Oily MP George Galloway rounded on Faria, saying: "The idea that people who watch this show are bigots is preposterous. Most of the people who've won have been from minorities of one kind or another."
We can use statistics here. Excluding people who walked out, and using my judgment of ethnicity, the contestants on ordinary BB break down as follows:
BB1. 11 contestants, 2 black/Asian.
BB2. 11, 3,
BB3. 12, 3.
BB4. 13, 3.
BB5. 13, 2.
BB6. 16, 5.
Now, if there’s no prejudice of any kind, every contestant would have an equal chance of winning. But in fact every winner has been white.
The probability that this could happen by chance in a non-racist contest is simply the product of the probabilities of a white winner in each series. That is, 9/11 x 8/11 x 9/12 etc. This comes to 20%, 4 to 1.
This, I guess, is sufficiently low that it won’t shake Faria’s Bayesian prior that there is racism in BB.
Her opponents will reply that 4 to 1 shots do come in. 20% is well above the significance levels usually required to accept a hypothesis in classical statistics.
The issue, then, is not merely: are people racist? It’s: what form of statistical reasoning do we use?
But here’s a simple test. If we assume that one-quarter of future housemates will be black or Asian, then there’s a less than 5% chance that the winners of the first eleven series will all be white.
So, if we haven’t gotten a black or Asian winner in five years’ time, Faria’s theory will be looking good by the standards of conventional statistics.
Personally speaking, for the time being, I’m prepared to go with Faria. Lots of other bald men have.