Friday, January 02, 2009

Liveblog: Celebrity Big Brother

The cost of inviting O'Meara et al on two years back: This year, not only is Celebrity Big Brother sharing a sponsor with "prime time on ITV3", but they're even using the same break bumpers. Oh, the shame.

So, Davina - dressed in an ostrich with Freak-from-Cell-Block-H gloves - is here to detail which C-Listers are prepared to risk everything for a chance to get invited back onto the B-List. Brought to you by Dreams, who must also be quivering alongside the collapse of MFI and the difficulties of their sofa-pushing brethren. Who do you have, Davina?

First: Latoya Jackson. Or possible a marionette Michael Jackson. Endemol could have been cruel, and given her the task of pretending she was her brother for the first couple of days, but they don't.

She claims the luxury bedroom, without even a second thought. Her intro tape is actually quite poignant: "I don't really know the world." She's hoping that Celeb Big Brother will teach her about it. Clearly not been sent tapes of previous years' programmes, then.

"I used to be in a girl group" - yes, it's Mutya, who tries to stress that there's more to her than "ex-Sugababe", but really knows there isn't. "There were a lot of rumours that we didn't get on" she observes, before effectively confirming them.

Her diamond tooth has the unfortunate effect of making her look a little Bugs Bunny when shot half-smiling. Still, at least UK contestants know they're expected to keep up a monologue as they go down the stairs and into the living room. LaToya was like a mime.

Vern Toyer was in Austin Powers, you know. Not that he goes on about it very much. (To be fair, he doesn't really want to drag up Shasta McNasty, does he?). He's got a plan. It's an evil plan. Like, you know, Doctor Evil out the film Austin Powers. Which he was in.

As he goes in - the back way, with a woman who tried to pretend she wasn't there even while he was asking her questions - Davina gushes: "how cute!" Not, of course, that she's be condescending in any way. Oh no.

Is "friend of George Galloway" a new political euphemism? It's used of Tommy Sheridan, who seems convinced that he's famous for his Poll Tax work rather than the nasty business with the News Of The World. Davina is called upon to add a bit of voiceover work to try and keep the legal team happy when he gets to that.

Sheridan seems convinced that he's entering the series "on my terms"; actually, he enters on a sea of boos.

Cut to the house, which is currently attempting to earn its entertainment corn by streaming live pictures of semi-famous people reading off laminated sheets.

Goodness, a woman who is famous for showing her breasts in tired magazines insisting that, hey, she's not like the stereotyped blonde airhead. Lucy Pinder proudly describes herself as "a bit Tory", which must be why she's adopted the free market in looking down her blouse.

"Don't put me in with a bleeding heart liberal" she pleads. Well, nobody has ever accused Sheridan of liberalism, I suppose.

Aaah! Ben from A1! Puppy eyes and... what's this? He's dissing his floppy curtain hair? Thinks it now looked awful? Bah, Ben. So, what have you been up to since you adjusted your hairstyle to fit the thinning at the back, exactly?

"I'm now known as a songwriter and a producer", he claims, bravely.

Adams tells us that he doesn't like going to celebrity hang outs - the people are arrogant, apparently. And, of course, it gets annoying being told that your name isn't on the clipboard.

Time is getting short for the programme - Ben is virtually manhandled through the doors.

Tina Malone lists her cv - "fat, Scouse, funny, bipolar, OCD". Oh, and ex-Brookside. It's cruel to put someone suffering from having been in Brookside into such an environment, surely?

"She's lost four stone seven pounds so far this year" trills Dav excitedly - which is really sticking to a new year's resolution with a vengeance. It turns out Malone has had a gastric band fitted, which sits awkwardly with her proud "I'm fat and healthy" claims on her intro tape.

Don't call it a comeback. Okay, Coolio - how about "a last brief grab for the spotlights before obscurity rolls in to reclaim its own?"

While lisiting his desires to be fanned by a naked young girl - "over eighteen" - he also details his wonderful career. I'm not sure, though, but if you're feeling the need to mention a World Music Award, you could look a little like you're desperate to pad.

He goes in wearing a mask on the back of his head - so it looks like he's walking backwards, if you ignore the mask being a bit crappy. It does have a tattooed tear, though - do you get tattoo tears for being in Big Brother?

At one point, Coolio compares himself to God, in a "I'm not really saying I'm like God, but - hey - you could see how people might get confused, right" tongue-in-cheek way.

Bloody hell, did Liberty X really drag on for six godless years? Michelle 'ooh, I were right fat back then' Heaton is next up. "I was married to Andy Scott-Lee for..." (insert your own 'contractual reasons' punchline here). It turns out that marriage was difficult because of the press interest - presumably in that once the press interest dried up, the marriage ceased to exist, like a light going off as a fridge door slams shut.

She took advice from Jordan and Peter about being on reality TV. It's not recorded if Jordan pointed out that her entire bloody working life has been being on reality TV, but since Lucy Pinder has previously implied Jordan is as thick as a kitten with glue on its paws, probably not.

As Heaton enters, Coolio immediately slides a glass of champagne into her hand. He really is slick.

So, all that vitriol Terry Christian got when he was presenting The Word? That was because all the media commentators wanted his job - which he suggests was "interviewing Sharon Stone and introducing Nirvana", rather than stumbling over the autocue, throwing to Hufty's OB from a nightclub in Goole and inviting people to eat maggots. He does, however, suggest the Word was a "septic T4", which only really underlines that he's not been on television for an age and most teenagers couldn't be blinking in "who's he" bafflement any harder than if Alvar Liddell had been clambering up the scaffolding steps.

He bounds over to Coolio and says "a long time ago, you were on a show of mine". Like he was Lew Grade.

"I guess most people will remember me from Ulrika, the pilot comedy show that somehow the BBC were persuaded to make for me," explains Ulrika, "although I'm also well known for my part in the John Leslie business a few years back." No, alright, she doesn't. Actually, she says that "people still shout 'ka-ka-ka' in the street" - and, sometimes, "look out, there's a bicycle behind you". Ulrika's main job in the house will be to be taller than everyone else, thereby providing a reference point in turmoil.

A quick trip back outside for Davina to run through the names again. Crowd reaction suggests BEN TO WINNN1111!!!; however, when the cameras return to the house, he's stood watching Coolio reading out the rules looking for all the world like an unmarried uncle at a children's party: desperate to be having fun, but with the creeping suspicion that he's made a terrible, terrible mistake.

Still, early days. There's 22 days of this to go.

Lest we forget
Ofcom verdict on CBB 2007
The celebrities enter the 2006 house


Anonymous said...

My favourite bit was when Michelle Heaton said "I was in Liberty X, we lasted for just over six years". Or, more specifically, my subsequent mental image of the other four members of Liberty X sitting in their living rooms, simultaneously spitting their drinks out and gasping "WE'VE SPLIT UP?!"

Anonymous said...

You fecker! Here I am, casually checking your blog one last time before packing and heading orf to Uni, with it's rigidly over-controlled Interwebs access, having had no intention of watching TV and doing essays and, lo, I find Coolio and Tommy Sheridan are in the same confined space for at least a few days. With LaToya Jackson.

Bastard! *puts kettle on*

Olive said...

According to her profile, Lucy Pinder's ambition is 'to hold a monkey'. I can't think of a single way in which that isn't fantastic.

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