Hallie Clarke is set to come out as trans in the second episode of Big Brother UK’s revival.
On Sunday (8 October), the iconic “social experiment” made its comeback after a five-year hiatus with an electic mix of Britons and scored high ratings for ITV, with approximately 2.5 million viewers tuning in.
Co-hosted by AJ Odudu and Will Best, the premiere was widely praised on social media for the casting, with many comparing the vibe to “early seasons” of Big Brother rather than its influencer-heavy latter years.
Hallie is the show’s youngest contestant at 18-years-old. In scenes that will air on Tuesday’s episode (9 October), Hallie admits that she wasn’t “being 100% authentic” with her housemates, before confiding in them about her gender identity.
“I thought I’d let everyone know I’m trans, if you didn’t know already,” she says. “I just thought I’d make that loud and clear. I’m a trans woman if you didn’t know.”
Hallie is reportedly met with overwhelming support from the house, with Chanelle Bowen responding: “Good for you. That’s very brave of you.”
Dylan Tennant says: “This is a moment. I like it.”
After Hallie expresses her anxiety over coming out as trans, Farida Khalifa tells her that she doesn’t “need to be nervous” while Trish tells her: “We’ve got you.”
Big Brother UK blazed a trail for LGBTQIA+ representation in the UK, particularly for the transgender community. In 2004, Nadia Almada became one of the first-ever trans reality stars and went on to win. Eight years later, Luke Anderson became the show’s first trans male champion.
“Brian Dowling was the first openly gay person that I personally had ever seen on screen, and he owned his sexuality and personality. He was truly celebrated, not only by himself, but by the people around him,” she said.
“Growing up in Blackburn, I was definitely not exposed to openly gay men or women, so that was a real eye-opener for me.”
Odudu added: “You don’t realise how groundbreaking Big Brother is when you consider all of the conversations we as a society are having around the trans community and gender identity. That’s only starting to take shape now, when Nadia was on [TV] like 20 years ago?
“We didn’t realise how progressive it was, so I’m glad that we’re bringing that back to screens at a time where we there’s so much confusion. Hopefully, Big Brother can offer the diversity and the stories that we want to see.”
Big Brother boasts a “contemporary new look” and, once again, “the public plays a crucial role, voting throughout the series and ultimately determining the winner.”
The regular series is followed by Big Brother: Late & Live, where the co-hosts reflect on the episode in front of a live studio audience and celebrity guests.
Big Brother airs every night (bar Saturdays) at 9pm on ITV and ITV2.