Sally Bercow – new columnist for the Daily Star Sunday

Sally and John Bercow

With husband John

Sally Bercow now has a column with the Daily Star Sunday.

The Daily Star Sunday online is a mackerel to hold down – as there is little distinction between it and the Daily Star online – indeed its banner is the ‘Daily Star Sunday – The Daily Star Simply The Best Seven Days A Week’ – so not Daily Star Sunday then! You can’t have a Sunday on a Wednesday – you just can’t!

The Daily Star is owned by Richard Desmond, and among his many other media outlets are The Daily Express and Channel 5 – politically he is to the right if not quite as far as Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch.

Sally Bercow is the wife of the Conservative Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow but she is openly a Labour supporter. A very modern marriage if an attitude that seems to irk the ever dull and curmudgeon Daily Mail. So is this lying down with the Daily Star Sunday just Sally Bercow sleeping with her political foes?

I am assuming that Sally Bercow must have been head-hunted by the Daily Star Sunday rather than she submitting her CV to it!? She was you may know one of the housemates in Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother and alas the first housemate to be evicted – your mealy-mouthed words mean nothing Kerry Katona! It would seem if not Richard Desmond himself then someone in the Daily Star has developed a soft-spot for Sally.

And I assumed and later confirmed that the Daily Star has not seen the Damascus Light and shifted left-wards – the bearded boozy face of Garry Bushell was the first image to greet me when I visited their website earlier today.

The Daily Star Sunday

The Daily Star Sunday – or any day of the week…

I welcome the Daily Star having someone of a different political persuasion writing a column for them. Do any of you know whether a conservative pundit writes for example for The Mirror or The Guardian?

A charge often leveled at online media is that it is a bubble world – like attracting like, like minded souls with like minded beliefs and prejudices – but usually this is a charge from newspaper journalists – who don’t seem to realize the irony! At least with the online equivalents of The Guardian and The Sun those of a different political view are able to visit the sites and post comments of a contrary nature – and do they! Taking delight in posting comments designed to wind up the traditional readership – ethical trolling?! Whereas it is far less likely that a Labour supporter would buy The Sun newspaper so as to write critical letters to it and then that such critical letters would get favourably edited let alone published – and likewise a Tory hoping for the same outcome with The Daily Mirror newspaper. Indeed with the online equivalents of The Sun, The Mirror et al this closed-world bubble is bursting.

Also to the credit of the Daily Star Sunday I came upon this article about possible strike action by British Trade Unions starting November 30. It presented the case for it from the Trade Union Congress General Secretary, Brendan Barber, and the case against it from the Conservative Party Co-Chair, Baroness Warsi, without any editorial comment and/or interference of its own. Though I would have liked the article to have been open to comments from its readers.

Sallly Bercow Celebrity Big Brother

Evicted from Celebrity Big Brother

How many readers of the Daily Star Sally Bercow will bring around to her own world-view may prove to be negligible but I admire them both for getting in bed together.

I was though not able to find her column on their site – I came upon this article on there about her and fellow Celebrity Big Brother Housemate and eventual winner Paddy Doherty and it refers to her as ‘housemate’ not as Daily Star Sunday Columnist!

Hiding her light beneath a (Garry) Bushell – sorry! Not got around to updating their website yet? Only available to read in print?

Does that mean I will have to buy a copy of the Daily Star Sunday and worse be seen buying a copy of the Daily Star Sunday?! Thank Darwin for the Tesco Self-Service Checkout! I can surreptitiously swipe it through with my other Sunday Morning comestibles!

Celebrity Big Brother Channel 5 Launch Show

Channel 5 Big Brother KitchenCelebrity Big Brother kicked off its latest series last night Thursday and its first on Channel 5 after 11 years on Channel 4. Will Channel 5 do it proud?

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?!

Channel 5 Big Brother Sally Bercow

Sally Bercow - Twitterless

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.

Channel 5 Big Brother Bobby Sabel

Bobby Sabel - Mirror, mirror on the wall...

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?

Channel 5 Big Brother Tara Reid

Tara Reid - No scrubs

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.

Channel 5 Celebrity Big Brother Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff

Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff - ex-Mrs you-know-who!

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?!

Channel 5 Celebrity Big Brother Amy Childs

Amy Childs - Essex, have it!

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!

Big Brother and Cheryl Cole – TV Heaven?

Cheryl Cole at Brit Awards 2011

Endemol makers of Big Brother have announced that Channel 5 will be reviving the show following Channel 4’s ending of it last year.

I have mixed feelings about this – I enjoyed Big Brother but probably watched too much of it – Channel 4’s axing was likely the only way I could have been weened off it – and now Channel 5 are to revive it!

And Cheryl Cole to step into Davina McCall’s shoes!  I’m sold, as a big fan of Cheryl too, but this might just be media speculation – there will be a lot I guess as Davina has said she is not interested in compering it again.

It is a hugely expensive show to produce and the audience figures have fallen away over its decade duration so some risk for Channel 5 too – I wonder what other plans they may have for it?

Big Brother does have its share of fame wannabes but the program usually strips that away and gets under the skins of its contestants into their hearts and minds.

My fear is that Channel 5 may not understand that and turn it into a circus with unnecessary gimmicks.

I hope not – time will tell.