Marion Farrely is a reality TV producer.
Marion Farrely is a reality TV producer.

Speech that will put you off reality TV

A reality TV producer has opened up about the "talk of doom" she gives all contestants before they agree to appear on a show.

Marrion Farrely has worked on reality shows including Big Brother, Celebrity Apprentice, X Factor and Farmer Wants a Wife.

"Before they go on my shows I give them the 'talk of doom', as I like to call it," Ms Farrely told SBS Viceland's The Feed for their investigation into the reality of reality TV. "I know it by heart because I've said it so often."

 

Celebrity Apprentice Australia 2015 stars. Picture: Channel 9
Celebrity Apprentice Australia 2015 stars. Picture: Channel 9

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The talk goes as follows:

"You will leave here and you will be too famous to go back to your job but not famous enough to be famous, so you probably won't work for two years.

"If you're a guy, people will want to fight you in the pub. If you're a girl, no one will want to date you. Everyone you have ever slept with will come forward and they will tell their stories to the press.

"You think you will be the person on TV that everyone loves, but ... when was the last time you were in a bar and you saw someone from TV and you went, 'There's that idiot off the telly!' You don't think the idiot will be you, but it probably will be."

Ms Farrely also revealed some of the sneaky tricks producers used to disorient contestants in the Big Brother house in the hopes of getting more extreme reactions from them.

"We would do things like lower the ceilings and turn the lights up and make the sofas rubber," she said. "They would have cushions that would have pricks in them. The colours would be maybe a little bit too bright.

 

The Big Brother house in 2004.
The Big Brother house in 2004.

 

That’s a pretty bright bathroom, Big Brother.
That’s a pretty bright bathroom, Big Brother.

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"People would always say, 'You give them booze.' Actually, no. You don't want people drunk because you don't want to watch people drunk. What we would sometimes do is give people sugar."

Over the years there has been an endless number of reality TV contestants who have blasted the shows they've appeared on for making them look bad with selective editing.

In some cases, contestants' lives have been ruined and their reputations have never recovered.

But that's all part of the risk you take, Ms Farrely said.

"I think there's really fine balance between looking after people and getting ratings," she said. "It's something that as a producer, it's a tightrope you walk constantly."

If you've read this and you're still keen to give reality TV a crack, applications are now open for a new season of Big Brother. But don't say we didn't warn you.