TV Interview: Voice of Big Brother, Marcus Bentley.
It’s a sad day in the history of Big Brother as Channel 5 have confirmed the new series, currently airing, will be the last one on the channel.
One man has been a constant on the show for the last 18 years - Marcus Bentley, the infamous voice behind the show.
We recently caught up with him for a chat, before today’s news broke…
Last year's Big Brother was a huge hit with the fans, what was it about it that made it feel right?
Every year I say what makes B.B. for me are unique housemates that keep us interested and not the same type of housemate time and again. Isabelle was that for me. She was different, individual, strong, funny and wise and made the show for me. She taught me that you should never, ever judge a book by its cover. For me, her story - of being a strong woman that knew exactly who she was and wasn’t going to be intimidated by an aggressive so called , ‘alpha male’ - made the show.
Likewise the celebrity series was fantastic, what was your favourite moment?
January’s Celebrity was amazing. I loved it and had a big smile on my face for a month. People from many walks of life and varied ages getting on together and not just screaming obscenities at another person with differing views. Intelligent, articulate and unique personalities meeting and conversing, learning and having fun. A Perfect storm! I particularly loved / cringed at Ann Widdecombe being ‘Scary Spice’. And thought Shane/Courtney was a magnificent winner.
Big Brother remains Channel 5's flag ship show and yet there's all this speculation about whether or not it's going to be axed. What are your thoughts on that?
Big Brother is the original social experiment it’s the best programme on Channel 5 and in my biased but educated opinion and I hope that it will continue to be so.
A lot has been said about this next series taking the show back to basics - what do you make of that idea?
I’m not entirely sure what ‘back to basics’ means. But if it means less outside world contact and longer more gruelling tasks that run through the night, I’m all for it!
If you could make one tweak to the series this year, what would it be?
I’d bring back the Tree of temptation. A genius of an idea. Psst — I loved the tree!
Brilliant, your role in recent series seems to have developed - fans really loved the sass last year! How enjoyable was that and what can we expect from you this year?
I’ve loved the development of my style over the years and and at times I’ve enjoyed experimenting and pushing my commentary in different directions. I’d felt over the last few years that the scripts were becoming less amusing. Although I don’t want it to become a comedy act I love delivering the occasional, sarcastic, tongue in cheek put down and I’m glad the producers are letting me do that now.
You have one of the most famous voices on tv, how often do you get asked to record voicemail greetings etc for fans and how do you feel about doing it?
Doing voicemails for fans is a pleasure and honour. It is a privilege and a huge piece of flattery. I get asked all the time and just like every interaction with the B.B. fans I love it.
If you could voice any other show on tv, what would it be and why?
I would love to be the voice of a long running animated series. I recently recorded a test to be the narrator of a Children’s cartoon series and it was all so different to Bog Brother. I enjoyed showing off my versatility. So fingers crossed! I’d also love to do a live commentary of proceedings in Parliament - complete with sarcastic put downs.
Hopefully it won't have to, but if Big Brother did have to find a new tv home in 2019, where should it be and why?
Big Brother could sit comfortably in any schedule on most channels.
Davina, Rylan and Emma have all entered the infamous house as housemates - if you were to do that too, how would you play it?
Has Davina and Emma been in as proper housemates? Not really. Rylan was obviously amazing and it was the making of him. He really is a lovely fascinating man. If I went in as a housemate I’d try to relax , enjoy the experience and attempt to not crack up and be a twat!
Lastly, the casting of Celebrity Brother is absolute genious - if you could pick one celeb housemate for this year, who would it be - and why?
Boy George. Fascinating man and performer with an acerbic wit! He’d be perfect as would Morrisey for the same reasons.
The final Big Brother starts tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm.