September 2008
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Big Brother does Las Vegas

I’m a bit behind with this one as I think it actually went out on TV on Wednesday evening, but that’s what happens when you no longer have a TV service.

Indeed, I cancelled Virgin Media before we went to Vegas thinking we’d re-activate Sky when we got home.  The Virgin V+ box had given me a year of nothing but untimely crashes and unscheduled reboots.  It also missed the start of nearly every episode of Doctor Who, which is unforgiveable.

The real heartbreaker though was missing the very end of the NFC championship game last season, with the scores tied and Green Bay having a chance to make it to the Superbowl.

It wasn’t because the timer cut out too early, but because Virgin stop broadcasting that particular Sky Sports channel for a few hours overnight, regardless of whether the game they are showing has finished.

I hoped at least Sky would be committed to showing the full schedule for their own channels.

However, when it came to the crunch of paying £21/month for 200 channels I don’t really want (but the ability to record the couple I do want to hard disk to probably not watch later is nice) or £38/month for Sky Sports, which I’d watch once a week, it no longer seemed like such a good proposition.

So the Sky box now gives us terrestrial channels and probably QVC, but that’s it.

To be honest, there’s very little I’ll miss about satellite or cable TV, or even the PVR functionality, which is nobbled unless you have an active TV subscription.  I can’t really see me going back to watching stuff on TV when it’s actually on, but for anything I can’t be without there’s always the internet.

After all, I went four weeks in the USA without missing a single episode of Big Brother.

Anyway, this week Big Brother has "brought the glitz and glamour of a Las Vegas-style casino to the house" by adding a couple of neon signs and a few antique slot machines.

Here are some of the highlights.

Part 1: Rehearsals for the variety show task.  Escapology, illusion, celebrity impersonations and… performing dealers.  I’m just grateful they didn’t have to imitate Cirque du Soleil.

Part 2:   Showtime.  Proof (should it be needed) that you can put a blind man in a wig but he won’t care if it covers his eyes.  Or even if it’s on the right way round.

Part 3: Losing on slots.  "It looks complicated?  You pull the handle".

Part 4: All you can eat buffet.  Never mind the food, this is all about what shape Mohamed’s afro goes when it’s stuck inside a plastic party hat for over an hour.