6th October 2023
Ready to take the stage for one of the biggest TV shows in British history, Big Brother, we had the opportunity to speak with the dynamic Will Best.
Will talked to us about what he thinks is the right formula for the most iconic Big Brother scenes and his favourite memories as a presenter back in his T4 days.
You’ll be presenting the new Big Brother with AJ Odudo and it already looks like you have great chemistry from being longtime friends. What else do you think are the key ingredients to creating a successful presenting duo?
I think chemistry is key and also trust. Especially when it comes to Big Brother because it’s a live format. AJ and I are such big fans of Big Brother it feels like we’re putting pressure on ourselves. Knowing the person next you is someone who’s not only good at their job, but has your back and you can trust them to be funny and respond to what you’re saying means you can be more relaxed going into it.
When I think about the show and those nerves, I just know as soon as we go live, the fact that I’m standing next to someone I really love in real life will make it less daunting and more fun. I’d be having fun if I was watching it, so I want to have fun making it.
Big Brother is probably one of the most iconic shows in British history. What do you think is the most stand out scene from the show?
Wow, I mean there’s so many. Nicky Graham’s ‘who is she rant’ is incredible. Alison Hammond breaking the table, I mean that’s another iconic scene. I think in a way though, ‘David is dead’ is the perfect Big Brother moment because it has everything. It starts off genuinely quite sad and emotional and then it becomes funny, then it’s dramatic. It’s the perfect microcosm of the show. That’s what makes Big Brother so great — the light and shade. It’s got everything.
The fact that we still get memes from those previous seasons reflects how iconic those scenes are.
That’s exactly it. I was talking to a friend the other day and apparently videos of Big Brother have had something like 16 billion views on TikTok alone and I think that’s just Big Brother UK. So there’s this whole generation of people who have probably never seen Big Brother and know it from social media through memes with Gemma Collins and Kim Woodburn being absolutely terrifying in her arguments.
How has the TV industry changed in the last 10 years and what do you think the next 10 years could look like?
One of the interesting things is that reality TV has become so much more prevalent. But Big Brother is unique because it’s the only one that isn’t scripted. Everything that happens is real and authentic. It’s the show where you don’t need to be single, a good singer or even live in a certain area. It’s representative of all of us, so I think hopefully, Big Brother could usher in the return to that era of reality TV. When it wasn’t so produced and was a bit more real, reflecting the society we live in.
Going back to 10 years ago when I first got into TV, everything was short-form interviews with pop stars and then all of that went away. Now though, we’re seeing things like Chicken Shop Date and because of the way people consume media, it’s starting to come back again. But in 10 years, we’ll probably be watching telly with our eyes glazed over staring into space.
If you could bring back another TV show that is no longer on our screens (including anything you presented), what would it be and why?
AJ, Maya Jama, Jimmy Hill, Vick Hope and I used to do a show on 4music called Trending Live. It was two hours of live TV every day, just talking about music and popular culture. It was almost like a daily podcast and that style on TV doesn’t exist anymore. It was so fun to make cause we’d pair up, sit on the sofa and just have a laugh.
You’ve said in the past that you want to write comedy… do you think presenting and comedy go hand in hand?
It depends on the tone of the show. For Big Brother, we’ll have the reaction show, Late and Live, which will be an opportunity to celebrate some of the funny things happening in the house. It will be those off-the-cuff chats, which will be with a good group of guests. Most of the presenting I’ve done has always had a comedic element. When I started out on T4, everything was designed to be a bit funny.
Do you think London humour differs from humour in other parts of the country?
I feel like London isn’t really known for its own brand of humour. My family live in Yorkshire and I think the North has a more distinctive sense of humour than the South. There aren’t as many funny things per se about London, although you can obviously go and see great comedy any night of the week.
What’s one of your earliest memories of fluffing up on screen and how did you get through it?
It wasn’t on screen but I remember I was hosting a concert at Formula One in Silverstone and they had a music festival on the Saturday night. I was introducing a band called Go West who used to be big and there was a lot of die-hard fans in the audience. I managed to get the names of both of the band members wrong and the audience suddenly turned and I was getting booed off of stage.
I also did a live show at Hammersmith Apollo. I was filling in as YouTuber Joe Sugg was on stage and I thought I was giving a compliment on what he was wearing by saying he looked like Justin Bieber. What I didn’t know was at the time, this room full of teenagers hated Justin Bieber. It was when he had insulted his fans and did something weird with a monkey. I basically save the calamitous gaps for when there’s thousands of people in a room who can scream at me. Makes it more real.
You also co-created Bloody Mary brand, Bloody Drinks. What was the toughest part of its development?
Getting the recipe right. When me and my mate who I did it with first decided to do this, no-one else had put Bloody Mary in a can. It was at a time when canned cocktails were coming onto the market and we just thought to ourselves ‘how hard can it be?’. Turns out very very hard.
It took us two years from having an idea to having a recipe we were actually happy with. And we’re constantly tweaking it. Also, you can’t get it wrong because tomato juice is very volatile if you don’t process it properly, the cans ferment. And then they explode. Of all the drinks you don’t want to explode on you, I would say a can of tomato based liquid is what you wouldn’t want.
If you had the opportunity to 'ReVamp' anything in the world. What would it be and why?
What would I revamp? Luckily for me that’s an easy one, because I’m involved in a brand new revamped Big Brother! And it’s going to be amazing.
Big Brother: The Launch airs Sunday 8th October at 9pm on ITV1, ITV2 and ITVX