Did we like it?
An old maxim ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ applies as for the first time in its history BB – which during that period has been the bastard child of insipidity – has been coerced into innovation. And while they’ve scurried for the safety of the celebrity den once more, the opener had more fun and comedy than the previous four editions of the combined ‘franchise’ had in total. It was still quite poor, though.
What was good about it?
• Matt Lucas, who laughs in the same way children chase butterflies, set the task for the hapless John demanding that he follow his exact orders on what to say and do to the arriving housemates. The highlights were: telling Jeremy he looked like Harry Potter, collapsing with cramp, claiming to have “tongued” Emilia and asking if Jay had “a stick-on beard”. The problem with making John act like a lunatic was that pretty soon people ignored him, making it more difficult to ambush the later housemates who were all caught up in the universal eddy of excitement; ultimately at that point he may as well have been trying to burst balloons with his kidneys.
What was bad about it?
• Dermot O’Leary’s assertion that the format shouldn’t have been changed that had the same stench of self-preservation (even if he’s jumped ship to an equally moribund ‘reality’ show) as a tyrant suspending democracy because of some nebulous terror threat. “It conjured up debate and asked serious questions,” he argued.
• We saw the ‘serious debate’ in India where myriad crude effigies of C4 head honcho Andy Duncan ‘debated’ the racism through the medium of self-conflagration; Jo O’Meara’s tears got their own chat show; Danielle Lloyd spoke with the eloquence of a broken window until once more men started to stare at her chest and women gobbled up celebrity sewage in magazines; and the English language beat a heroic retreat in the style of Dunkirk from the mouth of Jade Goody.
• After two housemates had entered his scepticism was dispelled and he was back to leading the clichés from his mouth like oblivious pigs to slaughter with, “This is brilliant!” even though there hadn’t been anything approaching brilliant on the screen other than John huffing and puffing trying to polish his mendacity into believability.
• He then followed it up with “This is genius, this is brilliant and it can only get brillianter!”
• The adverts were clearly targeted with the same precision as Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle – “Sarah Harding and her new man in Paris!” blared one, but Oswald’s actions lack the potency to cause the collapse of Western civilisation, an urgent harbinger of which appears to be that the BBC have employed Mark Frith as their new news editor for what else could explain the coverage of Julia Roberts’ birthday and Britney Spears’ dull descent into insanity.
• No matter how many enforced ‘innovations’, ‘twists’ and ‘celebrities’, it will soon devolve into just another Big Brother with bickering housemates, tedious tasks and eviction crowds filled with more hate than a seething lynch mob.
• Ian Wright is bloody terrible. He talks to the housemates as though he were God moonlighting as a sex line host; and being a footballer he has no intrinsic sense of imagination and so each of his tasks will either be feeds from producers or forged by himself with the same creativity as a swarm of bees baffling Lionel Blair in a game of Give Us A Clue.
John: The Chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament seems perpetually on the verge of exploding and accordingly wears a kilt in the same way a volcano wears lava.
Calista: Another of those young female singers who are gutted of all imagination at an early stage and sent out like gladiators to win the favour of dead-eyed lawyers, accountants with stakes for legs, stock brokers with mortgage application forms for hearts, estate agents with Champagne for blood and bank managers with cannon balls for testicles.
Anthony: A boxer who poses with such onanistic relish that Adonis will be tuning in for some tips.
Emilia: Has a malevolent smile that can bend the whole of space and time to contract it into the shape of a little jack-in-the-box filled with Davina McCall reduced to her true constituent form as a slick of cackling black oil.
Victor: Emilia’s brother who was born in Birmingham but who speaks as if there’s a bar room brawl taking place in his mouth.
Jeremy: Has eyebrows so sneering they have probably sat the Eton entrance exam, while his face tapers off into chinless void that doesn’t show up on any air traffic control scanner.
Amy: Is an artist and likeable, especially when placed among the rest of the housemates.
Latoya: “I’ve been in Craig David’s video,” she boasted, a claim only slightly less embarrassing than crowing that you’ve actually been inside Craig David – an experience that borstal boys often have to go through to drain them of individuality, dignity and sperm.
Jay: “Elle magazine ran backstage and said ‘I love your clothes’,” he simpered. “Naomi Campbell was front row and Damon Dash was an ambassador.” We don’t know what’s worse – the prospect of a brainless fashion magazine read by people who curdle faster than boiling milk coming to life and sprinting “backstage” or the eulogising of the second least relevant person of the 1990s (behind Liam Gallagher post-1995) and a hip-hop producer with less credibility and talent than Vanilla Ice.
Nathan: The zenith of his fledgling career was when his album got 4/5 in The Sun, a paper that also endorses bigotry, xenophobia and hate.
Liam: His hair circles his head like hazy dust clouds orbiting a newly-formed star, while occasionally straggling down like a garrotte used to silently assassinate unwary sentries. Has that irritating habit of massaging girls’ next in the hope of initiating foreplay.
Jade: Won a place in the house because she supposedly is in possession of the mutually exclusive qualities of beauty and brains when in fact there is less correlation between beauty and stupidity and ugliness and intellect as the wit of Steve Davis’ ex-snooker cue and the chances of this evening’s National Lottery bonus ball of becoming the next Doctor Who.