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Hello and welcome to the beginning of/the entirety of BrokenTV's Celebrity Big Brother 2011 coverage. How so? Well, it's kind of like this: despite everything, we still enjoy Celebrity Big Brother when it's done properly. A couple of genuinely interesting characters in there, or at least someone dislikeable who'll soon be given the chance to show everyone what a deluded buffoon they really are (c.f. that bit where George Galloway claimed he's easily the most well-known of the housemates because "one billion Muslims know who *I* am"), and it's worth investing your time in. Some people you may previously have dismissed as no longer relevant get the chance to prove how entertaining they can still be (the excellently grumpy Dirk Benedict and Leo Sayer), while some you might not have been familiar with use their fifteen minutes to show just how spiffingly game they are (Jermaine Jackson, Mutya Buena). Then there who forget they're on telly and end up showing the nation just how horrible they truly are (Danielle Lloyd, Jo O’Meara, Jade Goody and Jack Tweed), and those who end up being as pointlessly ghastly as you'd suspected the second they stepped onto your screen for the first time ("Donny" "Tourette"). It's a right old tin of Inequality Street and no mistake, and that's why it's always been worth at least the occasional gander.
But this year, the entire series is blighted before the start by a figure more off-putting than any to have sat on the unnecessarily ornate Diary Room chair: Richard Desmond, publisher, businessman and current owner of Channel 5. He also happens to be owner of the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers, a pair of – as anyone who glances at their front pages from time to time will have worked out for themselves – despairingly horrible publications more determined than any other to spread as many hatepacked half-truths as humanly possible, as long as it’ll glean a few more pennies from splutteringly redfaced bigots throughout Britain.
We’re talking about a man who employs a pair of newspaper editorial teams who look at what The Sun and the Daily Mail do, and then think “we can go more downmarket than them - that’ll be the way to go!” One newspaper especially hates Muslims, the other really hates Europe, and they treat those topics mainly by claiming how Muslims and Europe want ALL YOUR MONEY AND FREEDOM. They’re both unabashedly racist, and don’t really mind misreporting facts, blowing non-stories out of all recognition, or even just flat out making shit up to get an extra few quid out of their target audience. When it comes to the Star, we’re talking about a British tabloid SO BAD, even a seasoned tabloid reporter resigned in disgust at the levels of Islamophobia continually published within.
And who’s the person letting this happen? Richard Desmond. As we said up there. Though for once, he’s found a story big enough to knock the Muslims and their secret plans to replace all programming on the BBC with readings from the Koran or whatever from the front page of the Daily Star. And it’s not the aftermath of the rioting taking place throughout England, either.
Even the Star’s supposedly ‘quality’ sister publication found room to splash on Big Brother, alongside a characteristically misleading headline for the main story.
And so, we've made a decision. We'll give the big launch night show a 'target'. Here is a barchart.
...as you can see, there's a tiny bar on the left, which reflects the current level of interest we have in Celebrity Big Brother 2011. There's a big bar in the middle - that reflects how much we hate Richard Desmond. Lastly, over there on the right, is our 'control' bar, just so you know how much we dislike the proprietor of the Daily Star and Daily Express. Currently, it's set at "having every radio station on planet Earth relentlessly play nothing but records by Paramore from now until the day we die", but might change as the programme progresses, depending how bored we get (or are distracted by Hearts vs Tottenham on ITV4).
As each housemate is revealed, we'll adjust the chart accordingly. If, say, someone like Sean Lock or Neil Tennant unexpectedly enters the Big Brother house, expect the chart to zoom upwards. If someone like Lembit Opik or Paris Hilton turns up, get ready for it to plummet. If nothing happens to the chart for a long time, we might have got bored and started watching Torchwood instead. Yeah, things might get *that* bad. Whatever happens during the show, if the bar on the left remains smaller than the bar in the middle at 10.30pm tonight, that's it for Celebrity Big Brother from us.
