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BBC experiments with religious Big Brother in monastery

BBC TV in the UK is recruiting volunteers from media and advertising to live in a monastery for two months as part of an experiment that has been labelled a religious version of the Big Brother reality series.

But the BBC says The Brotherhood will go much further than Big Brother, and it will actually be a serious documentary on religion commissioned by the its religion and ethics department.

"It's quite a serious attempt to understand monastic life as well as being a personal spiritual journey for those involved," a spokesman told the Daily Telegraph. "We want to make religion more accessible by putting real people into a monastery to see if they can understand life inside."

In a letter to potential participants, Tiger Aspect, the series producers, write: "The idea is to take people away from our hyperactive, materialistic world and get them to experience a more spiritual approach to life."

"This is not tabloid TV. The series is a serious exploration of the role that religion, god, belief and spirituality play - or don't play - in our lives."

Volunteers do not need to be Christians but Tiger Aspect said it was looking for people from a "busy, modern, fast-moving, metropolitan environment".

The series will be shown next year.

Oh, brother, BBC sets up in monastery (London Daily Telegraph 7/5/04)

Tiger Aspect Productions
Vatican newspaper says Big Brother is 'useless and parasitical' (CathNews 31/5/03)
Church spokeswoman warns on TV's 'Big Brother' (CathNews 28/4/02)

10 May 2004