The voice (and the heart) of Big Brother

Screen Shot 2012-10-17“I’m the Voice-Over guy who occasionally gets to go on camera,” shrugs Mike Goldman.

But to so many Big Brother fans, he is the heart of the show.

When Nine announced it would revive the Reality series, fans were adamant. It had to have Mike Goldman. They had heard him narrate 8 series on TEN, watched him host endless hours of Up Late, get giddy at Friday Night Games and work the crowd at countless Live evictions. The show may well have no bigger fan than Goldman himself.

“Sometimes I find myself watching the ‘quad-split’ which is all of the channels being mixed live from the control room. I sit there after work when I should have gone home 3 hours ago, watching a conversation because you just get a side of their personalities that sometimes you don’t see unless you’re watching for a good hour.”

Occasionally his enthusiasm spills over into comments that give him a little network grief.

“I always get in trouble, but that’s because I love the show so much. I’m such a fan, so I let some things slip because I talk to other people who are passionate about the show,” he concedes.

“I’m the first to jump up and down when there is something I don’t like, but at the same time I look at myself and go ‘That’s why I am so passionate about it!’

“I love what this show brings to the television landscape.”

For Wednesday’s grand final he is tipping the final 3 to be Travis, Skye and Ryan or Penny.

“There have only been 4 girls to win the show before: Alisha, Terri, Reggie and Tim Dormer,” he jokes.

“Penny has been an Intruder turned Housemate only in the last few weeks and she’s won a lot of hearts because she is quirky and unusual. The things that come out of her mouth are bizarre, but she is so likeable. So she could scrape through (to the finale).

“Word on the street is –and I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this- it was neck and neck between Priya and David at the last minute. We had packages done up for Priya and David at the time.”

There’s that habit of saying too much again….

Goldman’s association stretches all the way back to 2001, to the days of Gretel Killeen, Sarah-Marie and Blair. He loves the show’s spontaneity and ability to take story detours mid-season.

“It broke all records and had everybody doing the bum dance. It was just crazy. It was so exciting to be a part of,” he recalls.

“It’s not like working on a boring TV show where you think ‘Ok this is what the network said we have to do’ or what the production company said we have to make. You never know what’s going to happen to the House from one day to the next.

“I feel sorry for people who work on shows like The Big Adventure –and a couple of them work on Big Brother. They pour their heart and soul into something and then along comes Big Bang Theory up against it, which they didn’t expect, and they get no viewers and it’s pretty much axed.

“It’s sad when that happens because people work so hard on something and I feel that there is enough of the pie to go around. Mind you I was a bit confused when I watched it!

“But our show is so organic, with people’s lives right there and then. In this age people like to know this is an event, something going on right now with people falling in and out of love, or breaking up with their girlfriend Live on TV.”

Yet while the 11th series has not matched recent ratings -even by Nine standards- Goldman deftly concedes some short-comings while still finding positivity.

“In my mind it wasn’t a fail because I am a fan and there are a lot of people who adore the show. But I know they were let down by not having as much access and losing touch with what was going on in the house. We used to have Up Late, Friday Night Live games, a Twitter feed, and they were saying they wanted more,” he says,

“If I was in charge I’d get one of those bloody annoying infomercial channels and run it 24 / 7 with Big Brother news updates on the hour, with Friday Night Games on the main channel in primetime and the Daily Show every half hour 7 days a week so that people know exactly what’s going on.

“But that’s just me because I’m a fan,” he tactfully adds.

“I’ve seen the target demographics and in 16-39 we’re winning. So to be winning that when we’re on at 8:40 at night against every single other show on TV, Channel TEN would wet their pants if they had that.

“And the JumpIn figures are bigger than any show they’ve ever had. They’re massive. The money it’s brought in online has been huge.”

Goldman insists he is no Programmer, but would prefer the show was constructed around fewer tasks and challenges and more about housemate characters.

“I just want to hear them talk and interact. I want to see intimate moments between housemates sharing a part of their soul, and I want to be reminded who these people are. They’re mechanics, nurses, radiographers, dancers, teachers –these are people plucked from all walks of life not because they can renovate or cook. They’re everyday people,” he continues.

“It teaches us a lot about ourselves. It teaches me a lot about myself when I realise ‘I can’t stand this person’ on a first impression and then after a couple of weeks they have really grown on me and I love them.”

This year the winner of Big Brother, whoever it is, will be left standing in the house alone (rather than announced on stage). Goldman isn’t sure if he will make an appearance in the final.

“I hope so but it’s Sonia’s show! I guess I will find out on Monday,” he says.

He’s then headed to Los Angeles for discussions about formats of his own he is developing, and hoping the show will land a 12th season in 2015.

“Even if it’s given a year off it will definitely come back. There’s no other show like it.”

Big Brother airs 8:30pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on Nine.

NB: TV Tonight publishing Live results AEDT on Wednesday.

24 Comments:

  1. Really enjoyed reading this article. Love your work Mike and hope to see you in the future.
    Also enjoyed reading all the comments here and totally agree with them. All great points made! The fans should be making the show.

