This famous TV chair now helps people open up about mental health

This famous TV chair now helps people open up about mental health

Recognise this chair? You may well do because it’s had a busy and productive life! This chair has been the star of not one, but two major TV series’, toured all around the UK including an appearance at Glastonbury Festival and is now helping people open up about mental health issues. 

This TV chair’s first on-screen appearance was in Big Brother. The most important piece of furniture in Big Brother is of course the diary room chair. Each year the chair is uniquely designed for each series with a different look and feel. The first diary room chair was a classic egg chair and they gradually become more and more ostentatious each year. By the 8th Big Brother we were presented with this futuristic neon chair like something out of Tron

Big Brother 8 diary room chair
Big Brother 8 diary room chair

Having originally appeared in 2008’s diary room this statement chair had a second on-screen life in Charlie Brooker’s British television horror serial Dead Set starring Jaime Winstone, Liz May Brice and Beth Cordingly. 

Inspired by films such as 28 Days Later (2002), The Walking Dead (2003-present) and Zombie Creeping Flesh (1982), Dead Set which aired on E4 over five consecutive nights, chronicled a zombie outbreak that strands the housemates and production staff inside the Big Brother House. It quickly becomes a shelter from the undead. 

Dead Set film set
Dead Set film set

In an article in The Guardian, Brooker wrote: “I was watching Big Brother when a thought struck me. All zombie movies eventually boil down to a siege situation. What better place to hide than a fortified house thronged with cameras? Every person in the country must’ve fantasised at some point about what would happen if some terrible apocalypse occurred during a run of Big Brother, leaving the contestants oblivious” thus Dead Set was born. 

Dead Set diary room
Dead Set diary room

After Dead Set filming finished, the TV chair was then donated by Zeppetron (part of Endemol) to Film and Furniture’s charity partner the Reuse Network in 2013 to help them in their vital work in supporting more than 200 furniture reuse charities in the UK alleviate poverty, reduce waste and tackle climate change. 

The Big Brother/Dead Set chair has travelled with the Reuse Network raising awareness of reuse at trade exhibitions, conferences and even made an appearance at Glastonbury Music Festival bringing ‘waste back from the dead’. 

Dead Set diary room
Dead Set diary room

Reuse Network member Refurnish Doncaster now use this TV chair to highlight the issues of mental health and encourage people to discuss them openly.

Refurnish opened in Doncaster in 2003 with the ambition of preventing perfectly functional furniture from ending up as waste in landfill sites. They wanted to promote the ethos of recycling and environmentally sustainable living by collecting and restoring this furniture so that it could be sold to local people at affordable prices. Beginning in a small way, one success led to another and they now have grown into a unique and vibrant social enterprise operating from several locations in and around Doncaster.


Read more about our charity partnership with the Reuse Network >

Got any furniture you wish to find a second home for? 

Individuals and members of the public can find their nearest Reuse Network member via the search facility on their website.
Donations from companies, retailers and film studios are also very welcome – contact Reuse direct on [email protected] / 0800 085 8339

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