We wanted season four - Big Brother Revolution - to be special but it exceeded our hopes. With the volume of interaction the show received from fans, it was clear that season five was definitely on the cards.

"So we've been developing what we believe will be thrilling new format changes," Alabi said.

BBA will be screened live 24/7 for 91 days on DStv Channel 198.

M-Net has announced that they would be breaking tradition and won't be calling for entries for the new show. They will be drawn from 14 countries.

"The company has revealed that having run the series four times previously, they're now head-hunting contestants from a database of previous entries submitted for the show.

"We want to invest more broadly in season five and having already been introduced to a world of interesting characters from previous searches, there's limited value in spending extensively in another search for contestants," said Alabi.

"In the past we've spent widely to find contestants in 14 countries. This year, we're using these funds to develop a gutsy new series, recreating the house in a very different way and focusing on putting new technology into place."