Coventry Conversation – Life after Big Brother (Bex Shiner) 12/11/2009
I delved into this conversation partly out of the fact I had a suddenly free afternoon and partly out of curiosity of how Bex would present herself in this conversation. For those who are unaware of who Rebecca (Bex) Shiner is, I shall offer a brief description. Rebecca shot to fame as a contestant on the 9th series of the popular U.K television show ‘Big Brother’. Big brother as a T.V show was originally a social experiment which put people from different backgrounds into one house and the audience could see how the housemates coped with each other, however as each series progressed, the contestants got ‘weirder’ Bex by her own admission is not normal and she entered into the house where her housemates were obviously put in their to cause tension and conflict between each other (A common trait of a series that was hugely declining in viewing figures) Bex herself gained a short-lived celebrity lifestyle, she was one of the most recognisable figures from the 9th series of Big Brother largely due an inability to stay fully clothed and her on-screen romance with Luke Marsden.
Personally (as you may have guessed from the somewhat generic insight above) I did not watch that particular series of Big Brother, (despite being a fan in the past I felt they had ran out of ideas long ago) So her fame had gone over my head, however I was interested in how life was for her after Big Brother and how the media treated her both immediately after leaving the house and in the present day.
I was surprised about how open she was during the session, it seemed like Bex could and would talk about anything and everything, some comments leading to gasps and laughter from the audience in attendance. She revealed that after leaving the house she earned £32,000 in 24 hours (as pointed out in the session, enough money to clear my student debt) although interestingly Bex’s agency turned down an offer of £100,000 from NUTS magazine as it ‘wasn’t enough’ It’s ridiculous to think she would be offered that sort of money again in the present day.
When asked why she went on Big Brother she said she did because she wanted to see her ‘best bits’ essentially she wanted to see her video representing the best parts of her as a person during the time on the T.V show. Her self-confessed obsession with boybands; in particular Hanson caused her many problems in her teenage life as she would follow boybands across the country.
Bex’s marketability was short-lived and after last Christmas when the attention of that year’s big brother had faded away, she found it hard to gain much press or money from the press (Bex encouraged the audience not to go for the same agent she did) Bex talked about her ambition of moving to Australia and that she was in the process of saving money for it. She mainly earned money hosting ‘Ann Summers’ parties for Celebrities including the female cast of ‘Hollyoaks’ to general members of the public. As well as that she has recently earned money recently from getting ‘Jedward’ tattooed on her backside. She also revealed that she would soon be appearing on ‘Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns’
In conclusion I felt that Bex herself was a bubbly character but I was also interested in how the people around her have influenced how people judge her, she admitted that she was disappointed about how the show’s producers had presented some of her problems in the house as being much bigger than they actually were. I feel that this shows that the producers of Big Brother have the power to decide whether a contestants ‘character’ is loved or hated by the general public.