08 August 2017

As Celebrity Big Brother returns to screens, the Sun TV critic asks what possesses people to watch these nobodies?

POOR old Emma Willis was desperately trying to tease some life into the parade of nonentities, last week.

“I can sense a new housemate,” she fluttered, “And it begins with a D.”

Big Brother
Celebrity Big Brother
Channel 5

The Dalai Lama? Donald Trump?

“They’re about to cross over from the other side . . . ”

Doris Day?

“Hi. I’m Derek Acorah.”


“Sam, my spirit guide, is with me.”

Derek Acorah
Medium rare… psychic Derek Acorah rose to fame by making predictions on television in the 1990s
Channel 5

Though you’ll hear no complaints from me about him.

Even if Sam is a figment of Derek’s imagination, he’s positively A-list compared to most of the people who entered that house on Tuesday.

A familiar story then, on Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother, which took up where the civilian version had left off a few nights previously.

News to most of you, I’d imagine, as the greatest public service Love Island performed was wiping the last series of Big Brother from history.

ITV2’s equally important duty now, of course, is to extend next year’s run by a week or two, so it can do the same to the Celebrity version, which shouldn’t be hard based on recent evidence and the current intake.

Jordan and Marissa
Jordan and Marissa were amongst the ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother contestants that the Sun TV critic had never heard of
Channel 5

Among those I’d genuinely never clapped eyes on before and never wish to see again, were: Marissa Jade, Chad Johnson, Trisha someone, a pair of aching haemorrhoids called Sam Thompson and Jordan Davies, and also Brandi Glanville, who “drinks a lot of wine and says f*** a lot”, and claims she’s one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but also seems to be sitting behind me whenever I get the train to Glasgow.

Others were, I admit, slightly more familiar, but purely because I’m professionally obliged to take an interest in this sort of nonsense rather than any Baftas they may have won.

Sam Thompson
Made in Chelsea’s Sam Thompson had also passed under Ally Ross’ radar
Channel 5

Housemates like Sandi Bogle, off Gogglebox, professional holidaymaker Jemma Lucy, X Factor’s Amelia Lily, Helen Lederer, who’s “the supply teacher of comedy” at a school under very special measures, and Karthik from The Apprentice, who’s still referring to himself as “The big K”, so I see no reason to stop calling him “the little unt”.

These were hardly names to set your pulse racing, as Channel 5 knew very well.

So they attempted to top and tail last week’s launch with the “big” signings.

First to arrive were the clearly fragile Sarah Harding and Barry from EastEnders, who had to perform the opening task with the aid of a hidden earpiece.

If I tell you this involved Barry’s “acting skills”, you’ll be able to guess for yourself just how badly that one went.

Celebrity Big Brother's Sarah Harding turns to CRYSTALS for help after Paul Danan row

Time was, of course, the appearance of Paul Danan, the Godfather of Love Island, would’ve forgiven everything.

And the fact that he arrived wearing a powder blue safari suit, with matching kilt and no socks, did still make me smile.

But there have been too many good series of Love Island in the past few years, and far too many bad ones of Celebrity Big Brother filled with too many hideous nobodies from MTV’s Geordie Shore and Ex On The Beach which, just like Channel 5, happens to be Viacom-owned.

Paul Danan's appearance did manage to make the Sun Critic smile
Channel 5

The irony being, that old fraud Derek Acorah was right for once.

The Big Brother house is haunted, by the ghosts of Jim Davidson, Julie Goodyear, Jack Dee and all the other brilliant series.

My sincerest wish for the show now is that, much like reactor No4 at Chernobyl, it receives a decent burial under 400,000 cubic metres of concrete, ideally with Sam and Jordan still inside.

That’s possibly a bit too optimistic, though, so I’ll settle for Jemma Lucy’s arrival verdict: “In the past I’ve been a bit volatile but I’m going to switch it off this time.”



  • Drug cheat Justin Gatlin ruining a lot more than Saturday night’s television.
  • The BBC failing to realise Who Do You Think You Are? was over the second it declared Danny Dyer rightful heir to the throne.
  • Inside The Factory’s Gregg Wallace sounding like an absolute madman every time he tries to do cheerful bonhomie.
  • The Mash Report gang imagining they aren’t exactly the sort of “attention-seeking t**ts” who infest Edinburgh at this time of year.
  • And self-appointed voice of a generation Nish Kumar, 31, winding up episode three of the show by announcing: “As a representative of the younger generation, let me ask older leave voters a question, why do you hate us?”
    Possibly because they stumbled upon episodes one or two of The Mash Report, though it could be any one of a million other reasons.

Great Sporting Insights

  • Usain Bolt: “I’ve never disrespected Justin Gatlin. Who is he anyway?”
  • Jolyon Palmer: “I’m not superstitious but I’ve burnt my lucky underpants.”
  • Sam Quek: “With Germany out that’s opened up a whole kettle of fish.”
  • Michael Vaughan: “Great accuracy from Ali. He’s hit that right in to the party stand, just to the left of it.”
    (Supplied by Graham Wray.)

