What you never knew about the Big Brother house
THE Gold Coast's Big Brother house is gone.
The reality TV landmark, which stood for nearly 20 years, was destroyed by fire yesterday.
The fire, which could be seen across the northern Gold Coast came after weeks of discussions over its future.
Four people have been charged with allegedly lighting the fire.
The house is gone but memories of its heyday remain strong.
Construction began on the Big Brother house at Dreamworld in February 2001, soon after the announcement that the popular Dutch reality series was getting an Australian adaptation.
It was the same month auditions began for the series.
The first images of the under-construction compound were revealed a month later.
The housemates entered the complex on April 23, 2001 in what was described as "the biggest television event since the papal tour of Australia in 1986".
The purpose-built house had some interesting features:
* 26 cameras and 32 microphones were placed in every room of the house, including the toilet and showers to capture every moment. The housemates were forced to wear microphones at all times except when sleeping and showering.
* Hidden under the white roof of the warehouse-sized structure were two bedrooms -- each containing six beds -- bathroom, toilet and an open plan living area consisting of a lounge, dining area and kitchen.
* There was the famed confessional "diary room'' where the contestants had to talk to Big Brother at least once a day and disclose their personal feelings and observations about housemates.
* Double doors lead from the house into an outdoor enclosure complete with swimming pool, vegie garden and chook house.
* The house was full of two-way mirrors which allowed the camera crews to film the cast.
Australians became intimately familiar with every corner of the complex during the three months the first season was airing.
Once a housemate was evicted they left through a door and were taken by golf buggy down a path to reach the auditorium near the Dreamworld carpark where they met host Gretel Killeen.
Upon the completion of Season one the house became a tourist attraction open to the public through late 2001 and early 2002 before it was closed and refurbished ahead of that year's season.
Every following season saw the house heavily modified, with various gimmicks including splitting it in half for part of the 2003 run before bringing the housemates together after nearly a month.
Big Brother was cancelled by Channel 10 in mid-2008 and the house was reopened to the public and saw occasional use as a function space.
The show was revived by Channel 9 in 2012 and producers chose to again use the Gold Coast compound.
The house was again heavily redeveloped to add a second level and expand its floorplan.
But the revived series didn't prove as popular as the original's early years and it was again cancelled after the 2014 season.
The house sat abandoned for five years until its destruction yesterday.
In the weeks before it was destroyed there had been talk of turning it into a paintball arena or the new location of popular music and food venue NightQuarter.