I’m hooked on Celebrity Big Brother this year. It had been a while since I’d watched it, remembering the days of horse racing pundit John McCririck demanding his Diet Coke back and Jade Goody entering the house with her ‘colourful’ mother and boyfriend.
But this series has been so different. The gloves have been removed big time by Channel 5 with the introduction of reality TV royalty.
On paper, it’s a very dull line-up. Ex-footballer and now beer belly Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, Cathy Beale from EastEnders, Claire Richards from Steps, Tricia Penrose from Heartbeat and a Page 3 girl with the comedy name Lacey Banghard (and before you laugh too much, that’s her real name).
You could argue that Rylan from The X Factor and jockey Frankie Dettori would be interesting to watch, but on the whole they’re a rather forgettable collection.
Enter Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, an American couple who met and then married on the reality TV series The Hills, set in Beverly Hills.
This was the forerunner to shows like The Only Way Is Essex made here in the UK.
Normally on CBB it’s a showbiz love-in with some backstabbing, but very rarely do things get out of hand or interesting.
Not this time. For the first time ever, these contestants have been open about ‘playing the game’, while all the others have said it’s all about the ‘experience’, not winning.
Heidi and Spencer, now nicknamed ‘Speidi’, said from the start they’re not here to make friends, but to win.
They make constant negative comments about how housemates annoy them and feel no sympathy for those missing their kids.
‘If you miss them so much, why are you on the show?’
Good point ‘Speidi’!
All sounds a bit pathetic, but there’s something so compelling about watching the others outside their comfort zones, confronted by two Americans who don’t mind being rude to their faces.
I can’t wait for the final tomorrow. As almost three million tune in, the addition of the nasty Americans has given Channel 5 its best viewing figures in years.