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!

Politicians professional twitter – get tweeting real!

Please politicians do not tweet unsweet nothings into my ear.

I recently started following Sarah Brown the wife of Gordon our last Prime Minister. I was impressed that she had a twitter account but a little disappointed if not surprised that most of her tweets were carefully crafted professional pronouncements. This alas is the way generally with our politicians and their partners.

What I like about twitter is the warts and all of a member off message as well as on.  I don’t follow twitterers who tweet their schedules or who tout their latest merchandise – and in the case of politicians their party manifestos and latest political positions.

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

I am following Ed Miliband – as the new leader of Labour since September 2010 I thought it would provide an insight to him beyond the party spin machine and media rinse.  Not so – the whips or whoever, have truly gotten to him and his tweets are so unremarkable I cannot remember a single one – I am sure they were supportive of motherhood and apple pie and though I share many of his political views if I want to find out about them I can do so on the Labour Party website.

When former Labour leader Gordon Brown remarked that he listened to The Arctic Monkeys and our current PM that he enjoyed Lark Rise to Candleford of a Sunday evening – it felt a bit scripted but at least they were revealing a bit more about themselves beyond their party positions. I would much rather know how Ed Miliband is feeling about the performance of his favourite sports team or what gadget David Cameron just bought or what music Nick Clegg is currently listening to.

In the interests of this post I did have a search for David Cameron’s tweets but he does not have a Twitter account though he does have quite a few fake ones such as David Scameron with the strapline ‘Saving Broken Britain by building the Big Society whilst putting the Tory into history!’

Nick Clegg does have a Twitter account and it is another political pulpit – professional and unmemorable.

Where Twitter can betray interesting facts about a politician is by listing who they follow!  And Nick follows a few British comedians such as Ross Noble and Armando Iannucci.  He still has a sense of humour!

There are plenty of spoof Nick Clegg accounts too including Nick Clegg’s Soul with strapline “I am Nick Clegg’s Soul that he hasn’t lost, apparently. I know what he thinks even when he is saying the opposite, which is quite often these days”!

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond leader of the Scottish National Party also has an account and it too is a dull affair. Again a number of spoof accounts including ‘Alex Salmond MP – Self-appointed King of Scotland, I shall deliver this land from sleepwalking into Communism.’ Sounds like the account of a disgruntled Scottish Tory – there aren’t many of them – Scottish Tories that is gruntled or otherwise!

I thought I would check out too the account of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has someone who can go off message. His tweets have their fair share of pronouncements from his Mayoral office and party positions but does at least comment on events beyond the political sphere and with some passion too.  And he is following opposition leaders! Such as Ed Miliband for one – keeping tabs on the other side no doubt – I am sure like me disappointed though with the scripted content!

Sally Bercow – interesting tweet tweet!

My favourite political tweeter is Sally Bercow not a politician but rather the wife of the Conservative Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow – and remarkable as quite open about her views which are supportive of the Labour Party.

Would our leaders’ partners prove more illuminating then?

I could not find an account for Sam Cameron – plenty of fake and unflattering ones – which clearly goes with the territory of being a politician or their spouse.  Nor was I able to find a twitter account for Ed Miliband’s soon-to-be wife Justine Thornton.

Of course it is quite possible that some politicians and their close family members are posting under false names – something that we the great unwashed would never do!  I came upon one account for Miriam Durantez wife of Nick Clegg with just one tweet – ‘Honey calm down por favor’ – clearly fake! Alex Salmond’s wife Moira is also victim of a fake account as Moira McFish and referred to has the First Lady Of Scotland!

I guess politician’s children not their spouses are likely to be more natural and at ease with Twitter – alas our current political leaders either do not have children or they are too young to be tweeting – though I don’t think you have to be that old to tweet!

If you know of any politicians especially leaders of their parties that tweet beyond party political banalities please let me know.

Now Cherie Blair – I bet she has a lot of interesting tweet to share!