Emma Willis talks about the new series of Big Brother which launches on Tuesday, 7th June at 9pm on Channel 5.
Are you excited for the new series, yet, Emma?
Yes! Whenever it’s summer time I start to get really excited because I know that Big Brother is just round the corner and we only get to do the civilian series once a year. I really look forward to getting started with it and giving over my summer to watching lots of Big Brother every day.
What can you tell us a little about the series this year? Can you give us some hints at what to expect?
I think the producers have done a really good job at keeping the show fresh and keeping the format alive and vibrant over the years. It’s one of the longest running shows on TV and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it in this incarnation because it is pretty strong at the moment. There are going to be some quite game changing twists and changes to the series this summer that we have never seen before…as a massive Big Brother fan that really makes me feel excited for what’s about to come. I have also heard a bit of gossip that the house has been completely changed and it’s not just a redecoration job, so I cannot wait to get my hands on the keys and have a good snoop around!
How will this affect the Housemates?
I think it’s really interesting to see how the housemates get affected by each new series. I think we’ve had some series where they’re deliberately made to feel really uncomfortable which brings about a certain type of series and some where it is really luxurious and that brings a different vibe and mood to the house. So it’s impossible to know what the new show will do but hopefully it is going to bring about my favourite mixture of what a great Big Brother is which is a little bit of conflict and a tonne of fun. It’s always nice to see a bit of romance in the house too isn’t it!
Do you think the balance has been right recently between conflict, romance, and fun – and if not, which do you think could be the dominant emotions this time?
Sometimes it gets a bit over dominated in parts by conflict and I think that’s led to Big Brother being quite explosive which is fun for a little bit, because everyone likes seeing the squabbles, but actually my favourite Big Brothers are when you get to see a lot of fun as well. With the series running over the summer and with the civilian housemates being in slightly longer, there is usually a phase in the middle bit of the show where they get the chance to relax. There is still lots of them in the house at that stage and they’ve got over any conflict and so you start to see the real personalities coming through and that tends to bring a lot of fun which is really important for the show.
So many incredible moments have happened on Big Brother over the years, is there anything that hasn't happened on Big Brother (yet) that you'd like to see?
A Big Brother wedding! Every series brings about such incredible talking points and illustrates that the format will continue to deliver such great characters and such great moments that make must see TV. And as I said before the producers have really got it to a great place where you are sort of guaranteed now something in every series that will blow your socks off!
What have been your favourite tasks in the last couple of series – both in civilian BB and CBB?
Again all praise to the producers because I think the tasks are super strong at the moment. I bloody loved the back in time task, partly because I got to go into the house but also because it brought to a head the Lee Ryan situation in such a comedic yet confrontational way that was, in my book, vintage Big Brother. I also always look forward to the electric shock task. It makes me giggle every time.
Do you ever think up tasks or have any input into them? Is there anything you'd love to see the housemates doing in there?
I really do try to have a sneaky word in the ears of producers with some ideas but to be honest they’re never as good as what those guys come up with so I think I’m probably better off doing my job and letting them get on with theirs.
Do you have your summer wardrobe lined up yet?
Well it’s been a bit hard because it’s been a busy summer! I am lucky to have an amazing stylist and actually another reason I look forward to the summer civilian series is that we can be a bit more adventurous with styling. For the celeb winter series I have to do a lot of coats and there is a lot of brolly action so in the summer we get to play around some more with summery colours, different types of dresses and that kind of thing. I haven’t got it sorted just yet but hopefully will do a week or so before we start.
Have you seen any former Housemates recently?
No not really, I don’t tend to see many people from the show after the show has finished but I do keep in touch with some of them on social media because I love to see what everyone’s been up to. Obviously I get to hang out lots with Rylan so I definitely see him the most which is lovely.
What do you want to see from the Housemates this year?
What I always like to see is a melting pot between different characters, ages and ethnic backgrounds as that’s what really brings out unexpected scenarios and people living in an environment with Housemates that they wouldn’t normally hang out with which is the perfect ingredient for a great series. I don’t tend to look at individual Housemates when we start, I kind of look at the group as a whole - that’s what gets me excited for the show. I hope we have some elder people in there because they’ve proved such great characters in the past as well as all the youngsters.
If you had to appear in a reality show, which would you choose?
They always say never meet your idols and as much as I am completely in love with Big Brother I think if I did it, it couldn’t possibly ever live up to the expectation of what I hope it would be but out of those I would definitely love to do Strictly. The problem is I can’t dance but the thought of forcing myself to learn how to dance and going through the process would be a great experience. Like everyone else I love a bit of Bake Off too.
How long would you last as a Housemate?
Probably not long. I would start off boring people because I would be a bit reserved and quiet but I think that if I wasn’t voted out immediately, I would probably end up being the maternal one in the house, looking after everyone and doing all the cooking. I am quite a feeder!
Big Brother, coming soon to Channel 5