It’s day one of Big Brother, and after their pre-BB interviews the thirteen contestants have made their way along the closed off Big Brother Tunnel, and into the house. Now they must try to make themselves at home.
Nikki: Hey this is nice this is. Well comfy!
[She bounds down the stairs from the front door dragging her suitcase behind her. Jack follows closely behind her, and when they reach the bottom they turn to each other and start snogging. The others follow them at a more sedate pace until they are all standing around at the foot of the stairs]
Jan: I think our first priority should be sorting out the sleeping arrangements. I was told there are two bedrooms…
[Anna and Duffy break away from the group, they are looking through two doors into the bedrooms]
Anna: Yeah, look, they’re labelled.
Jack: What are they labelled?
Tony: One and two you idiot!
[He punches Jack playfully in the ribs, and Jack does the same back to him. They get into a mock fight]
Jan: Boys, really! This is hardly the time. Charlie do something about those two!
[Charlie looks surprised by this order, but pushed the brothers away from each other]
Charlie: Calm down eh. This is only our first night.
Jack: Sorry mate.
Tony: Yeah sorry Charlie.
[Jan seems slightly put out that neither apologised to her, and clears her throat so that everyone turns back to look at her once more]
Jan: As I was saying. Men in one room, women in the other…
Duffy: [From by the bedroom door] I’m having this one, Anna?
Anna: [Grinning] Yeah, Duffy, man. Come on girls!
[Nikki, Colette and Lara pick up their cases and follow Duffy and Anna into the room. Nikki and Colette are relatively enthusiastic. Lara is less so. The whole experience seems to have drained her already]
Jan: I thought we were supposed to be working in a democracy?
Simon: A democracy with you in charge eh, Jan?
[Jan looks around for support from Charlie, but notices that he and Josh have already disappeared in to the second bedroom]
Spencer: I’m sure that’s not what Ms Goddard meant at all Doctor Kaminski, but seeing as the decision seems to have been made already perhaps we should just get on with unpacking?
[Spencer picks up his own suitcase and heads to the Boy’s Dorm. The other males follow, leaving Jan alone in the living area. She mutters something inaudible to herself, and heads to the girls room.]
Friday, 21:05 - Boy’s Dorm.
[All the boys are standing around in the middle of the room, looking perplexed and counting the beds]
Dillon: I can’t believe this!
Charlie: Can’t you? I can. I should have known it couldn’t be simple.
[Charlie sinks onto one of the single beds, and lies back. It’s not the most comfortable bed he’s ever slept on, and a moment later he’s sitting up again.]
Simon: At least a week of this we’ve got! Well, I bagsy this bed then.
[He throws his suitcase onto the bed opposite Charlie’s, Josh cottons on and chooses the one next to Charlie and Spencer takes the one opposite that. Now there are only two beds left. One single, one double.]
Dillon: This must be the girls room. I’ll go and get them to swap.
[Dillon leaves and they all groan]
Friday, 21:07 - Girl’s room.
[The girls are all unpacking their suitcases into the drawers under their beds. Duffy, being the first into the room has secured the double bed, Anna and Nikki have the two along from her and are sorting through each others clothes, looking for items they can borrow. Lara is opposite Duffy, unpacking quietly and methodically, Colette next to her, and Jan by the door. Jan looks annoyed. The door opens after a short tap is heard, and Dillon enters.]
Dillon: How many… Whoa, how comes you get the good room?
[He looks around at the proper beds, as opposed the hard mattresses the boys have. Anna and Duffy are laughing the rest don’t understand.]
Anna: We saw it first!
Dillon: But it’s not fair. Our room’s crap compared to this. And we don’t have enough beds.
Duffy: Not our fault. Can’t two of you share? Tony and Jack could, they are brothers after all.
Anna: Or you and Tony could! I know he likes you!
[Anna starts giggling to herself, and Nikki joins in. Dillon looks embarrassed. Jan rolls her eyes at them]
Dillon: Jan, how did this happen? How did you manage to sort out too few beds?
Jan: Ah, well, it’s not my fault, and technically there is enough room for everyone, you said yourself there is a double bed.
Colette: So you knew this would happen?
Jan: When Fin dropped out both Josh and Nikki wanted to take his place, presumably to be with you and Jack respectively. I told the crew and they said it wouldn’t be a problem…
Dillon: [sarcastically] Fantastic!
[Dillon turns and storms out. Everybody is looking at Jan]
Duffy: Any more surprises we should know about?
Jan: No. At least I don’t think so.
Friday, 22:36 - Garden
The Big Brother contestants have all unpacked as much as they wish to and poured themselves drinks from the house’s store.
[Jack and Nikki have already stripped into their bathing costumes and are in the pool. Lara is sitting in the corner of the garden watching them whilst smoking a cigarette. There is an untouched glass of wine next to her. Colette enters the garden and spots Lara on her own. She walks over to her]
Colette: Mind if I sit here?
Lara: It’s a free country.
Colette: Not in here it isn’t!
[She sits next to Lara on the ground]
Colette: Can I just borrow that fag a second?
[Lara hands it over, and Colette takes a drag]
Lara: I didn’t know you were a fellow outcast?
Colette: Only when I’m drunk or nervous. You should have seen me on my hen night! [she laughs but sees that Lara isn’t reciprocating] Oh God, sorry Lara, I didn’t think.
Lara: It’s OK. I can’t expect everyone to stop mentioning weddings around me forever.
[She smiles tentatively, and takes the cigarette back from Colette]
Colette: Are you alright Lara? Are you sure you should have volunteered for this?
Lara: I’m fine! And hell, I’ve been in a war zone, I can put up with a fully modernised house for a few weeks. I just… [sighs] Look at them.
