Last night saw Channel 5's time with Big Brother come to an end. It's not the first time British fans of the reality series have had to say goodbye to the competition - Channel 4 and 'Big Mother' herself Davina McCall waved farewell to the format following an Ultimate edition of the show - featuring past housemates from both the civilian and celebrity versions - which ended on September 10, 2010.
Luckily for fans, it didn't take too long for somebody to snap it up off Endemol and bring it back, relaunching with new host Brian Dowling on Channel 5 in August, 2011. The two-time Big Brother winner would eventually be replaced by spin-off series host Emma Willis, who hosted the show from 2013 right up until the present day. She has been hailed as an incredible leading lady for the show, with many calling for her to make a return if the series does ever find a new home on a different broadcaster (or perhaps even a streaming service).
Having spent 18 years on air, it's fair to say that Big Brother has played host to some of the biggest and best moments reality television has ever seen. Some of them have left us beaming, or crying with laughter, whilst others have been genuinely shocking and even resulted in Parliamentary discussion and worldwide outrage.
Here, we're taking a look back at some of those moments, and remembering just why Big Brother was and continued to be the best reality TV show the small screen has ever seen.
Nasty Nick Bateman
Looking back, this is an incredibly awkward moment where Nick Bateman was caught in a "very dirty plan" during the first ever season of Big Brother. Nick passed around notes in the show to try and divert nominations away from himself
Vanessa Feltz's meltdown
Vanessa has to this day been an amazing part of Big Brother history, and her most memorable moment on the show came when she took part in the competition. Picking up a piece of chalk, her fellow celebrities watched on as she wrote an array of words such as "restricted" on the blackboard table. Keith Duffy even said to her at one point that he was starting to get "scared" by her behaviour, to which she replied "good, just enjoy it."
If you don't remember this moment, you've never really been a fan of Big Brother! Who knew a return from a secret bedsit could cause such chaos?
"Would you like me to be the cat?"
Not much can be said about this one. It's one of those moments that just has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy...
Alex Sibley's solo dance
This was just perfect timing all round. With the door closing just as the beats of KC & The Sunshine Band's That's The Way (I Like It) began to play, and Alex Sibley started to button up his shirt, it proved to be a great opportunity for him to sing and dance to-camera in a rare break of the fourth wall.
Nadia Almada's incredible win
Seeing a transgender woman take home the Big Brother crown all the way back in 2005 was shocking to say the least. To this day, trans members of the LGBTQ+ community are treated as less than equal, so to see Nadia win over a decade ago by quite a considerable margin was a revolutionary moment.
Here is perhaps her most memorable moments, back when housemates had to earn their cigarettes...
Makosi and Anthony's naughty jacuzzi session
When Makosi Musambasi walked into the Diary Room the morning after having an explicit session with Anthony Hutton in the house hot tub, claiming she thought she was pregnant and needed a test, reality TV history was made. The pair eventually agreed in Ultimate Big Brother that no actual full-on sleeping together had taken place, but at the time it had the country split on who was telling the truth.
Kinga and her bottle
Kinga took a bottle of wine to the garden and put it somewhere it should have never gone, on live television. This one doesn't need delving into any further!
The racism controversy and Jade Goody's legacy
Jade Goody is without a doubt the biggest name to have ever come out of Big Brother, despite finishing in fourth place overall when she took part in the third series. Cementing a name for herself and building an empire that raked in millions, Jade was riding an incredible wave of success which came crashing down when she found herself right in the centre of a racism storm during a celebrity season of the show, in which she returned alongside faces such as former S Club 7 singer Jo O'Meara and Jade's boyfriend at the time, Jack Tweed.
Pointed out as the ringleader of a trio accused of bullying eventual winner Shilpa Shetty, Jade would alongside O'Meara and fellow housemate Danielle Lloyd be tainted with the label of being racist. Many believed that the women would pick on Shilpa because of her heritage, and when the time came for Jade's eviction, Channel 4 made the decision to get it done without a live crowd because of the potential danger.
Attempting to rebuild trust with her fans and indeed the country of India - where the topic had been discussed and debated intensely - Jade went into the nation's version of Big Brother, but it all ended in tragedy.
Called to the Diary Room, Jade was told she had cervical cancer. She left the house to be with her family, and passed away on Mother's Day (March 22) in 2009. It was a horrific moment, but Jade left behind a legacy that saw thousands of young girls go and be tested so that those who would also suffer from cervical cancer could get treatment at the earliest opportunity.
Josie Gibson's romance with John James
Though the nation and indeed her fellow housemates at times weren't convinced, the Josie Gibson and John James Parton romance is one of the most compelling Big Brother has ever seen. Whether it was real on John James' part or not, Josie was taken in completely, and believed she had truly found her soulmate. Unfortunately, the pair didn't last and went the way the majority of Big Brother romances have gone - down the pan.
Ultimate Big Brother and Brian Dowling's double win
When Channel 4 decided to pull the plug on Big Brother, they did a much better job of it than Channel 5. Giving it the send-off it truly deserved, they put on a two-and-a-half week Ultimate season that brought back past winners, fan-favourites and iconic villains. Josie Gibson even re-entered the house just minutes after winning the last ever civilian series on the channel!
Brian Dowling would go on to take home the title of Ultimate Big Brother champion, and now has the distinct privilege of calling himself the only person to win a British version of Big Brother twice!
Roxanne Pallett crying wolf
When it was revealed former Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett would be competing in this year's final season of Celebrity Big Brother, she instantly shot to the top of the betting charts and became favourite to win. All of that changed however when she accused fellow soap actor Ryan Thomas of repeatedly punching her "in the ribs", with force.
Fortunately for Ryan, the entire incident was captured on camera, showing that if he did come in contact with her at all, it was an incredibly delicate and light graze. The nation turned on Roxanne, furious at her repeated lies that saw the house turn on Ryan for a short while, and the actor even question himself and what had happened.
Roxanne quit the show when the truth was finally exposed, and Ryan went on to win the season, happy that he had been vindicated and had the love of the nation.
Cameron Cole's coming out
In Channel 5's last ever civilian season of Big Brother, the broadcaster played host to one of the most tender moments the show has ever seen. Cameron Cole - our eventual winner - had been confiding in his best friend Lewis Flanagan in the house from the earliest days, telling him he had a secret that he wished he could discuss with everyone, but that he hadn't even told his family on the outside.
Eventually, Cameron would gather his fellow housemates and reveal that he was in fact gay, and that he worried about his family accepting his sexuality. Thankfully they still adore the bones of the boy, and gave him an incredibly emotional welcome when he left the house last night (November 5). Major props to Cameron for being so brave, to Lewis for being such a good friend, and for the housemates showing just how to react when somebody reveals their sexuality. A gorgeous moment that had us all in tears.
Everything Nikki Grahame
There's a reason Nikki Grahame has been called the ultimate reality television personality. She's made her name on Big Brother, after being an integral part of the seventh season, and returned on a number of occasions to compete and enjoy the house once more. She even took a trip to Canada to play alongside some new faces, and former Big Brother Australia winner Tim Dormer!
Nikki's not a person we'd ever try to explain, so instead of doing that, we're going to leave you with this brilliant video that captures some of her best moments throughout the years. Enjoy!
Say what you like about Big Brother, but it has been integral to the success of the reality TV genre. Long may it live in our memories! To Emma, Rylan and Marcus; we will miss you, and to the hundreds who work behind-the-scenes to make it the best show possible when up against all the odds, we salute you.
Tagged in Big Brother