- Big Brother Nigeria contestants for the upcoming fifth season are in a pre-isolation facility ahead of them entering the Big Brother house on 19 July.
- Over 30 000 online entries were received in May from across Nigeria.
- About the season M-Net said that the prize money is bigger and that there are other surprises for fans of the show.
- Due to social distancing rules there will be no live audience during the Sunday night eviction shows.
Contestants - as well as a batch of "understudies" - for the upcoming 5th season of Big Brother Nigeria, are already cloistered in pre-isolation in an unknown facility before they enter the real isolated camera-house on 19 July.
With the growing global coronavirus pandemic, the production company, as well as M-Net West Africa and MultiChoice Nigeria had to make changes to the new 5th season of Big Brother Naija.
The new season will once again be broadcast from Lagos across Africa on MultiChoice's DStv platform, but the impact of the virus has already changed the new season from the pre-production stage to how it will be playing out, produced and look this time.
Over 30 000 online entries were received in May from across Nigeria as producers had to ditch the live audition process.
Neither the number of contestants who will be in the house in the fifth season nor the prize money amount has been revealed, although M-Net says "this season's prize money promises to be bigger, including other surprises for viewers and fans of the show".
The selected contestants are now undergoing stringent Covid-19 and other medical testing during the 2-week wait before they enter the Big Brother Naija house.
"The contestants are currently in quarantine, and we are working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that due protocols are observed in monitoring the contestants," said Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, M-Net West Africa regional director during a virtual media briefing for Big Brother Naija's on Thursday.
"In the case of contestants not being fit for the show, we have a wide pool of qualified contestants that we can choose from," Mba-Uzoukwu said. She said enough potential replacements have been selected as well in case one of the primary housemates fall ill before the show kicks off on 19 July.
Due to social distancing rules, the live audience for the Sunday night eviction shows have been axed, as well as the crowds who used to join the launch programme as well as the conclusion and winner announcement.
There will also be no celebrity visits or other people entering the camera-filled house once the broadcast of the season starts and that will roughly run for three months or 90 days from 19 July as part of measures to ensure "minimal contact with outsiders".
The production crew will also be working in socially-distanced shifts.
The season will once again be broadcast 24/7 on a dedicated Big Brother Naija pop-up channel on DStv in Nigeria and across Africa, with the live eviction shows and weekly highlights programme that will be shown on M-Net's Africa MagicShowcase, Africa Magic Urban and Africa Magic Family channels on DStv.