[Lara breaks off talking and stares at Jack and Nikki, who are splashing each other in the pool, and shrieking with delight]
Colette: They’ll calm down in day or two.
Lara: But they’ll still be a couple. And so will you and Josh, and Charlie and Jan. Even the other singletons around here have someone out there who loves them, some family. Patrick was all I had, I haven’t spoken to my parents in years. They didn’t think it was seemly for a nice girl like me to go and work for Medicine Sans Frontiers and end up on a battle field. I got so used to being alone, and just when he broke down my defences…
[Lara tries to hide her tears by wiping her eyes with her hands, Colette, puts her arm around her, but Lara refuses to relax into a hug]
Lara: I’m alright, really.
[Simon enters the garden and sees Lara and Colette]
Simon: Hey girls! Is this a private party or can anyone join in?
Colette: Now isn’t a good time Simon.
Simon: Has Stoneface cracked? Surely the Ice Maiden isn’t crying? What’s up?
Lara: Piss off Simon.
Simon: Language my dear, we have an audience don’t forget.
Colette: [hissing under her breath] Simon, leave it will you.
[Lara gets to her feet, and it’s clear she’s trying hard to compose herself, she drops her cigarette and treads it into the patio]
Lara: I’m going inside. Maybe the next time I see you, you’ll have grown up!
[She walks back into the house, her head held high even though her eyes are still damp with tears]
Colette: You push her too far Simon. It’s not fair on her.
Simon: What’s fair got to do with anything? My brother is marrying the woman I love.
Colette: Then you should understand a bit more of how Lara feels!
[Simon doesn’t answer, but instead picks up Lara’s wine and drinks it in one gulp]
Friday, 22:47 - Kitchen
The shopping list for the Big Brother housemates isn’t to be completed until tomorrow, until then the Kitchen stands almost entirely empty.
[Duffy is searching through the cupboards, Charlie, who had been previously been absorbed in a conversation about how to use the toilet without getting spied on has noticed her, and has gone over for a chat.]
Charlie: What are you up to?
Duffy: Just familiarising myself with the kitchen. I have a funny feeling that I’ll be the one who spends the most time here.
[Duffy gives him a wry smile. He shakes his head]
Charlie: We’ll all take turns. It’s only fair.
Duffy: Do you honestly think anything that Jack comes up with will be even remotely edible? And I’ve seen your attempts at cooking too, for that matter. They usually involve a takeaway menu and a phone, and we don’t have either here.
Charlie: I might be a very good cook. I might have a dormant gene…
Duffy: Don’t you mean a comatose one?
[She grins, and he smiles back]
Charlie: It’s good to see you smiling, even if it’s at my expense.
Duffy: Never fear Charlie, I will always smile at your expense. [She hesitates before continuing] Do I really seem that miserable these days?
Charlie: Not miserable. Just… subdued. I’ve missed you, the old you I mean, the one I could have a laugh with.
Duffy: I am trying you know.
Charlie: I know. Oh Duffy, come here.
[He opens his arms to her and she walks into his embrace willingly]
Duffy: I’ve missed you as well.
[He pulls away from here]
Charlie: I haven’t been anywhere.
Duffy: Oh? You’ve been with Jan. All the time Charlie. We used to spend time together. You used to come round to the house and say hi to the kids, but I’ve barely seen you since Christmas. And I know that your relationship with Jan is important to you but…
[She looks away from him, he looks concerned]
Charlie: But what?
Duffy: It doesn’t matter.
Charlie: Duffy! What?
Duffy: [she sighs, looks away to compose herself, then meets his gaze again] I thought I was important to you too.
Jan: Am I missing something?
[Charlie and Duffy appear startled by Jan’s sudden appearance, and more than a little guilty]
Charlie: We were just talking, Jan.
[He moves away from Duffy and toward Jan]
Jan: About anything interesting?
Duffy: Just about the kitchen. Nice isn’t it?
Jan: Not bad. I consider myself to be quite a cook actually. Of course given the choice I would rather go to a restaurant, but obviously that’s not always possible. I brought my favourite recipe book actually. I’m quite looking forward to making myself at home here.
Charlie: Well, there you go then Duffy. Nothing to worry about. [Turns to Jan] Duffy was concerned that she’d end up being mother to all of us.
Duffy: [haughtily] Well I don’t have to worry anymore, do I?
[Duffy turns and walks away, back to the girls dorm. Jan busies herself in the kitchen. Charlie looks a little lost]
Friday, 23:16 - Boy’s dorm
It’s getting late in the Big Brother house, and Spencer has decided to turn in for the night.
[Spencer enters the room, and sees Dillon still unpacking on the double bed]
Spencer: You decided about the beds then?
Dillon: Yeah. Jack is going to sleep on the sofa. I think he reckons he’ll be able to get Nikki to join him.
Spencer: Ah, young love!
Dillon: More like temporary insanity. Why do girls fall for blokes like Jack Vincent?
Spencer: You’d be asking the wrong person there.
Dillon: Oh, come on. I heard you were in the Navy. What’s that they say about sailors having a girl in every port?
Spencer: They say that sailors have a girl in every port. I suppose if I’d wanted to live like that I could have, but I knew I had my Shirley waiting for me. No one else compared.
Dillon: She seemed nice, your wife.
Spencer: She’s a good woman, but you didn’t exactly see our relationship at it’s best.
Dillon: [apologetically] I am sorry about all that. I shouldn’t have said anything to her.
Spencer: We’ve all done things we regret son. I can’t exactly blame you, I know what it must have looked like, and I’m sure Shirley would have come to the same conclusion without your help.
Dillon: Friends then?
Spencer: Friends. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to try and get some sleep. Goodnight.
Dillon: Night Spence.
Saturday, 10:15 - Living Room
Day two in the Big Brother House, ad the housemates are having to learn to live together, starting with the basics. They have decided that use of the shower during the hour of hot water should be in alphabetical order, but not everyone is happy with this arrangement.
