The Real Reason Celebrity Big Brother Is Female Only This Year

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Channel 5

Celebrity Big Brother is now officially under way and the house has been filled with female contestants only, for a special anniversary.

The series, which launched tonight (Tuesday 2 January), is all-female, but male housemates, with male contestants being added in gradually through the series and competing in tasks set to question gender stereotypes.

Some people have moaned the Channel 5 show is being ‘sexist’ in its methods… but actually it’s not.

You see, the reason the contestants are all female is because it’s been 100 years since women were awarded the vote – after years of protesting.

According to The Independent, the programme is hoping the decision will ‘help to challenge assumptions of what exactly it means to be a woman – or a man – in the 21st century’.

Journalist Rachel Johnson – sister of Foreign Secretary, Boris – is one of the contestants this year, as is Keeping Up With The Kardashians TV personality Malika Huqq along with MP Anne Widdecombe.

Self-confessed ‘proud feminist’ Ashley James is also in the house.

Made In Chelsea beauty Ashley, who’s since left the show, has gone onto have a successful DJ and presenting career.

Tamsin Dodgson, executive editor of CBB, told BBC News:

We approach each series thinking of ways to make it as entertaining and engaging as possible.

As the nation prepares to mark [the centenary], we’re launching the show with female-only contestants which is a gentle nod to this landmark anniversary.

Putting the women in first and allowing them to settle and take control of the house before the men arrive will create an interesting dynamic.

How do the different groups cope with power and what impact does gender really have? Fundamentally though it will be a lot of fun to watch.

She added:

The men will arrive slightly later and Big Brother provides the perfect lens through which to explore what it is to be a woman – and a man – in 2018.

Gender feels like the perfect concept to explore within Big Brother. Our celebrities, as you’d expect, come with differing backgrounds, experiences and points of view, so I think you can expect a lively, opinionated but ultimately entertaining series to kick off the New Year.

This is not the first time Big Brother has kicked off with an all-female group of contestants – back when the show was on Channel 4, their summer 2007 series saw 11 female housemates enter the house.

On the third day, they added one male contestant who was then gradually followed by more. One of them, Brian Belo, went on to win.

Happy Anniversary to women’s votes!