Controversial Big Brother star's amazing transformation: 'He looks so different!'

Fans were shocked to see how much Merlin Luck, who was responsible for one of the most shocking TV moments of the early noughties has changed.

Merlin on stage holding a piece of fabric saying 'Free the Refugees' with Big Brother host Gretel Killeen.
Merlin refused to speak after being evicted from the Big Brother house in 2004. Photo: Channel 10

When Big Brother housemate Merlin Luck walked out onto the eviction stage holding a sign that said, "Free The Refugees", it quickly became one of the most memorable moments in Australian television history. Now, a whole two decades later, photos of Merlin at a Big Brother Season 4 reunion have surfaced and fans are shocked by how different he looks.

Bree Amer shared an Instagram post featuring photos of the reunion, and fans couldn't believe the drastic difference in Merlin's appearance.

Merlin Luck (left) and with the other 2004 contestants (right).
Fans were shocked by Merlin Luck's appearance when photos of a recent Big Brother reunion were shared online. Photo: Instagram

During the 2004 Big Brother season, Merlin was in his twenties, wore loose clothing and had spiky, dark brown hair. Now in his forties, Merlin’s sporting silver hair, glasses and an overall more polished look.


“I can’t believe Merlin!!” one commenter wrote on 2004 housemate Bree Amer’s Instagram post.

“He has grown up so much, well of course he has but I wouldn’t have recognised him!!!” the commenter continued.

Merlin and Bree — who was wrongfully evicted before returning to the house and placing runner-up — were also joined by winner Trevor Butler, Nova’s Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald, Australian Idol producer Wes Denning, Big Brother commentator Mike Goldman and more for the 20-year reunion.

“Merlin is giving Jeff Goldblum vibes,” one commenter wrote on winner Trevor’s reunion post, accompanied by the love-heart eyes emoji.

“He was looking the goods on the night,” Trevor, who went on to the star in the 2022 Big Brother All Stars edition, replied.

Fans were also shocked to see another unexpected transformation in the photos, that of Merlin and fellow housemate Paul Dyer’s relationship, which appears to have mended since the 2004 season.

Merlin and Paul deep in conversation (left) and embracing (right).
Merlin had some tensions with Paul Dyer while in the house. Source: Instagram

During the show airing, Merlin and Paul were part of one of the most explosive arguments in Big Brother history when a discussion about Merlin’s Australian citizenship status arose.

“So good to catch up with nearly all my housemates again and I spent most the night with Merlin just chatting about life in general,” Paul wrote to accompany his 20-year reunion snaps on Instagram.

“Omg is that Merlin!!! He has changed soooo much!!!” someone commented on Paul’s photos of the pair.

Merlin was in the Big Brother house for 43 days before walking onto the eviction stage with tape across his mouth and holding a sign reading ‘Free The Refugees’.


He refused to speak or answer any of Gretel’s questions while live on air in protest, causing shockwaves in lounge rooms across Australia.

Merlin later admitted to that he sewed the sign into the shirt he wore on his first night in the house.

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