For decades, putting members of the public on screen was a win-win situation. From Blind Date to The Generation Game, from Survivor to Big Brother, there was always new fodder for the tabloids, huge audiences for advertisers – including that vital but hard to reach 16-24 demographic – and, for ordinary folk, the chance for a few dazzling moments to make their lives extraordinary.
Here are some of our favourite reality TV moments.
"What a sad little life Jane"
Come Dine With Me follows a group of strangers as they compete to be crowned the ultimate dinner party host, with each contestant creating their own version of the perfect dinner party, which will see them scored out of ten by each guest.
Rylan Clark-Neal chairs this panel event about why we love reality television.
“Twenty years ago everyone thought reality TV was a flash in the pan, but it’s become a fixed item on traditional TV channels and on-demand services like Netflix who’ve recently had huge success with Too Hot To Handle,” said Rick Murray, managing director, Manchester-based Workerbee, which makes new Channel 4’s reality show, The Bridge, based on a Spanish format.
Once again participants will get the opportunity to be anyone they want to be in order to gain popularity.
Emma Willis will return to host and comedian Sophie Willan will continue to voiceover the reality series.
To follow covid-19 filming guidelines, there will be no studio audience or live shows and the format will change to a pre-recorded set-up.
Players will move into their own separate apartments in the same apartment block and the only way they can communicate is through a social media platform called The Circle.
The consequences of being pushed into the spotlight so suddenly is the main focus of the drama and tells the story of Billy (Tom Brittney), a young man who gets a shot at fame when he impresses the producers of a fictional reality show.
Billy is excited for his life to change, but a year after the show has aired he is struggling to balance his newfound fame, social media pressures and tabloid kiss and tells.
With his other co-stars enjoying thriving careers, Billy has to deal with strangers making assumptions about him and deeply buried insecurities coming to the surface.
With a brand-new villa and Laura Whitmore taking over from Caroline Flack as the host, the most addictive reality show on TV is heading back to our screens.
From wealthy property heirs to troublesome twins, the new series is sure to provide the essential juicy drama needed to brighten up dreary January.
Here are the 12 new contestants hoping to find love in the villa.
This year’s singletons ready to play the dating game includes Love Island star Amy Hart, who recently had her heart broken by fellow Love Island star Curtis Pritchard before dramatically leaving the villa in response to the breakup, former The Only Way Is Essex star Amy Childs, who after a recent split is hoping this will be her chance to meet Mr Right, and Made in Chelsea’s Olivia Bentley, who will be ditching the Chelsea dating scene in the hopes of finding a connection.
The five-part series follows eleven unsuspecting members of the public as they are taken to what they assume is an 80s inspired Summer Camp, only to discover that there is an undercover murderer within the group.
To be crowned champions of Killer Camp and walk away with the prize money, the innocent competitors must survive the murderous efforts of the camp killer - resulting in elimination from the game - and figure out who among them is guilty.
Anyone can be anyone in The Circle, but when the aim of the game is to gain popularity, some are not who they seem.
The reality series looks at the highs and lows of social media, as eight contestants try to win over their fellow competitors and convince them they are who they say there are for a chance to win the prize of £100,000.
The Circle sees contestants live in separate flats in the same building, but their only way to communicate with each other is through a social media platform called The Circle.