Oh, and there'll be a special shock-fuelled jolt in the graph should any followers of Islam become a member of the Celebrity Big Brother house, considering the other arms of Richard Desmond's media empire spent so much of their time printing lies about how the billion Muslims who know George Galloway are about to move here to claim double-helpings of benefit payments and gold-plated six-storey council houses.
Given the stories we’ve seen about who'll be appearing in the CBB house, we're not feeling that hopeful about the need to trouble Photoshop much tonight, but time will tell.
BE THERE. (Here.)
IT BEGINS. Just before the start, there was a ‘teaser’ advert, letting us know we’ll be able to see the full version of that bloody annoying Lucozade advert at 9.15pm. Erm, “woo”?
Brain seems to be adept enough at presenting so far. INCISIVE COMMENTARY ENDS.
First up: it’s…. KERRY KATONA. One of those people everyone has heard of, but kinds of wishes they didn’t. WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR THE CHART?
[9.10pm] As reported all over the place, next up is TARA REID. Who was quite good when she was in Scrubs. Though that was only for about three episodes.
[9.20pm] Next? Um, Mickey Rourke’s let himself go. Oh, it’s PADDY DOHERTY. Off of… My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, according to Twitter. We really should have put more negative interest space on our chart, we suspect.
QUICK WIKIPEDIA ENTRY SIZE ROUNDUP: Kerry Katona: 2801 words. Tara Reid: 1339. Paddy Doherty and Amy Childs: NOT ON WIKIPEDIA AT ALL.
[9.25pm] It’s someone from another reality show again. This is going to be a long boring ninety minutes, isn’t it? It’s vacant clone AMY CHILDS. Care.
We would post an updated version of the chart, but it’s so negative at the moment it’s burning a hole in the CONCEPT OF TIME ITSELF.
[9.33pm] Yet another ad break. We make it 703 ad breaks so far, and we’re only 33 minutes in. Meanwhile, people should be chosen by public vote to go on Celebrity Big Brother, whether they want to or not. At gunpoint if necessary. And then not put it on telly. Our vote would be for Piers Morgan.
[9.36pm] Next up, vapid miseryleech DARRYN LYONS, or as he prefers to be known, MR PAPARAZZI. Current status of chart: spinning around in furious rage at twice the speed of the Large Hadron Collider.
[9.40pm] We’re due a MAJOR STAR right about now… Nope, it’s SALLY BERCOW, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons. No wonder Channel 5 are getting all their allocated ad breaks out of the way by 10pm. No-one will be left watching the channel by 10pm at this rate.
[9.50pm] Housemate 7… LUCIEN LAVISCOUNT. Whoever he is. If Paul Ross turned up now, that would actually be raising the bar, you know.
[9.56pm] We’re not going to get a Dennis Rodman or a Michael Barrymore this year are we? OH WAIT… from Baywatch… iiiiit’s…. PAMELA… Oh, PAMELA HASSELHOFF.
CURRENT STATUS OF INTEREST BAR ON BARCHART: so far underground it’s battling with Ray Harryhousen stop-motion skellingtons.
[10.06pm] It’s BOBBY [waits for name to appear on screen] SABEL. Channel 5 paid LOADS of money to get the rights to Big Brother. This is what they do with it. It’s like us buying a brand new Lexus, then only using it to keep our recycling in.
[10.10pm] The final guests: the ones that all the money was spent on. It’s…. ONLY THE BLOODY CHUCKLE BROTHERS! Nah, not really, it’s JEDWARD.
That means we can complete our chart AT LAST.
We do actually like Jedward – they’re wholly uncynical, managing to see the entire world through magical pairs of contact lenses that make even the most mundane things seem magical, and seem to be genuinely nice human beings. Considering everything else though, we can’t really imagine feeling compelled to trouble the ‘5’ button on our remote control over the next few weeks.
Unless we’re watching another channel that has a 5 in it.
And if we do, we won’t be admitting it.
[11.08pm] My, viewing figures DO come through quickly these days. Tomorrow’s Daily Star went to press as the programme was starting, but they’ve still somehow found out that the show has achieved a “RECORD AUDIENCE”:
We’ll leave the last word to Danny Baker, we think.