[Anna, Jack, Colette, Josh and Dillon are sitting around on the sofas. Colette and Josh are next to each other, but the others have spread themselves out so that they are comfortable. Dillon is lying right across one of the sofas on his front flicking through the rule book. Tony enters from the bathroom, he s wearing boxers and a T-shirt and his hair is still wet. The others are all fully dressed]
Tony: We need to sort out this running order! There was no hot water left when I got there.
[He shivers and walks toward Dillon]
Colette: Well, how do you think we should do it?
Tony: Reverse alphabetical order? Then I wouldn’t be last every time. Hey budge up Dillon.
Dillon: There’s room next to Anna.
Tony: So you get a whole sofa to yourself?! Come on!
[Tony grabs the rule book and uses it to swat Dillon across his backside. Dillon scrambles up as though he’s been given an electric shock]
Josh: You alright Dillon? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
Dillon: I’m fine. I’m just going to… [He points distractedly to the garden] I’m going to… feed the chickens, that’s right. Someone has to do it.
[Dillon bolts to the patio door and Anna and Jack exchange glances]
Tony: Anyway. About these showers, how about a first come first serve system.
Jack: But then we’ll have to spend ages queuing. It’s bad enough when I stay round Nikki’s, but there are hundreds of us here!
Anna: I think the system is fine as it is.
Tony: You would!
[Tony throws a cushion at her, which she catches and throws back. Tony throws it back , and throws another at Jack but misses and hits Colette. Very soon there is an all out cushion war going on which everyone is clearly enjoying even though Josh feels he has to make comments about childish behaviour every time he gets hit]
BB: WOULD COLETTE PLEASE COME TO THE DIARY ROOM.
Josh: Told you we shouldn’t be mucking about like this!
Colette: I wonder what they want. Wish me luck guys.
Others: Good luck!
Saturday, 10:21 - Diary Room
[Colette sits in the Big Brother chair, leaning forward partly with nerves and partly with anticipation]
BB:COLETTE HOW ARE COPING IN THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE SO FAR?
Colette: Yeah, pretty well. It’s a bit strange spending this much time with the others but so far we’re all getting along . [She frowns at something] Well, actually Lara and Simon aren’t getting on very well but they’re like that at work.
BB: HOW HAS THEIR DISAGREEMENT AFFECTED YOU?
Colette: It hasn’t I suppose. I mean, I like Simon but I know that he does go out of his way to wind Lara up. Don’t know Lara that well though, and what with Patrick’s death she seems to be retreating away from the rest of us. [She pauses and plays with her fingernail as she thinks about what to say next] Is there some way that Big Brother could help them get along better?
BB: BIG BROTHER WILL THINK ABOUT IT.
Colette: Only it would be good if we all get along, wouldn’t it.
BB: BIG BROTHER WILL THINK ABOUT IT.
Colette: Thank you. Is there anything else?
BB: UNDER YOUR SEAT YOU WILL FIND A BLACKBOARD AND GROCERY LIST. PLEASE TAKE THEM TO THE OTHER HOUSEMATES AND WRITE YOUR SHOPPING LIST FOR THIS WEEK. YOU HAVE A BUGDET OF TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN POUNDS THIS WEEK.
BB: PLEASE RETURN THE SHOPPING LIST TO THE DIARY ROOM WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED AND YOUR SUPPLIES WILL BE DELIVERED LATER TODAY.
Colette: Right. Thank you Big Brother.
[Colette nods and obediently leaves]
Saturday, 11:27 - Garden.
Inside the Big Brother house an argument about what items to include on the shopping list has broken out, but some of the housemates have become bored of it and have retreated to the garden for some peace.
[Spencer is watering the vegetable garden. Lara is sitting on the edge of the pool, trying to ignore the camera pointing at her]
Spencer: Should be a nice crop here in a few weeks.
Lara: Yeah? I don’t really want to think about staying here long enough to enjoy it.
Spencer: You’re not enjoying yourself Dr Stone?
Lara: [sarcastically] Does it show?
[Spencer laughs respectfully, and turns off the hose, taking it back to it’s box and tidying it away properly. He then comes over to Lara and sits beside her]
Spencer: You don’t mind me joining you, do you?
Lara: I’m not much company at the moment.
Spencer: I’m sure you’re better company than that lot in there [indicates the house from which the sound of raised voices can be heard]
Lara: Are they still fighting about food?
Spencer: I think they’re still fighting about who gets to hold the chalk!
[Lara smiles and nudges Spencer with her elbow. He blushes, and clears his throat awkwardly]
Spencer: Aren’t you concerned about what food they’ll buy?
Lara: I haven’t had much of an appetite lately. Besides, it can’t be any worse than the grub in the hospital canteen.
Spencer: Ah, it’s a five star restaurant compared to some of the places I’ve eaten, I’ll tell you that Dr Stone.
Lara: You know, you can call me Lara.
[Spencer nods, but says nothing]
Lara: [smiling again] Just while we’re in here though.
Saturday, 13:04 - Girls Bedroom.
[Duffy is sitting on her bed, staring a photograph in a simple silver frame. There is a knock on the door.]
Duffy: Come in.
[The door opens and Charlie comes in. He looks at the room, taking in both the fact that it is much better quality that the Boys Room and the fact that it is strewn with clothes and toiletries]
Charlie: Shopping has arrived. Jan is organising a meal for us, so if you want to go and put in any special requests now is the time.
Duffy: After the palaver writing the shopping list I don’t really care what anyone makes as long as I get a large portion of it. I’ve never known so many fussy eaters in all my life.
