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Oz PM piles into Big Brother

'Get this stupid programme off the air'

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Australia's normally restrained prime minister John Howard has enjoyed a moment of angry enlightenment in demanding that the Down Under version of human zoo Big Brother be taken off the air.

His attack came following police investigations over the weekend into allegations of sexual assault on the show "after a female contestant claimed a man held her down while another rubbed his crotch in her face". No one was charged, but two male contestants were ejected from BB house, the BBC reports.

Howard declared to Australian radio: "Here is a great opportunity for a bit of self-regulation and get this stupid programme off the air. It is just a question of good taste."

Oz BB is broadcast by Network Ten. The company said in a statement: "Big Brother adheres to all broadcasting codes of practice and all relevant rules and regulations." The programme's producers added that two housemates had been evicted "because they broke the programme's rules of conduct".

Australian Big Brother is now in its sixth series. In the UK, the seventh run of the programme has been dogged by controversy, including allegations that the "golden ticket" draw - by which one lucky KitKat purchaser would win the chance to mix it with Britain's premier ensemble of social inadequates - was rigged. The ASA is investigating the claims. ®

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