The Big Sister talks about the last ever series of Big Brother, starting on C4 on Wednesday, June 9…

After a decade of fights, romances and controversies, this week marks the end of an era with the last ever series of Big Brother, the daddy of reality TV and the show that summed up the the last decade.

As the final housemates get ready to begin their time inside, we caught up with Davina McCall, the woman who’s been at the helm since day one, to find out what’s in store and what memories she’ll keep…

So, what’s coming up in the last ever series?
“The simplest way to describe it would be to say, ‘Expect the unexpected’. I think that Big Brother is going to be turning itself on its head.”

Are you under pressure to pull out all the stops for the last ever series?
“We’re putting pressure on ourselves. We are all so revved up and chomping at the bit because we really want to deliver a great show. But there is a danger of over-egging it, so we don’t want to make it ridiculous.”

Celebrity Big Brother did well. Has that given the show a boost?
“Yes, the press were really behind us, lots of highbrow people were saying it was brilliant and people were talking about it because it was the last one. I am really grateful that the love is back for Big Brother and it seems appropriate that we can go out with a bang. It’s lovely that the hardcore fans never really left us.”

How did you feel when you found out this year’s Big Brother would be the last?
“I was really sad; it’s like kissing your best friend goodbye. It has been such an integral part of my life for so long. I’m wondering what I am going to do without it because I haven’t had a summer off for 11 years.”

How do you think you will cope on the last day?
“It is going to be very tough and feel very weird, but I will grin and bear it.”

Do you think it is the right time to finish the show?
“Now that I have been able to get some perspective on it, I think it probably is the right time. The show has had enormous flak and it will be quite nice for me to get out of the heat and enjoy some time without the sort of scrutiny that this programme gets.”

How do you feel about the criticism it has received?
“Honestly, I think the show has been exemplary in the way it dealt with very difficult situations. The only time when something was controversially dealt with was with Jo O’Meara on Celebrity Big Brother [over the racial bullying claims], but we all came under scrutiny. We learned from that and measures were put in place so that it didn’t happen again.”

Have the controversies affected the show?
“It was definitely marred slightly because everybody was obsessed with who would be the first couple to have sex in the house. I actually think the public would much rather watch friendships or the start of a sweet relationship, like Paul and Helen in series two.”

Why has the show captured the public’s imagination?
“It has always been groundbreaking with the issues it has covered and the multimedia aspect. When we had streaming that you could watch 24 hours a day, no other programme was doing that. We have pushed the boundaries of television and spawned a million new reality shows from I’m A Celebrity to The X Factor.”

How would you like the show to be remembered?
“It will be remembered exactly as it should be – as groundbreaking fun and great entertainment. It made you laugh, it made you think, it made you feel.”

Do you think it will ever come back?
“In all honesty I don’t know, but I think that we would be hard pushed to find a channel that would make it as well as Channel 4. Together with Endemol, it was a fantastic marriage that worked.”

What’s next for you?
“Lots. I’m afraid I can’t tell you what, but you will hear soon. You haven’t got rid of me yet!”