A new group of housemates are to enter the Big Brother house this evening.

The ninth series of the show launches at 21:00 BST on Channel 4 this evening, and producers have stressed that this year's contestants will not have an easy ride.

While the house - given a traditional annual revamp - includes a luxury bedroom equipped with double-bed, velvet cushions and a walk-in closet - it also features a dormitory-style room complete with short beds and uncomfortable blankets.

The diary room has been moved under the house stairs to increase the sense of isolation when talking to Big Brother and the garden in the new house includes a 'jail' of sorts, with a small area barred off from the rest of the lawn.

"We are sick and tired of housemates coming to the diary room asking to leave and talking to each other about nominations," executive producer Sharon Powers told the BBC.

"We're not going to tolerate rule breaking. If housemates break the rules, you have to spend the night in jail."

Producers also confirmed that this year's housemates will also be forced to grow their own vegetables on this year's show.

Though Dermot O'Leary has quit his duties as host of Big Brother's Little Brother, Davina Mccall remains as the live show host and will welcome this year's housemates on tonight's live launch.

However, executive producer Phil Edgar-Jones denied that the show was on its last legs.

"Certainly in the build up there's much more excitement about it this year than last year," he claimed.

"Ratings are not my main concern while I'm making it."

05/06/2008 00:01:02