“It’s only a gameshow, it’s only a gameshow”: The Lock In, Bournemouth, England

“You’ve made me look like a c*nt in front of millions” – Craig Phillips talking to “Nasty Nick” Bateman on Big Brother 2000.

Best times of my life - getting involved in the Lock In

Best times of my life – getting involved in the Lock In. Spot the Glentoran shirt.

As I continue to write about my journeys around the planet, there are some huge huge gaps from my adventure that are just not covered on this website, and for the lack of time may never be. Stories untold, countries I forgot I went to and arguably the craziest experience of my life was being in a mock “Big Brother” when I was based in the iconic Dorset seaside town of Bournemouth. I was a contestant in The Lock In in February 2004.

Appearing in the Lock in in 2004 in Bournemouth

Appearing in the Lock in in 2004 in Bournemouth

“I’m voting out Lee as he showed a blatant disrespect to the Queen. The Queen of my country.” – Jonny Blair, talking about fellow contestant Lee Adams in the Lock In, 2004.

The Lock in: It's only a gameshow

The Lock in: It’s only a gameshow

“It’s only a gameshow, it’s only a gameshow” – Big Brother Contestants, UK 2000

What Was the Lock In?
It was in late 2003 that I joined the auditions of hopefuls to become part of a new experiment called “The Lock In”, based at Bournemouth University. I was very eager and passionate to get into this mock Big Brother house. After two rounds of auditions and a rigorous voting campaign from my mate Dancing Andy (Andrew Stokes), I was voted into the house for a 3 day extravaganza and what claimed to be the first 24 hour live webcam University reality TV show in the UK. There were only 6 of us in the house. We had strict rations, games to play, a diary room and one by one we would be voted out to reveal the winner who would walk into the Student Bar on the final night.

In the diary room in the Lock In

In the diary room in the Lock In

The Lock In was just an amazing time of my life and it is where I met the admirable “Lock In Lee” Adams, who to this day is one of my best friends and a top mate. It was in the Lock In that the whole Nicky Barmby story began. I thought I would post quickly about it today as this month marks the fifteen year mark of the first UK Big Brother which was aired on Channel 4 in July 2000. A series which saw eventual winner Craig Phillips confront Nasty Nick Bateman over his vote rigging and influencing.

In the Lock in at Bournemouth University

In the Lock in at Bournemouth University

“It’s a film about dinosaurs” – a quote I made in the Lock In

The Lock in had auditions, evictions, nominations – it was a crazy Big Brother style TV show jam packed into one weekend and the aftermath of it went on a big longer than that including my appearance at the National Student TV Awards in Loughborough in 2005.

In the Lock in in Bournemouth in 2004

In the Lock in in Bournemouth in 2004

Fifteen years ago I also appeared in Northern Ireland’s first “Big Brother spoof”, something which I touched on before – it was based in a nightclub in Bangor and was a bit of an anti climax. However I won’t be telling the story of the Lock In in Bournemouth on this website, saving it for the book. My new book will feature a huge chapter on the Lock In and explain how this mini reality TV show changed my life.

The famous "Lock in Lee" Adams

The famous “Lock in Lee” Adams

The Lock in Contestants from 2004 were:

1. Lee Adams (winner)
2. Paul Burr (runner up)
3. Jonny Blair (third)
4. Danni Wilson Fraser
5. Sophie Burman
6. Alex Simpson

Here is the only remaining YouTube video of the Lock In:

And the famous Craig v. Nasty Nick moment in Big Brother 2000:

9 thoughts on ““It’s only a gameshow, it’s only a gameshow”: The Lock In, Bournemouth, England

  • Funny how your University did a mock “Big Brother” contest. Do you guys get “Survivor” in the UK or Northern Ireland at all? When I was in University, I was head of our Video Productions team for Student’s Union the one year and was asked to help film a mock “Survivor” contest for my school. Saved a copy for myself, but need to transfer it over to DVD one day. Oh, and did you guys get a video of your “Lock In” experience at all? That would be fun to watch I imagine. Waiting for your e-book to come out so I can read some more about it.
    Ray recently posted…U.S. Virgin Islands – Blackbeard’s PlaygroundMy Profile

  • Hi Ray, thanks for the comment and quite an interesting one here. First of all, in the year 2000 we had a TV show here called Survivor also (probably based on the same one in the USA/Canada) and I loved it. A guy from Scotland one it, with a guy from Northern Ireland coming second. That’s a weird coincidence how you were head of the Video Productions for the Student’s Union one year! I was heavily involved with the Student’s Union when at University too, mostly on radio and the magazine, but got involved with being a guest on their TV shows, which started with the Lock In. This was in 2004 so everything was filmed on tape (VHS) in those days. In 2005, I also starred in a mock survivor called “Locked Out” where we went to a forest and had to camp out for a weekend. The problem was that my team AFC Bournemouth had an important match at 3pm on the Saturday and I gave my tickets to my mates just in case I didn’t make it. After our group in Locked Out had won all the tasks on the first night, we got to evict members of the other group. I then confessed to my team that it was me they should be votin gout if we lost any of the tasks as I wanted to go to the football. A few hours before kick off, we finally lost a task and they all voted me out so I could make it. From this army base in the “English jungle” I was whisked onto a 4×4 to a train station called Wool, I made a dash to the pub where my mates were (we weren’t allowed phones for this gameshow) and met my mates in time for the kick off! Sadly we drew 2-2 in a match that even a 1-0 win would have put us in the play off. It was Hartlepool United at home that day. Anyway, that is a story for another day and another one that sadly I don’t have any photos of videos of, but I know it happened. With regards the Lock in, that short video on You Tube above is currently all we have. After the Lock in finished , everything went a bit weird. Some of us sook mental health to recover, Lock in Lee and I were the only two that kept touch and we milked the free VIP nights out as a result of the series, we had the freaky things occurring and the whole event was brushed aside and forgotten about. I managed to get a 12 minute VHS of it at one point, but every time I’m back in my parents place and look for it in old boxes, I never find it. I hope to see it someday and transfer it to DVD or YouTube. From 72 hours of footage! I really hope they haven’t erased it as I would love a copy of it and I know Lee would too. Perhaps the pair of us will call into our old students union one day and ask them for it if they haven’t erased the memory, because we know it would make for a great show. If you get the Canadian Mock Survivor one put on YouTube, send me a link to it please! Safe travels, Jonny

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