Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

White Dee becomes 'Duchess' for CBB

Deirdre Kelly is taking part in the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother (Channel 5/PA)

Benefits Street's White Dee was transformed into the Duchess of Solihull tonight as she became the first contestant to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Former boxing promoter Kellie Maloney and ex-Strictly Come Dancing professional James Jordan were also among the new line-up of 14 people taking part in the Channel 5 show as it kicked off once again.

Others to have a stint in the house are boxing champ Audley Harrison, Edele Lynch who found fame in the Irish girl group B*Witched and the fiance of Kelly Brook, muscle-bound David McIntosh, who had a TV career as Tornado in the Sky1 revival of Gladiators.

Also taking part are Hollywood star Gary Busey, whose film roles include Point Break, veteran actor Leslie Jordan, who had a recurring role in sitcom Will And Grace, and Angelique ''Frenchy'' Morgan, who has appeared in a number of US reality shows.

Dee, real name Deirdre Kelly, rose to notoriety in the Channel 4 documentary series Benefits Street.

She was booed by the crowd as she entered the house, and revealed she felt "very nervous, very apprehensive".

The single mother was given a shock when she given the first task of the new series - to live like a royal for 24 hours.

Big Brother told her: "You will become Dee, the Duchess of Solihull, 21st in line to the throne."

Dee replied sarcastically: "That sounds absolutely amazing."

She added: "I hate it when people use my real name. I think I'm in trouble."

The former Birmingham City Council employee will have to "walk, talk, behave and wave like a royal".

If she can convince Busey, Jordan and Frenchy that she is a duchess then the housemates will dine on champagne and caviar, but if she fails they will live like paupers.

The odds appeared stacked against her until it was revealed that she will be given a makeover.

Maloney - who is favourite to win the show, according to bookmaker William Hill at 2/1 - had success handling the career of Lennox Lewis among others, but withdrew from the sport last year.

It emerged earlier this month that she has been undergoing hormone therapy and now lives as a woman.

Wearing a black dress, pearl necklace and high heels, she said she was "terrified" as she was about to enter the show.

She later revealed that she had never appeared in public wearing that kind of outfit, and admitted: "I nearly pulled out at the last minute."

Maloney was quizzed about the gender change inside the house by Harrison, who dazzled in a bright red suit.

He was stunned when he first saw Maloney, and exclaimed: "F****** hell! Have I got to call you Kellie?"

Maloney quipped: "Yes if you want to get paid for your next fight!"

Harrison went on: "Hats off to you man... go hard or go home."

Dancer Jordan left Strictly this year, although his wife Ola continues to be a part of the BBC1 series which returns next month.

Jordan, who was the second celebrity to enter the house and wore a flat cap, jacket and waistcoat, denied that he would be the bad boy of the show.

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot worse than me about, I'm just a little dancer," he said. "Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll hold my own."

He added that "stupidity" gets under his skin.

Ex-Emmerdale actress Claire King, known for her role as Kim Tate, is also on the show.

She said: "I am a grumpy old woman, but I'm a very funny grumpy old woman.

"I'm going to throw myself into it and really enjoy it."

McIntosh told host Emma Willis: "You've got to put a show on."

There have been reports of pre-launch upsets, with some of the contestants unhappy that other housemates are being given higher fees to take part.

The series features an array of wannabes who have featured in reality TV shows: Stephanie Pratt from reality shows The Hills and Made In Chelsea, Lauren Goodger who has featured in ITV2's The Only Way Is Essex and Ricci Guarnaccio from Geordie Shore.

The list is completed by George Gilbey from Channel 4's Gogglebox.

Celebrity Big Brother is now in its 14th series, with the most recent run earlier this year seeing comedian Jim Davidson victorious.

Tonight's launch came just three days after the most recent run of the normal Big Brother came to a close.

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