[Charlie sits on the bed next to her]
Charlie: I know. [he puts on an ‘old man’ croaky voice] In my day you ate what was put on your plate and if you didn’t you’d go hungry!
[They sit in companionable silence for a few moments]
Charlie: What you said last night…
Duffy: Forget it. I was tired and missing the boys. [she indicates the photograph. Charlie takes it off her and looks at it]
Charlie: They’re growing up fast. Peter looks a lot like Andrew, don’t you think?
Duffy: All three do as far as I’m concerned. Shouldn’t you get back out there to Jan? She’ll be missing you!
Charlie: You want me to go?
[She stands and put the photo back on her shelf.]
Duffy: I don’t know what I want. [sighs, but forces a smile] I wish we’d been given a task to do. I need to concentrate on something. I haven’t had this much time to think since… well, for a while.
Charlie: I’ll go and talk to Big Brother. See if there’s any chance of getting something organised…
Saturday, 19:47 - Diary Room
It’s the evening of day one and Anna has been summoned to the Diary Room for the first time.
[Anna is sitting cross legged on the Diary Room chair, looking fairly relaxed.]
BB: HOW HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR FIRST DAY IN THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE?
Anna: Alright, man. [She nods to herself to emphasize this]
BB: HOW DO YOU THINK THE GIRLS ARE COPING IN GENERAL?
Anna. Just the girls? Um, well, OK I reckon. Lara is being a bit moody but she’s still upset about Patrick. Duffy’s been a bit down too, but she cheered up a bit this afternoon. Well, everyone has. It was good to get some proper food! Er, Nikki has been surgically attached to Jack all day. Colette and Josh haven’t been much better but at least they’re discreet.
BB: WHAT ABOUT JAN.
Anna: Yeah, well, she doesn’t know us very well, and I shouldn’t say this because she is my boss and everything but… [She leans forward and talks in a more conspiratorial tone] she’s a bit of a control freak. I mean, she took over the shopping list earlier, and she called Jack ‘stupid’ when he mixed the sauce for our pasta meal wrong. I mean, like, he is a bit dim sometimes but that’s just Jack. She shouldn’t have called him stupid, man. That was out of order!
BB: SO, YOU WOULD ADMIT TO THERE BEING SOME DISCORD IN THE HOUSE AT THE MOMENT?
Anna: Discord? I dunno, that makes it sound like we all hate each other… I don’t hate the others… We’ve had our first day now, that’s the hardest bit isn’t it? We’ll be alright…
Monday, 07:00 - Living Room
It’s day four in the Big Brother house, and for the third night running Jack has slept on the sofa to avoid any of the boy’s having to share a bed.
[The house is quiet; no one is up yet. Jack is sprawled out across one of the sofas, hugging a cushion. His blanket has been kicked to floor. He is wearing a pair of Bart Simpson boxer shorts]
BB: WOULD JACK PLEASE COME TO THE DIARY ROOM.
Jack: Wha…? Gran?
[He sits up, and rubs his eyes, clearly disorientated. He picks up his blanket and wraps it around himself, rubs his head and yawns]
BB: WOULD JACK PLEASE COME TO THE DIARY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.
Jack: Yeah, yeah, I’m coming…
[He gets up slowly and pads barefoot across the living room and into the diary room, leaving his blanket in a heap on the sofa]
Monday, 07:02 - Diary Room
BB: GOOD MORNING JACK
Jack: [Mumbles something incoherent] Mornin’
BB: HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY JACK?
Jack: Tired. Last night was excellent though! [Yawns, and rubs his eyes, then shakes his head a little in an effort to wake himself up] Just me and Nikki in the pool. A couple of lagers and the moonlight. Well, floodlights, but it’s still kinda romantic. [Pauses and thinks about it] Romantic for Nikki I mean.
BB: HOW HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NIKKI BEEN EFFECTED BY BEING IN THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE?
Jack: Well, we can’t… you know… with everyone watching. For her sake, you know? ‘Cause I don’t mind, I could show all the good people at home how it’s done! [Winks in an over exaggerated fashion] But Nikki’s shy, you know, so …we can’t… do it. Was that all you woke me up for?
BB: NO, BIG BROTHER HAS SET THE HOUSE A TASK, TO BE PERFORMED ON DAY 8, THE RESULTS OF WHICH WILL DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOU HAVE TO SPEND ON YOUR NEXT SHOP.
Jack: Oh yeah, [He rubs his hands together and looks more interested] What’ve we got to do?
BB: DETAILS OF YOUR TASK ARE WRITTEN IN THE ENVELOPE UNDER THE DIARY ROOM CHAIR. PLEASE GATHER THE HOUSEMATES TOGETHER BEFORE READING IT. THANK YOU.
Jack: [Bends done and retrieves the envelope] Is that it then, I can go?
Monday, 07:04 - Kitchen
[Simon is in the kitchen, in a T-shirt and jogging bottoms. He’s drinking from a mug and is clearly oblivious to Jack coming out of the diary room and coming into the kitchen]
[Simon is startled and looks slightly guilty, but composes himself quickly.]
Simon: What’s in the envelope? Love letter from the beautiful Nicola?
Jack: This weeks task.
Simon: Lets have a butchers then?
Jack: I’m supposed to wait until everyone’s up.
[Jack leaves the envelope on the counter while he goes to the sink and pours himself a glass of water from the tap. Simon eyes the envelope, then the camera in the kitchen and decides against touching it. Jack takes a sip of his water, and indicates Simon’s mug]
Jack: What have you got there?
Jack [sniffing the air] doesn’t smell of coffee, [touches the kettle] and the kettle hasn’t been used…
Simon: [Holds his hands up in mock surrender] It’s a hair of the dog. Just to help me pull myself together a bit. I’m surprised you don’t need one - I saw you and Nikki up until the wee small hours in that pool with a couple of cans each…
Jack: I didn’t realise anyone else was up that late. Late to bed, early to rise, hey mate, how do you do it!?
