Channel 5 is lower brow than Channel 4 – its owner Richard Desmond also owns the Daily Star and pornography channels such as Television X & Red Hot TV – and there have already been series spoiler stories about a 24 hour bar and having to bath in public – this latter is now confirmed!
But equally they air a lot of quality US shows in particular crime ones like CSI, The Mentalist and Castle.
But Big Brother is now their own commission not something they have bought in – and the list of their watch-worthy homegrown shows is a small one – The Gadget Show, Fifth Gear umm, anything else?!
I am not a great fan of celebrity reality television either – it is almost as if the programmers are saying this is not a show you would ordinarily watch unless we include some celebrities for you. The BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing for example sets up to sell us ballroom dancing with the inclusion of the likes of Felicity Kendall and Patsy Kensitt – whereas I would watch a show about ballroom dancing if it were us mere mortal members of the public – as soon as it becomes celebrified I have no interest as the quality is inevitably going to be reduced to the random choice of available celebrity participants.
Celebrity Big Brother is the exception – it is the one celebrity reality show that gets under the skin of the celebrities – at least after the opening show and first few days when they start to let their showbiz masks down and we see more of their personalities revealed.
Those exposing themselves in this way for this series are certainly not A-list and the closest yet to Z-list.
However the lack of celebrity punch on this line up does not mean that the series will be a turn off rather that the series will have to rely even more on their personalities and antics to maintain viewing figures.
The opening show pulled in over 5 million – a promising start but that could just be Big Brother loyalists tuning in for ‘Big Brother Life After Channel 4’ – will they stick around though?
Kerry Katona and Jedward are perhaps the most well known – and Kerry Katona more so for her troubled home-life under the prying paparazzi eye then her brief singing stint in Atomic Kitten. Perhaps ironically, perhaps deliberately one of the other housemates is Pap Photographer Darryn Lyons. What is the Paparazzi to such celebrities but their lifeblood as their parasite?
Jedward are as renown as much for being twins as their X-Factor fuelled Pop Career
Not though the first Big Brother twins, remember the Staffordshire sisters Samantha and Amanda Marchant? – coined Samanda! – from Series 7 – and they Samanda should have won not Brian Belo – I don’t froget! – like them I will be interested to see if their own personalities get aired beyond the joint personality of their pop act and twindom.
The show also includes two spouses – which can be a sign of desperation in the selection process – though in the first spouse Sally Bercow‘s case she is as famous in her own right as her husband and House of Commons speaker John Bercow. She should bring some intellegence to the show – assuming that is there is anyone else in there to provide her mutual stimulation.
The other spouse is Pamela-Bach Hasselhoff – not even a current spouse but an ex – can you guess who her husband was? I think you can! She is one of two Americans on the show the other being actor Tara Reid of American Pie fame (and briefly in Scrubs) who looked quite bemused if not bewildered by proceedings. She also claims to have never watched Big Brother – can there really be people who have never watched Big Brother even if they detest the show?!
There is one British actor – and eye candy – Lucien Laviscount – who you may not be familiar with unless you are a fan of British Soaps, having appeared in Waterloo Road and Coronation Street.
Further eye candy in the shape of a male-model is Bobby Sabel – despite my comment about Z-listers the others I have at least seen before whereas this model is neither known to me by his handsome face or memory-friendly moniker.
Finally we have two housemates themselves famous for being on other reality TV shows. Amy Childs was on ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex and Paddy Doherty described as a Traveller Boxer was on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
Channel 5 are certainly a little audacious then in claiming these housemates as celebrities and whether the viewing figures will continue to hold up to five million will depend in any case on what they get up to not on how famous they are.
There are enough differences of age and background and enough egos in there to suggest that the exchanges between them could be lively and interesting.
As said it is still too early to make any grand assertions.
We need to wait for the fanfare and brouhaha to recede and the banality and the friction to ascend. Stifles pantomime villain evil cackle!
- Celebrity Big Brother: 5 million tune in for launch show (mirror.co.uk)
- Tara Reid Enters The UK ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ House [PHOTOS] (socialitelife.com)
- Which record did Big Brother break? (themediablog.typepad.com)