TV Gold

How the BBC works (Part 307)

Thursday, 9am: The BBC releases a statement firmly denying any anti-Brexit bias at the corporation, claiming: “The BBC is committed to impartiality.”

Thursday, 7:30pm: EastEnders, for little reason at all, Dot sighs: “I don’t know what the world’s coming to,” and Joyce replies: “It’s Brexit.”

The BBC, committed to impartiality since 1922, but biased again by 20 to eight.


Great TV lies, delusions and virtue signals of the week

  • “Everything we do here is for your own benefit and future happiness” – Make Or Break’s relationship expert Paul Dolan.
  • “I’ve always wanted to meet you, Sarah (Harding).” – Celebrity Big Brother, Derek Acorah.
  • “I pay more attention to women’s football than men’s.” – The Last Leg host Adam Hills who, I’m guessing, has paid to attend a grand total of zero women’s football games.
    Still, as long as he sounds like a hell of a guy . . .


Five minutes into the first head-spinning Exorcist tantrum of Nikki Grahame In Therapy a Channel 5 voice explains: “Nikki has recently decided to come off her medication.”

Though you’d never have guessed.

I hope its chief facilitator, Paul Dolan, won’t mind me saying then that I don’t trust him an inch, on account of his white-rimmed glasses and obvious desire to be famous.

I am, however, quite taken with the wisdom of Make Or Break’s cross-legged sex guru Louise Mazanti, who has a theory that if your genitals aren’t stimulated enough they’re: “Going to sleep.”

Which is 100 per cent true.

Closely followed by the rest of you, I’d imagine, at about 10.10pm every night.

Princess and the gawpers

CHANNEL 4’s tawdry and pretentious documentary Diana: In Her Own Words took 110 minutes to tell us precisely one solid piece of new information, culled from her private video recordings with a speech coach.

Charles and Diana had sex once every three weeks.

Yeah, I know. THAT often.

Channel 4's Diana: In Her Own Words unveiled from her private video recordings with a speech coach

But had they made no bones about their intentions, there’s not a newspaper journalist in Britain who would have had even a moral molehill to stand upon.

They didn’t though.

Channel 4 dressed up its voyeurism as a cross between Game Of Thrones and Panorama, using almost medieval language, lots of old news padding (what’s with the mad cow obsession?), dark hints of a conspiracy theory and some score-settling interviews with the likes of former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe, between pints at his local.

The 110-minute show left viewers with only one new piece of information… Diana and Charles had sex once every three weeks

Most oddly of all, they edited the private footage of Diana to make it look like she was reacting to Charles’ interview with Jonathan Dimbleby and even arching an eyebrow at her own wedding footage.

No purpose or possible good was served by any of it, though, must confess, I am now looking forward to the moment Channel 4 News and Jon Snow next get on their high horse about tabloid intrusion into the royals.

Really really looking forward to it, in fact.


All this week’s entries supplied by ITV’s Cash Trapped, with Bradley Walsh.

“What artificial language was created by Ludwik Zamenhof in 1887?”

Jodie: “French.”

“Noel Coward played prison inmate Mr Bridger in what 1969 film?”

Darren: “Porridge.”

“According to the proverb a rolling stone gathers no what?”

Jodie: “Air.”

“Who was the first horse to win the Grand National three times?”

Jodie: “Black Beauty.”

I think I’m going to like this show, with or without Jodie.

Copycat love is in the air

IN due course gay versions, new versions, winter versions and probably even animal versions of Love Island will appear.

First, though, every weekday night, at 10pm, on Channel 5, we have the deeply unattractive and incompatible version.

A ten-part series called Make Or Break, which features eight on/off couples who’ve created a Club Kontiki meets The Jeremy Kyle Show vibe, out in Mexico, to see if their partner is “the one”.

Make or Break
Channel 5's ten-part series Make Or Break is their answer to Love Island
Elephant House Studios

I could save them all a lot of bother here (they’re not), but to give you an idea of the raw material involved: “Holly’s been dating ex-butler-in-the- buff Karl for four years.

“Her mum hasn’t spoken to him since a picture surfaced of Karl’s genitals clasped in a client’s hands.”

And they are one of the more likeable couples on the show.

Ian Stirling
The show lacks in Love Island's mocking voice over from the hilarious Ian Stirling
Rex Features

The rest of the set-up will be immediately familiar to anyone who watched the recent ITV2 series.

Whereas Love Island had Iain Stirling to tease the contestants and mock Love Island, though, Make Or Break merely has a no frills voiceover, from MasterChef’s India Fisher, and the resort’s relationship experts, who: “Aim to facilitate an environment of total truth.”


Who said the following in the past fortnight?

“These animals are bottom feeders. They’re heading down to the mucky bottom and they’re feeling around using stubby whiskers that cover their lips looking for clams.”

A) Steve Backshall on Wild Alaska Live.

B) The General Secretary of the WI on The Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation.


Angela Merkel and Kathy Burke as Perry, from Kevin & Perry.
Angela Merkel and Kathy Burke as Perry, from Kevin & Perry.

The £69 winner is Phil Spicer, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. Picture research by Alfie Snelling.

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