Simon: [Puts on gravely American accent] I am RoboDoc, I never rest! Besides, I have no reason to want to be in bed, if you, er… catch my drift.
Jack: [Grinning] You never know mate, you could get lucky in here!
Simon: With who? Six women, three have their bloke in here with them, one’s too far over the hill, another too far under it, and then there’s Stoney features. I’m hardly spoilt for choice.
Jack: I wouldn’t kick Lara out of bed.
Simon: No, she’d kick you out first.
Jack: Yeah, well at least I’ve got a girl. I’m going for a slash.
Monday, 12:22 - Girls Bedroom.
It’s gone midday in the Big Brother house, and everyone is awake and dressed with the exception of Nikki who still hasn’t surfaced. The other housemates are eager to open their task envelope and have sent Anna into the girl’s bedroom to fetch Nikki.
[Nikki is curled up in her duvet, completely hidden from view. Anna enters the room and sits on the edge of her friend’s bed.]
Anna: [Very loudly] Wakey-wakey!!
Nikki: [Uncovers her head from the duvet. She’s looking pale and tired] I’m awake.
Anna: Well come on man, we’ve got a task to do and everyone is waiting for you.
Nikki: I don’t wanna get up.
Anna: [Grabs the duvet and yanks it back to reveal Nikki’s pink pyjamas] Come on! [pauses to take in Nikki’s pallor] What’s wrong?
Nikki: I don’t feel well.
Anna: What are your symptoms?
Nikki: [whining] I feel sick.
[Anna reaches out and feels Nikki’s forehead, then takes her pulse]
Anna: You don’t seem to have a temperature or anything… What kind of ‘sick’?
Nikki: Just sick…
Anna: You sure it’s not just a hangover? And you came into the room really late last night man; you’re probably tired, hungover and homesick.
Nikki: I suppose… It is getting a little bit better now…
Anna: Do you want me to ask Lara to come and take a look at you?
Nikki: [struggles into a sitting position] No, I’ll be ok. Just give me a few minutes to get dressed, yeah?
Anna: OK, I’ll see you out there.
Monday, 12:27 - Living Room
[All thirteen members of the Big Brother house are gathered in the living room, chatting quietly about whether they should choose names for each of the chickens. Nikki enters, looking slightly more like her normal self. She sits next to Jack and cuddles up to him. Jan has the envelope]
Jan: We’re all here? Good, lets get on with this.
Charlie: What ever it is it’s bound to involve us all making fools of ourselves…
Lara: And it’s bound to be completely pointless.
Dillon: It might not be that bad, lets just wait and see, huh?
Jan: Indeed, thank you Dillon.
[Jan discards the envelope and unfold the letter inside. Everybody has shut up and is watching her intently]
Jack: Well, put us out of our misery then!
Jan: We have to chose three members of the household to perform a karaoke song each. Big Brother will record the singing and mark it for technique using a special computer. If we get an average mark of eight or more out of ten then we will win the task. Sounds simple enough.
Charlie: There’s got to be a catch.
Jan: The catch is that we only have the songs on this list to chose from, and that the three we choose to represent us aren’t going to get a practice. We, and I quote ‘have to trust in the abilities of the other housemates’. So who wants to volunteer?
Simon: Singing? Easy. Give us a look at that list…
Jan: Anyone else, or I’ll… we’ll, I mean, have to chose volunteers.
Duffy: Chose volunteers? Isn’t that rather against the point of it all?
Jan: [Ignoring Duffy] Charlie, you have a lovely voice, you can do it.
Charlie: [Going an interesting shade of purple] Er, no thanks Jan. I’ve got a bit of a cough coming on. Jack, you’re always going on about being a music maestro…?
Jack: I’m a DJ. I don’t sing.
[Everyone falls quiet watching each other suspiciously]
Spencer: I will, if no one else will. For the good of the team and all that.
Jan: Excellent. Simon, Spencer, and… Lara?
Lara: No chance. I had a bad experience with a school talent school. It’s left me scarred for life. What about you Jan, how come you haven’t volunteered?
Duffy: Yeah, come on Jan. Put your money where your mouth is.
Simon: Lead by example. Always been my philosophy. But then you’ll all see that when I make Registrar…
[Lara shoots Simon a ‘look’, Jan has gone uncharacteristically quiet]
Anna: I don’t mind doing it. As long as you lot don’t laugh at me.
Colette: If you doing it means that I don’t have to, then I wouldn’t dream of laughing at any of you.
Jan: [relieved] Simon, Spencer and Anna then. Now all we have to do is decide how much of our food money we should wager…
Monday, 21:17 - Garden
[Josh is alone in the garden, sitting on one of the big red chairs staring at the wall with deep concentration. Colette appears in the doorway and comes over to him, hugging him around the shoulders from behind.]
Colette: Dinner’s ready. Another of Jan’s masterpieces. She certainly likes being in control of things.
Colette: She’s really getting on Duffy’s nerves you know.
Josh: Yeah, well, they’re competing for the position of Alpha female, aren’t they.
Colette: They’re welcome to it! I like just relaxing…
Josh: And spending time with your gorgeous husband?
Colette: Is he here as well?
[Colette laughs, and Josh pulls her around the side of the chair and down on top of him, so she’s sitting on his lap]
Colette: You do know that this garden is littered with cameras…
Josh: Yep. Frustrating isn’t it.
Colette: What are you doing out here anyway?
Josh: I don’t like be coped up in the house. There’s nothing to do and no space to do it in.
Colette: And this from the man who spends eight hours a day in the cab of an ambulance…
Josh: Ah, yes, but I know I can get out of the ambulance whenever I want. How tall do you think those walls are?