  2. Mike is one of the best reasons to watch BB. We wouldnt have the same experience without his narration and interviews with families. He brightens the crowd up and, knows how to make people laugh. I think he’d make an amazing host all round. #teammikegoldman

  3. Love Mikey.
    These people on Channel 9 ruined a great product .
    Mike Goldman should be hosting late night and friday night games and uncut as he was on channel 10

  4. It’s always refreshing to see someone be so passionate about their job. Mike really is the heart of Big Brother. It could only benefit the show if he were to have a bigger role (but he’ll have to learn to keep secrets ;).

  5. I think this a great article. Mike is a genuine fan of BB. He is the true Voice of BB. Hope he gets a hosting gig next year. He has been wasted this year.

  6. Mike Goldman, you are spot on with your assessment of BB2014, hopefully we see you back at the helm next year. Be great if a poll of viewers/fans is done via JumpIn and/or TV Tonight, and their feedback taken into account. Live streaming, more viewing time, and audience interaction via JumpIn Your Power would be great.

  7. As said above, Mike is most definitely the heart of Big Brother.

    His energy, charisma & passion make the show come alive.

    It’s disappointing (to say the least) that Channel Nine have been so inconsistent with many aspects of the show this year – Sounds like Mike could teach you guys a thing or two.

    Mikey G you are a gold man!

  8. Good on you Mikey.
    Agree with all the comments here.
    When I think of BB I think of Mike – he is the true spirit of the show.
    So much enthusiasm and such a loyal fan – Mikey is the Molly Meldrum of Big Brother.

  9. I think mike makes the show enjoyable. Being there plenty of times and he makes the crowd enjoy there time at the studio. His voice always very familiar and I love his voice overs… All round great guy

  10. I think ch 9 would be silly not to make Mike the next host, he knows what viewers want and need to stay interested. I also believe us viewers and fans of the show deserve more than we have been given this year, no uncut, no live feeds no fri night games, it’s about time this great show was given the justice it deserves!!! Give the people what they want, more BB and Mike Goldman as host!!!!

  11. The frustration this season in particular is inconsistency with time slots and air time. To receive only 5-6 hours viewing, and 30-60 min of that made up of re-run footage from previous episodes, and commercials, the viewing time is reduced even further. From what is a 168hr week, its pathetic. I am a member of a BB FB page, unofficial, with 6000+ members, the discontent amongst members about this viewing issue is widespread. Live Streaming BB, on a satellite channel such as GO, would certainly be very welcomed, as well as more Housemate Content that permits us to get to know HMs a lot better. The way it is this season, it just feels as though viewers are being manipulated into supporting HMs by such limited and highly cut (edited) air time. Viewer participation via JumpIn for Power Play votes has been welcomed, further participation in that would also be welcomed. Mike Goldman, your…

  12. I miss the games (even that abridged Wednesday games they were doing last year was fun!), I miss Up Late, I miss the extended nominations shows (always my favourite) and I really miss those pithy 30-minute episodes. In the last couple of years I felt like I was giving up my life to Big Brother because my husband would come home from work at 7:30 and we’d only have time for that before bed. This year I felt like there’s been a very long time between episodes, yet when I’ve been watching them they’ve dragged for the most part. An hour, maybe a bit longer suits an eviction or a noms show, but it doesn’t suit a general house show. I don’t want to see what happened over the last four days on one night because it’s boring. Spread it out in short, sharp bursts and I’ll keep watching.

    So many people have mentioned giving it back to Ten. How realistic is that? Honestly I feel like Nine’s mismanaged the program from the moment they wanted to make it family-friendly viewing.

    Great interview though. Mike’s constant presence has been the biggest sunny spot in Big Brother’s not always awesome history!

  13. Last time I checked TBA was rating around the same as BB so he must feel sorry for himself and everyone else who works on BB as well because as he put it it’s getting no viewers and the demos are nothing to write home about either. Perhaps Mike should become the EP.

  14. The problem with Friday night games is Nine’s NRL commitments in Sydney and Brisbane, hence why they were on Saturday last year.

    Next year needs to be back to basics. Bring back Up Late on go! Bring back the live stream tweets and go back to simple evictions, none of the shenanigans of this year.

  15. Mike Goldman makes the show for me, hearing his voice on the daily show just makes me think yep its big brother more than the big brother voice himself. The show has really lacked some on air time this year and that very much includes the antics of mike and uplate, hopefully if it does come back channel nine give the show and mike the respect he and BB deserves.

  16. daveinprogress

    Nice interview with Mike. Re host, I like Sonya but she lacks the edge that Gretel displayed. The exit interviews are superficial and hasty. There’s been a lot wrong with this season; format and timeslots and housemate casting at the centre, in my opinion. I still find it a fascinating concept; but it is lacking at the moment. But yes, more of a role for Mike would be great.

  17. Save some money, just get Mike to host the evictions on Sunday, Friday Night Games and just have a 30 minute narrated show Mon-Thursday like the good old days. For the first time this year I gave up, too many live shows and then the odd daily show that was a recap of the live show. Sonia adds no value, we dont need intos to narrated packages, get rid.

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