Friday, January 06, 2006

Czech viewers tune in to Gorilla Reality TV

Reality television has become a global phenomenon.

Television stations around the world are devising programmes where members are either forced to live together in a small house or endure extreme conditions or tasks.

Now Czech state television has come up with perhaps the most unusual contestants to date: gorillas.

The show takes place in the gorilla enclosure at Prague Zoo, where there are 16 cameras discreetly placed throughout the living and sleeping quarters, as well as in the garden.

Among the contestants are Richard, the only male of the group, weighing in at around 175 kg. He is joined by three females, one of them the mother of his child, one-year-old Moja who weighs a mere 8 kg and is just learning to walk.

Their every move is covered from a mobile studio, housed in a container outside the enclosure, where producers track and edit the action around the clock.

Highlights are shown twice every morning on the breakfast TV show, with further action available on cable. There is also live screening available online.

Viewers text in votes for their favourite animal - but the winner does not get to return to the jungle.

Instead, once the series is over, the gorilla with the most votes will receive 12 melons - a favourite fruit. It is also a play on words for the KCs11m (£256,055; 379,268 euros) prize for the rival human Big Brother show.

Story here.

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