Colette: Ten feet?
Colette: You wouldn’t be thinking anything foolish would you, darling?
[Duffy appears in the doorway]
Duffy: Um, sorry to interrupt. Food’s getting cold…
Colette: You didn’t answer me…
Josh: No, I didn’t, did I….
Thursday, 22:47 - Conservatory
Ten forty-seven on day seven, and the housemates are almost all in the kitchen bobbing apples from the wok. Charlie and Jan, however, have retreated to the conservatory for some privacy.
[Charlie has his feet up on the table and is leaning back in his chair looking like he’s about to fall asleep. Jan is sitting more demurely and looks uncomfortable]
[She turns toward him, and he sits up and looks at her]
Jan: Do you resent me for getting you involved in all this?
Charlie: What makes you think that?
Jan: You’ve been very distant these last few days.
Charlie: Me? Jan, you’re the one who engineers it so that we’re never alone together. Like last night when I suggested we went out to the garden for a while, while the others were amusing themselves making paper planes out of old magazines. [Rolls his eyes]
Jan: I don’t want people to think…
Jan: I don’t want everyone knowing that we’re alone together. You’ve heard the comments that have been made about Nikki and Jack. Hardly complimentary, and I am their CEO.
Charlie: In here you’re just Jan. Odd as all this is, we’re not in the hospital now.
Jan: But we will be. When this is over we have to go back to work. I have to retain some credibility with the staff.
Charlie: I’m not suggesting that we go and hide under a blanket somewhere and hope no one’s looking! Just that we can spend a little time together, just the two of us. It’d be ridiculous if, whilst spending all this time locked up together, we’d avoided each other the whole time, wouldn’t it?
Jan: But, I must maintain a sense of…
Charlie: Rubbish Jan! Anyone would think you’re ashamed of me or something.
Jan: I’m not. Honestly Charlie.
Charlie: Then what is it? Why come here with us, knowing what it would involve if you aren’t prepared to join in?
Jan: I am joining in. Without me the rest of you wouldn’t have decent food to eat, the shopping list would have been a disaster, you’d probably all have salmonella by now.
Charlie: Or Norwalk.
Charlie: Sorry. But that’s not joining in, that’s taking control. Something I’ve been accused of many times in the past so I’m aware of the symptoms. Duffy’s told me off on more than one occasion for trying to do her job and mine…
Jan: Oh well, if Duffy says so!
Charlie: What’s that mean?
Jan: It means that I have no interest in Duffy’s opinions, and frankly to see you two sometimes anyone would think you’re more interested in her than in me.
Charlie: Wha…? Look, Jan, you’re the one who’s been keeping away from me. How can you turn it around like that? Am I supposed to sit in a corner somewhere on my own until you decide you want some attention?!
Jan: No, of course not Charlie. And please calm down, you’re causing a scene.
Charlie: Well, we couldn’t have that!
[Charlie rises to his feet, and Jan stands up after him looking resolute and somehow bigger than her size]
Jan: I am going to the diary room. I do hope your attitude will show a marked improvement by morning. Goodnight.
[Jan strides out and towards the diary room. Charlie is left looking part angry and part fed up. He returns to the living room and finds Jack, Tony, Dillon and Anna playing cards]
Anna: Is Jan alright?
Charlie: God knows. Have you seen Duffy?
Tony: Girl’s room with Nikki. I don’t think they want to be disturbed.
Dillon: [To Jack] Probably talking about you mate!
Jack: [Looks less enthusiastic than usual] Yeah, well, I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. Charlie, you want to join us for a game?
Charlie: [Glances to the girl’s room door and sighs.] Yeah, why not.
Thursday, 22:50 - Diary Room
BB: HOW MAY BIG BROTHER HELP YOU JAN.
Jan: I don’t know. I just needed to get away from Charlie.
BB: AND WHY IS THAT?
Jan: He accused me of being ashamed of him, of avoiding him, of taking control unfairly from the rest of the group…
BB: HOW DO THESE ACCUSATIONS MAKE YOU FEEL?
Jan: [Pauses. Looks down at her clasped hands and takes a deep breath before looking back up] Hurt.
BB: IN WHAT WAY?
Jan: He’s the only person here who I really get on with, and if he’s not on my side then no one is.
BB: ON YOUR SIDE AGAINST WHOM?
Jan: I’m sorry?
BB: YOU CONSIDERED CHARLIE TO BE AN ALLY, BUT AN ALLY AGAINST WHO?
Jan: The others don’t appreciate my efforts to run an efficient household.
BB: YOU CONSIDER EFFICIENCY THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE?
Jan: I’ve spent my life taking control of failing businesses and turning them around into efficient and profitable ones. It’s what I do.
BB: BUT IN THIS SETTING IS IT THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR?
Jan: What else is there?
BB: ON ENTERING THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE YOU EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO GET TO KNOW YOUR COLLEAGUES IN AN OUT OF WORK CAPACITY. DO YOU FEEL DIFFERENTLY NOW?
Jan: No… [Looks away again and appears in deep thought] They haven’t shown any interest in getting to know me though.
BB: HAVE YOU GIVEN THEM A CHANCE?
Jan: Of course. But many of them, specifically Duffy, have been outwardly antagonistic toward me. And Duffy seems to have the loyalty of many of the staff, including Charlie.
BB: THEN PERHAPS IT’S HER YOU SHOULD BE MAKING THE MOST EFFORT TO BE FRIENDLY.
Jan: [Looks troubled] I am friendly. I’m very social. But these people are my subordinates… I mean, employees, I’ve never been in a situation where I have had any desire to be accepted by my employees before.
BB: BUT YOU WANT TO BE ACCEPTED BECAUSE OF BIG BROTHER?
Jan: No, I want to be accepted because of Charlie.
