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Britain's 'Big Brother' accused of being hazardous to mental health

UPI News Service, 05/31/2006 

Britain's version of the "Big Brother" TV show has been accused of being hazardous to the mental health of its contestants.

The accusations were sparked by a suicide threat from Shahbaz Chauhdry, 37, of Glasgow, Scotland, who was a contestant this season, the BBC reported. For the current season, the size of the Big Brother house was decreased and glass was added to minimize the privacy of contestants.

SANE, a mental health group, is urging better screening of contestants.

"Big Brother is playing fast and loose with people's minds -- and lives," SANE Chief Executive Officer Marjorie Wallace told the BBC.

Producers of the show say contestants are screened thoroughly before being chosen and are provided with psychologists if needed. Channel 4 representatives were unavailable for comment, the BBC said.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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