It’s probably safe to say that Paul Oakenfold isn’t exactly having the best of times right now. Barely weeks ago, he was hit with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and workplace violations. The plaintiff was seeking $25,000 in damages after being employed as Oakenfold’s personal assistant – whilst being paid $20 per hour to do so.
The lurid allegations – which Oakenfold denied and branded “a calculated attempt to tarnish my reputation and extort money” – include claims that he exposed himself and masturbated in front of her on four separate occasions. Indeed, the lawsuit even accuses him of masturbating in front of the employee no less than four times in one day.
This case is currently ongoing – so other than reporting what’s in publicly available legal documents and Oakenfold’s strong denial, Ears To The House cannot comment any further. However, there is another, more immediate matter that will soon need a decision – and it’s one that isn’t in Oakenfold’s hands.
It’s all to do with reality TV show Big Brother. British broadcaster ITV have bought the UK rights to the show – with it having previously been on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2010, and Channel 5 from 2011 to 2018. Both incarnations of the show have had the same theme tune – imaginatively titled the “Big Brother UK TV Theme”.
That song, whose instrumental is ten minutes long, was actually a collaboration between Andy Gray and Paul Oakenfold – who, at the turn of the millennium, was probably one of the most successful DJs in the world. And a snippet of the song was originally used by ITV to promote their acquisition of the rights to the show.
However, the current situation concerning Oakenfold and the sexual harassment case puts ITV in something of a tricky position – and with the new series of Big Brother starting within weeks, executives at the channel could find their hand being forced. An insider told The Sun last month that…
“Asking Paul to remix the track for the new series feels inappropriate as things stand, and it may be that it is used without any changes. But losing it entirely would be a huge shame, particularly as it wasn’t just Paul’s creation in the first place.”
We also gathered that there were previously plans to release the Big Brother theme on streaming sites at the time the new series came along. This plan is currently on hold – the song has never previously been available to stream or download digitally.
Quite how ITV handles this delicate situation remains to be seen…
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