Thursday, 22: 48 - Girl’s Room
Earlier in the evening a discussion amongst the housemates about their respective families started to upset Nikki, who has become progressively quieter as the week has worn on. Duffy has entered to girls bedroom in the hope of comforting her.
[Both are sitting on the double bed, wrapped up in their respective duvets. Nikki has been crying and is repeatedly swiping fresh tears away.]
Duffy: Maybe if you tell me I can help?
Nikki: You can’t.
Duffy: Nikki, if you’re upset it’s best to talk about it. If you don’t want to talk to me that’s alright… You and Anna are close, aren’t you. Or Jack…
Nikki: No! I can’t tell him, and you have to promise not to either. Promise me Duffy.
Duffy: OK, OK, I promise. So this is something to do with Jack then?
Nikki: [Sniffing back tears] It’s such a mess!
[Duffy moves around on the bed so she can give Nikki a hug]
Duffy: It can’t be that bad. Tell me and we’ll find a way of sorting it out, yeah?
[Nikki mumbles something that is incomprehensible]
Duffy: Nikki, sweetheart, I can’t hear you…
Nikki: I said I’m pregnant.
[Duffy looks surprised, and Nikki starts to cry again]
Duffy: Are you sure?
Nikki: I did the test before I came in. It’s why I joined in, I wanted to be with Jack.
Duffy: I take it he doesn’t know. Are you scared of telling him?
Nikki: [Nods] Yeah.
Duffy: Well, he may not be the most… um… [strains to think of a suitable word and gives up] But he does love you. I’m sure you could work it out together.
Nikki: [Very very quietly] It’s not his. We haven’t… you know… since he went into hospital. At first he told me he wanted us to split up, so I started seeing this other guy. Jack won’t want me now, will he?
Duffy: Oh Nikki. He might surprise you.
Nikki: [Looking hopeful] D’you think so?
Duffy: I don’t know. You should talk to him.
Niiki: I want to, but it’s hard, even harder in here. I thought… I thought, if we slept together I might be able to convince him that it’s his baby. It’d only be about three weeks out and I could say it was premature… But then he went and signed up for this thing, and we can never get any privacy and he’s really sensitive about his operation, and, and, it’s all a mess!
Duffy: Nikki… [Holds her a little bit tighter] Lying to him won’t help. And you didn’t cheat on him, he ended things with you…
Nikki: But what if he doesn’t want it? What if he dumps me, or makes me have an abortion…
Duffy: He can’t make you do anything, and if he dumps you, then he’s not worth the effort anyway.
Nikki: But I couldn’t do it one my own. Mum and Dad have already said they won’t help.
Duffy: They might come around…
[The door opens and Jan enters. Duffy immediately stops talking and Nikki tries to hide her tears]
Jan: Nikki? Are you alright?
[Nikki nods and sniffs]
Duffy: This isn’t really a good time Jan.
Jan: Is there anything I can do?
Duffy: You can leave us alone.
Jan: I’m just trying to help…
Duffy: [Coldly] Everything is under control. Thanks.
Jan: Right, I’ll go then.
[Duffy turns her attention back to Nikki, and Jan leaves, her head not held as high as usual]
Friday, 17:59 - Living Room
It’s the day of the karaoke challenge in the Big Brother house, and the singers, Anna, Simon, and Spencer are going to have to perform a song each in order to pass the challenge and win money for the coming weeks shopping list. Big Brother has told then that the singing will start at six ‘o’ clock exactly, and has provided the housemates with cider and snacks as well as the lyrics for the singers.
[All thirteen housemates are gathered together, and although they are chatting animatedly amongst themselves there is also a sense of tension between some of the housemates. Nikki is sitting between Duffy and Anna instead of her usual position next to Jack. Charlie and Jan still haven’t resolved their argument from the previous night and are seated away from each other. Lara is sitting with Dillon and Spencer and is engrossed in conversation with them. She looks happier than usual. The others are spread out across the remaining sofas and seats.]
BB: THE KARAOKE CHALLENGE WILL BEGIN IN ONE MINUTE, COULD ANNA, SIMON AND SPENCER PLEASE BE READY.
Anna: Oh man, I’m well nervous about this…
Lara: You’ll be fine Anna.
Tony: Yeah, you should just go for it, what’s the worst that can happen?
Anna: I could make a complete berk of myself on telly, and lose us all our food money…
Spencer: Ah, now come on. All three of us will do fine.
Lara: [To Spencer in a quiet voice] Aren’t you even a bit nervous?
Spencer: Terrified! But it is only singing, and I’ve made a fool of myself enough times in the past, I don’t suppose once more will hurt…
BB: THE KARAOKE CHALLENGE STARTS IN THIRTY SECONDS, WOULD EVERYONE EXCEPT ANNA TURN OFF THEIR MICROPHONES.
[The housemates all do as they are told]
Anna: Oh, why’d I have to go first?
Simon: [Barely audible without microphone] Alphabetical order my dear, otherwise I’d go first.
Anna: How come you’re so confident anyway, man?
Simon: [refilling his glass of cider] You’ll see!
Lara: What song did you chose Anna?
Anna: [Blushing furiously] There weren’t that many to chose from you know…
Colette: Which one?
BB: ANNA, YOUR MUSIC WILL START IN FIVE SECONDS, FOUR…THREE…
All together: Two…One!
[The intro to Abba’s Dancing Queen strikes up, and most people burst out laughing. Anna looks uncomfortable, but everyone starts cheering her.]
Anna: [singing a little shakily, but growing in confidence] You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life, see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen. Friday night and the lights are low, looking out for the place to go…
[Colette nudges Josh and stands up, pulling him to his feet. He is very reluctant, but she won’t let him sit down again. Gradually the other housemates start to stand up and dance.]
