Big Brother executive producer Kris Noble is the voice that goes with the program’s eponymous all-seeing eyes.

But
this season we’ve been hearing more of him – outside the house – defending the
housemates against parliamentarians turned moral police with lines
like: “They are much more unpredictable and at every moment something
could happen.”

He got a big pat on the back in The Australian’sMedia section just a few weeks ago in a yarn by Amanda Meade before the latest outbreak of tut-tutting:

“I can’t speak any higher of [executive producer] Kris
Noble,” programmer David Mott says. “What a fantastic job he has done
with a show that is five years old. You need someone driving it who
lives and breathes it every day. He has totally freshened up the whole
franchise.”

Freshened up indeed. Big Brother’s
ratings are up significantly on last year, partly because its inmates
were chosen for their preoccupation with sex. The Monday to Friday show
is averaging 1.19 million viewers, compared with 1.09 million last year, and
the Sunday night live eviction show and the Monday night nominations
show are both up.

Before he joined BB’s producers
Endemol Southern Star, Noble worked for Nine as director of drama. He’s
credited with saving the department with shows like Water Rats and McLeod’s Daughters.

But he also had problems there with risqué programming – with the infamous late-night soapie Chances,
described as “Australian television’s guiltiest pleasure.” It’s said
that he was heard to remark he wouldn’t want his daughter watching such
a show.

Indeed, despite serving up attractions such as
man-eating plants, devil worshippers; Israeli secret agents, a
scantily-clad female angel on a Harley, neo-Nazis hunting Third Reich
artefacts in Melbourne, an inscrutable father-daughter team of oriental
villains who spoke very slowly – not to mention Abigail’s comeback to the
small screen – Noble is supposed to have decided that one particularly
suggestive script was too much and pulled the plug.

Perhaps he now recognises Chances was ahead of its time.

Peter Fray

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