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Contestants must sleep on the floor and eat porridge in toughest 'Big Brother' yet

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The furniture-free house raised questions about where housemates would sleep. Now it's emerged that not only will they sleep on the floor for the first stage of the show, but they won't actually be official housemates – they'll have to earn that privilege in tasks. Till then they'll eat cold porridge and wash will cold water from the garden 

04 JUNE 2009

When the new furniture-free Big Brother house was unveiled this week, there was speculation contestants would have to sleep on the floor. Unfortunately for the 16 particpants who enter the house on Thursday night, producers of the show have confirmed this is true – and that's not the only shock that's waiting for the newcomers.

Within minutes of them all arriving, Big Brother will reveal that they are not yet official housemates and that they will not get access to the full Big Brother house. They will have to individually earn their housemate status over the first three days of the programme in tasks.

Until successful they'll only have access to the empty living room, a toilet and the garden. They won't be able to get at their suitcases and will have to spend their first night sleeping on the living room floor.

If they want to wash, the eight men and eight women will have to fetch cold water from the garden in a hole-ridden bucket. And forget the food budgets of previous years – meals will consist of cold porridge. To escape the spartan set up, contestants must triumph in tasks which will challenge their pride and will require them to go head to head. Only those who prove their mettle will be allowed into the "real" house, which has full facilities from day two. On Sunday viewers will pick who they want to be housemates from those still left in the barren house.

Unsuccessful candidates will be given their marching orders, and there'll be no post show interview with series host Davina McCall to ease the blow.

"They are in for a massive shock. It is going to be nothing like they expected, says the show's spokesperson. "'It's going to make the first few days incredibly uncomfortable and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them can't hack it and ask to leave - which they are free to do."

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