Jack: [To Nikki] Er… Do you want to dance?
[Jack is over exaggerating his disco dancing and making Nikki laugh. Duffy looks pleased for her]
Anna: [Really enjoying herself] Night is young and the music's high… With a bit of rock music, everything is fine, you're in the mood for a dance. And when you get the chance...
[Lara and Spencer have paired off and are making a bad attempt at a jive until Dillon makes his way over and Spencer retreats feigning exhaustion to let them dance together]
Anna: [Eyes closed, belting it out at the top of her voice] You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen! Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine…You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life, see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen…
Jack: [Pointing to Tony] There’s the dancing queen!
[Tony, who is dancing with Duffy, sticks his tongue out at his brother]
Anna: [Grinning as she sings] Looking out for another, anyone will do, you're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...
[Josh has finally squirmed away from Colette looking thoroughly embarrassed and Simon has moved toward her instead. Josh doesn’t appear to notice. Only Charlie and Jan haven’t moved, they are pretending not to be watching each other]
Anna: [On her final chorus and slightly out of breath] You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen, dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine. You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life…See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen!
[Everyone bursts into applause, and Anna blushes. They all remain where they are, except Anna who flops down on to the sofa]
BB: NEXT UP IS SIMON. YOUR MUSIC WILL START IN FIVE SECONDS…
[Simon downs the last of his drink, bounces up, turning his microphone on as he does so and stands where Anna had been before. The other continue the count down and his music starts. It’s Robbie Williams, Rock DJ]
Simon: [Over enthusiastically, waving one hand in the air. This time everyone is laughing at him, rather than at the song] Me with the floorshow, Kickin' with your torso, boys getting high, and the girls even more so. Wave your hands if you're not with the man…
[Everyone except Nikki, Jack and Tony have drifted back to their seats and are watching in mild fascination as Simon makes a spectacle of himself by pretending to be Robbie Williams. Tony pulls Anna off her chair to dance with him]
Duffy: [To Charlie, who has sat in Nikki’s vacant seat next to her] Is everything alright with you and Jan? I saw you weren’t dancing with her.
Charlie: We had a bit of a row last night…
Charlie: Bad enough.
Duffy: [Glancing at Jan] Maybe you should go and sit with her. She looks lonely.
Charlie: Trying to get rid of me?
Duffy: Definitely. How am I going to attract myself an eligible bachelor with you hanging around! Seriously though, it’d be a waste if you spent your time here arguing.
Charlie: [looks undecided, then nods] OK. [He gets up]
Simon: [Singing well, but performing like he was God’s gift to women] Babylon back in business,
can I get a witness, every girl every man… Houston can you hear me, ground-control can you feel me
Need permission to land. I don't wanna rock, DJ…
Lara: [To Dillon] What does he think he looks like?
Dillon: He doesn’t sound too bad though…
Lara: I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.
Dillon: So come on, what was it that happened at your school talent contest that’s put you off singing in public?
Lara: [Laughing] You don’t honestly think I’ll tell you that, do you?
Dillon: Oh, come on. I won’t tell anyone…
Lara: Ok, But if you laugh I’ll never speak to you again.
Dillon: [Trying to look serious] Deal. So come on…
Lara: Me and my friend were doing ‘You’re the one that I want’ from Grease, and my mum had made me these tight satin legging things, like in the movie…?
Lara: And they split when I was on stage. It was so humiliating.
Dillon: [Trying very hard not to laugh and turning a bit red in the process] Now I understand why you skipped the country!
[Lara playfully swipes at him]
Simon: [Singing and blissfully unaware of the fact he’s mostly being ignored] But when I rock the mike
I rock the mike right, you got no love then you're with the wrong man, it's time to move your body
If you can't get a girl but your best friend can, it's time to move your body…
Jack: [To Nikki] Were you OK yesterday?
Nikki: [Nods, but not very enthusiastically] Yeah. Just missing home.
Jack: It wasn’t something I did then?
Jack: So we’re alright then?
Nikki: [Forcing herself to smile] Yeah. But I think we should talk…
Nikki: No, later.
[Jack shrugs, oblivious to Nikki’s anxious expression]
Simon: [On his final chorus and sweating rather a lot from his exertion] I don't wanna rock, DJ, But you're making me feel so nice. When's it gonna stop, DJ, 'Cause you're keepin' me up all night!
[There is a polite round of applause. Simon does several bows before sitting down again.]
BB: FINALLY SPENCER. YOUR MUSIC WILL START IN FIVE SECONDS…
[Spencer stands up and turns his microphone back on. He looks slightly nervous, but is smiling nevertheless. The housemates finish their countdown and the music starts. It’s Elvis Presely’s Love me Tender. All the remaining housemates sit down]
Spencer: [Singing in a very melodic voice] Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go. You have made my life complete, and I love you so. Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfilled. For my darlin' I love you, and I always will.
[ Josh and Colette have snuggled up together, she has rested her head against his chest. Jack and Nikki are in a similar position, although Nikki is starting to look tearful. Lara is also looking a little upset. Dillon takes her hand, she squeezes it, but then lets go and fingers her necklace that her engagement ring hangs from]
Spencer: [A little embarrassed that he has everyone’s attention, but still singing well] Love me tender, love me long, take me to your heart. For it's there that I belong, and we'll never part.
Charlie: [Whispering to Jan who he’d previously been sitting silently next to] Sorry ‘bout yesterday.
Jan: [Whispering back] So am I, but…
Charlie: [softly] Shush. Later.
[Jan nods, and leans toward him, and he puts his arm around her. Duffy is watching from her seat. She is smiling that Charlie and Jan are happy, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes.]
Spencer: Love me tender, love me dear, tell me you are mine. I'll be yours through all the years, till the end of time.
[Spencer finishes and there is riotous applause]
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