The reality is TV craze has hooked lots of fans

IT captivates television audiences every night.

Whether it's watching a group of people trapped in a house on Big Brother, or a group of celebrities mixing with the glitz and glamour of ballroom dancing, Mackay viewers are joining the craze.

So what is our obsession with reality television?

Gossip, and because it was on at dinner time, were two reasons for avid Big Brother watcher Jodie Cork.

''I must admit I do enjoy watching some of the shows,'' the Mackay hairdresser said.

While she never got into shows like Survivor and Amazing Race, Ms Cork said all of the shows appealed to a different audience.

And like most of the generation between 18 and 35, it was shows like Big Brother and the Biggest Loser that appealed to her.

''It's how you relate to the show that really gets you into it,'' she said.

''I know with Big Brother it is a big conversational point with a lot of my customers and I have found that most of the younger people do watch it.''

Fascination was another big part in our obsession, said University of Queensland media studies lecturer Dr Toni Hanson-Woods.

It also mirrored experiences close to home she said.

''It's quite surprising because the people we watch on these shows can actually tell you more about yourself than you actually think,'' she said.

''To see how people cope in different situations that we could possibly be in is another key factor in what they watch.''

Dr Hanson-Woods said it was also easier than many people thought to get hooked on the shows.

''They promote 'couch chat' and reality television is now just another part of our television scheduling.''

''People should be very careful about how they label reality television because reality TV will be with us forever.