There was a time in my life when Celebrity Big Brother was the ideal distraction during the cold, uneventful weeks of January. The rows, the insanity, the petulant bottom lip of Christopher Biggins – what larks! It gave me the wholesome, old-fashioned thrills of a Victorian sideshow. Good job we’re nothing like those loonies, eh?
Then 2017 happened, and there is no such thing as uneventful any more. The world immediately become one giant BB house of exhibitionist gobshites, each more stupid than the other, lying, preening, saying anything for a reaction – and everything flipped into the Upside Down. Now Celebrity Big Brother is just ORDINARY LIFE. Your sister, with her Snapchat kitten ears and dramatic relationships is Sarah Harding, your right-wing auntie is Coleen Nolan, and you have a horrible feeling that you might be either Calum Best or a glamour model that nobody has ever heard of called Nikkkkkki or Lindzay. Either that or you are Kim from How Clean is Your House? (If so, seek immediate medical help.)
On top of that, the stark reality is that Big Brother is an ailing franchise, like an unpopular branch of Chicken Cottage next to a ring road. It either needs a complete refurbishment and new business model, or the shutters should be firmly pulled down.
So what do you do? How do you make anyone care? Well, the producers seem to decide to make it an all-girl Brexit-themed catfight, (at least for the first few days before the men were allowed in).
There have been dark rumblings about the appearance of Katie Hopkins, who will descend on the place with nostrils and hate speech flaring
Yes, we’ve had #resist and #metoo and now we have #arrrrrgh. New recruits include Rachel Johnson, Ex-Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, transgender newsreader India Willoughby (no idea, either) and that well-known political firebrand Ashley James, from Made in Chelsea, facing off about the issues of the day. Just pour in a gallon of prosecco, put some Mariah on and watch the sparks fly!
Perhaps Channel 5 is seriously attempting to get on the cover of Time with this bold, fourth-wave feminist move, but I very much doubt it. Instead, they’re probably hoping for boobs, hair-pulling, and some sapphic action in the Diary Room. More disturbingly, there have also been dark rumblings about the appearance of Katie Hopkins, who will descend on the place with nostrils and hate speech flaring, and three days later will revert to her real personality – a sad, insecure individual who will do anything for cash and attention.
Unless they helicopter in Biggins and Pat Butcher smoking a massive doobie halfway through, it feels like this series will surely represent the death knell of CBB. The shutters are crashing down on this haunted fun house. The last lukewarm, fake argument has been served. Time to turn the Big Brother house into a nail bar. Or better still, a community centre with a foodbank.