This article refers to the entity used by producers to communicate with housemates. For information on the television show, see Big Brother UK.
The name Big Brother is taken from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty Four, in which Big Brother is the name for the corrupt Government that spys on every aspect of every person's life by listening to thier conversations and keeping them under constant surveillance. In the Big Brother House, Big Brother does much the same as housemates' every word is picked up by microphones and every move recorded by numberous cameras. Big Brother, like a "Government" of the House, has the power to eject a housemate for breaking rules, assigns the housemates tasks which they must pass in order to gain treats and a luxury shopping budget. Big Brother, as a rule, never personally addresses housemates unless in the Diary Room. Big Brother can change its gender from male to female and vice versa.
When announcements are made to the House or Big Brother wishes to speak to one housemate, the voice of Big Brother will always precede its message with:
This is Big Brother...
In more recent series of the show, Big Brother has deviated from its strict authoritarian reputation by developing personality traits similiar to those of a person. In Big Brother 5, Big Brother turned evil and played pranks on the housemates. In Big Brother 7, Big Brother went on holiday and in Big Brother 8, Big Brother suffered a hangover following its birthday.