MENTION Big Brother to anyone Scottish, and only one person springs to mind - Kilwinning man, and series nine runner-up, Michael 'Mikey' Hughes.

So when ITV 2 announced they would be relaunching the reality TV show, after Monday night's (August 1) Love Island final, there was only one man to ask about it.

Mikey described the moment he heard the infamous Big Brother theme tune, as the broadcaster teased the return.

He said: “I’ve not slept, you wouldn’t believe it, but the theme tune, it just sends a shiver up your spine.

“Love Island was such a flop, such a lame show, and then the Big Brother theme tune came on and you just think, 'this is reality TV', not this coupling up nonsense.

“I was never into couples in the Big Brother House, and watching the Love Island final, I’m thinking 'nah, Big Brother is the daddy'.”

We still have some time to wait until the diary room, tasks, shopping lists and bust-ups will be on display once more - with the intended return set for autumn of 2023.

There has been plenty of fanfare around the comeback, though Mikey wasn't so sure.

He commented: “I’m in favour of it not coming back, because it died a death, and I don’t know how they’re going to revamp it, that’s the problem they’ll have.

“I’m blown away by the interest this time, because it wasn’t like this when Channel 5 took it over.

“There definitely is a spring in its step, I wish it well, I hope it goes well, maybe I’m too much of a sceptic, because we’ve seen it all before; how do we keep it fresh?

“Good luck to them, if they want to do it that’s fine, I’m not a television producer, I don’t need to worry about it.”

The world as a whole has certainly changed since the Kilwinning man appeared in the show in 2008.

Advances in technology, and the digital world, have left Mikey pondering whether the show can ever be what it was.

He continued: “You’ve got social media now, when I went on Big Brother there was no social media, the landscape has changed.

“I mean what the hell is an Insta influencer? There was none of that when I was in Big Brother, there was no such thing. Not that I ever wanted to be one, but that option wasn’t there.

“That’s the problem with it all, you can get sucked into it, and it’s such an insular thing, the social media bubble.”

That led the former runner-up - a result we still feel aggrieved by - to bring up a serious issue that the show will have to cope with.

Since his Big Brother stint, Mikey has moved on, earning himself a PHD and becoming an author this year, with Routledge book 'Anarchy of Nazi Memorabilia'. Though he is well aware not everyone was able to put their time on the show behind them.

He said: “Everybody has moved on, the only people that haven’t moved on, well they’re really struggling.

“Look at Nikki Grahame, that’s the other problem you’ve got, people seem to forget about that."

Nikki Grahame died in April 2021 due to anorexia nervosa complications. She appeared on four different series of the show, beginning in 2006.

Mikey continued: “That’s the problem with Big Brother, it’s like Hotel California, once you’ve checked in you’ll never check out, and we knew that when we signed up.”

This wasn't the only issue Mikey felt ITV would encounter, after taking on the former Channel 4, then Channel 5, show.

He continued: “I went on, and I just done my own thing, but the contestants now will be so clued up.

“If I was looking for love, I wouldn’t go on a reality TV show. I went on Big Brother for the experience, that’s the difference with Love Island, it’s totally geared towards couples.

“Now, I’m not sure what the Big Brother next year is going to be geared towards, that’s what everybody is scratching their heads about.

“I read the blurb last night and it said new tasks, and that’s fine, but half the fun in our year was not through tasks, it was through conflict and housemates.”

It is fair to say, in his time in the Big Brother House, Mikey provided some of the most memorable moments in the show's history.

From his reaction to eating some rather hot chillies, to the 'mild obscenities after being struck by a stray basbeall when trying to enjoy a dip in the pool - Mikey always had us in stitches.

These are times Mikey is often asked to recreate though, “Those were unscripted moments, and they will not be repeated,” he said.

Not being able to live up to the expectations of fans of the past is something he also expects to be an issue.

He added: “You disappoint the fans, they want to see the same thing, look at Neighbours, we’ve got so much nostalgia, but the problem with nostalgia is you cannot recreate it.”

So what about Mikey now, what exactly has the former star of our screens been up to since the show?

As mentioned above, he earned his PHD, and had his first book published this year. He now fills his time writing fiction, with hopes of one day getting a book out there.

He said: “There was a lot of distraction after Big Brother.

“I literally sat down in my house for 20 hours a day for four years, gave up the whole lot, and if I hadn’t done that there would have been no PHD, it’s as simple as that.

“That only comes through inner character, that seen me through Big Brother.”

We posed one final question to Mikey, knowing what he does now, would he recommend anyone to apply for the show when it relaunches?

He answered: “I would honestly say guys, just don’t do it, don’t do Big Brother next year. That’s the best advice I could give.

“I don’t know why they do it, lives have been ruined.

“It’s a gamble, you’re gambling with your life, you’re gambling with your family’s life. It’s an individual decision but I would advise to stick to the day job.

“If you’ve not got a day job then why not risk it, but if you’ve got a good, decent day job, just stick to that.”