Ten pence from the 25p cost of each call to the voting hotline will be split equally between the three charities. Based on viewer figures for last year’s series, each charity could stand to make in excess of £200,000 from the partnership.
The first vote , which was due to take place tonight, has been cancelled after a contestant was evicted yesterday for using a racist insult.
A spokesman for Samaritans said he was not perturbed by the incident. “We can see that prompt action has been taken following unacceptable contestant behaviour, with the eviction of the person concerned,” he told Third Sector. “Samaritans was already aware that Channel 4 had put new safeguards in place for Big Brother 8 and if anything, this eviction shows this.”
Earlier this year, some charities distanced themselves from Jade Goody after she was accused of racially abusing fellow contestant Shilpa Shetty during the celebrity version of the programme.