Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Big Brother" TV show in UK defends its try to recruit disabled vets

From UKPA:

Producers of Big Brother have defended themselves against accusations of trying to take advantage of wounded soldiers by asking them to take part in the show.

Boxing Day's Daily Mail newspaper said programme chiefs were targeting soldiers who had lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan to make the last series the most sensational ever.

It said army charities had been contacted by Endemol, the production company behind the Channel 4 show, asking for case studies of homeless or injured troops.

The article quoted Dr Hugh Milroy, chief executive of the Veterans Fund, as saying it was "a new low for reality TV".

Annabelle Fuller, of the Army Benevolent Fund, told the newspaper: "We're a charity, not a selection box for bad TV programmes. The people we help are often vulnerable."

Commander John Muxworthy, of the UK National Defence Association, added: "How anyone could even attempt to try to take advantage of these people and their suffering is staggering."

A joint statement from Endemol and Channel 4 said: "Big Brother aims to cast the net far and wide to ensure that a diverse range of people get the opportunity to audition and take part in the programme.

"Many different groups and organisations have been approached as they have strong networks within more isolated communities and can help to spread the word about the dates of open auditions."

Series 11 of Big Brother is due to be screened next summer.