Speculation and news has been rife about the possibility of Sonia Kruger becoming the host of Big Brother: Secrets when it goes to air on Nine next year, with a confirmation promised to be announced in Wednesday’s 2012 Nine Network Program Launch.
As I’ve commented in the past, news of the host would best be announced closer to the series launch, considering many people may judge the series based on their perception of the host. In reality, the host probably appears on screen for no more than 10% of the entire series.
I ask myself, why is there so much news about who will host the show in the first place? What about the one voice (other than Big Brother’s) that defines the show, appears in pretty much every episode, walks the viewers through the entire season and has even given the owner a national identity? I am talking about the voice of the narrator.
I have previously stated that I used to feel excitement when Gretel walked out on to the stage on launch night to herald in a new season. That excitement continued over the next few nights as the narrator’s voice echoed through the living room, signalling the end of the day and the start of the evening ahead.
You may be wondering ‘umm, it’s just a narrator’ which is probably what most narrators on most reality television shows are- purely there for announcing things. But on Big Brother, the narrator was more than just a voice- he was a series icon. Around the world, most Big Brother narrators were in fact there just to recount what was going on in the house; but here in Australia, we celebrated our narrator more than any other host.
Mike Goldman was the voice of Big Brother back when it aired on Network Ten. We all talk about Gretel, we all talk about Kyle & Jackie O. But Mike was the only common factor present in all eight seasons of the show. Having narrated and hosted the show from its inception in 2001 until its cancellation in 2008, Mike lasted longer than Gretel and was probably the one person to come out of Big Brother with complete positive credibility.
His popularity rose throughout the years, landing the hosting gig of Big Brother UpLate from 2003, and acting as compere alongside former housemates Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald and Bree Amer from 2005 in the then-not-so-popular-but-now-seemingly-popular spin off, Friday Night Live.
He even got to host the odd eviction in 2008. To this day, his voice can still be distinctly heard on advertisements for various companies. Even Big Brother haters would recognise his voice. Fans still reccommend Mike as a firm favourite to host the series if it ever came back.
Throughout the years, he even got to host outside of Big Brother; shows including Friday Night Games, Download and Celebrity Joker Poker. All managed only modest ratings and were generally viewed in a negative light; however they did draw a niche audience and only made Mike more respectable. As mentioned, he’s one of the only people to come from Big Brother social media speak fondly about.
But while he has commented in the past how much he misses Big Brother; prior to the axing of the series, Mike commented on his distaste of the option of returning to the series if Ten renewed it for a 2009 season.
And despite all this, Nine would most likely be looking for a new narrator anyway, if we go by what has happened so far.
A new narrator would probably get the same response Mike did. If they just narrated, people would warm to their voice; especially after 70 odd days. But unless Mike returned, I couldn’t see the audience reacting positively if a new narrator was also asked to do all the things Mike did straight off the bat.
Australia clearly took to Mike; and while it is unclear what Australia would do with another narrator, it is quite odd that no one seems to be even discussing it.
Should Mike return to Big Brother when it returns next year? If not, who else should do the job? Another question; does Big Brother even need a narrator?