From Big Brother to the Big Top
Film production giant behind the ‘Big Brother’ show is being called on to drop a celebrity reality TV show set in a circus, which was screened on Sunday, 19 March 2006. The show from Endemol features celebrities performing with animals in Circo Victor Hugo Cardinali, the largest animal circus in Portugal.
EastEnders TV star Peter Polycarpou has been quick to condemn the new show: "I thought reality TV had hit rock bottom but I was wrong. The new benchmark for bad taste is a reality TV circus show. For anyone to be in any doubt that circus animals are mistreated and abused on a daily basis in order to train and subdue them is to be out of touch with reality. Any celebrity who does not know this is refusing to face reality."
Campaigners are particularly horrified that the producers are using Circo Victor Hugo Cardinalli. Last year Animal Defenders International filmed inside 11 Portuguese circuses. During one show, owner Victor Hugo Cardinali was filmed jabbing a performing elephant in the face with a metal spike more than 20 times to force it to perform a trick on a pedestal. The clip can be seen on the ADI website at http://www.ad-international.org/media_centre/videos.php?g=1&page=2.