Bonanza for Big Brother charities

Helen Barrett

The seventh series of Big Brother, which begins on Friday, is set to raise a record amount for charity.

Channel 4 is splitting 10p from the cost of calls made by viewers to evict housemates between Shelter, the Teenage Cancer Trust and a third charity to be chosen by the winner.

Last year's Big Brother generated five million votes. "If the same number of people vote this year as last, we stand to receive about £150,000," said a Shelter spokeswoman.

The last time a non-celebrity series of Big Brother donated a percentage of eviction proceeds was in 2001, when 5p per call went to good causes.

"These charities' concerns mirror the Big Brother programme and audience," said a Channel 4 spokeswoman. "We chose Teenage Cancer Trust because the cause has a deep resonance with our audience."

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