Belfast Telegraph

Big Brother: Controversies over the years

From Shilpa Shetty to Roxanne Pallett, it has never stopped making headlines.

Big Brother may have suffered dwindling viewing figures but it has not stopped causing controversy over the years. Here are some of its biggest moments:

The Shilpa Shetty race row

Still remembered as one of the most controversial moments in the show’s history dating back to 2007, it saw the late Jade Goody, S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara and former beauty queen Danielle Lloyd directing abuse at Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

Complaints from viewers soared to 45,000 over behaviour that included Goody referring to the star as Shilpa Poppadom, Lloyd telling Shetty, in foul language, that she should go home to India, and an argument over Shetty cooking a chicken in which offensive comments about Indian cooking were made.

Shetty went on to win CBB that year as Ofcom ruled against Channel 4 and the channel apologised on air.

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Shilpa Shetty entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in January 2007 (Yui Mok/PA)

Christopher Biggins removed for causing ‘widespread offence’

The pantomime star was removed from the show in 2016, after he reportedly joked about Nazi concentration camps to Jewish housemate Katie Waissel, causing her to burst into tears.

He also reportedly made remarks about bisexual people being responsible for the spreading of Aids.

But while many viewers fought his corner, CBB commented: “Since entering Big Brother, he has made a number of comments capable of causing great offence to housemates and the viewing public… Big Brother does not tolerate offensive language capable of causing widespread offence.”

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Christopher Biggins was removed from the house for making offensive remarks (Ian West/PA)

Jeremy Jackson removal

The former Baywatch star was thrown out of CBB in January 2015, and then given a police caution, for pulling open the dressing gown of glamour model Chloe Goodman while he was drunk.

A concerned Goodman had followed him to the toilets where he went to be sick, but emerged in tears shortly afterwards.

Just days later, comedian Ken Morley was also ejected over repeated sexist and racist comments.

David Gest’s mistaken death

More than 200 people complained in 2016 after Channel 5 aired scenes where Tiffany Pollard mistakenly thought fellow contestant David Gest had died.

The reality star became hysterical when Angie Bowie confided in her that “David’s dead”, referring to the demise of her former husband David Bowie from cancer outside the house.

Gest’s unfortunate timing for a nap led to a mix-up.

Gest died three months later, and Pollard was forced to pull David Is Dead slogan T-shirts from her website.

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David Gest died months after appearing on Celebrity Big Brother (Ian West/PA)

George Galloway’s cat impression

The politician was responsible for one of the most uncomfortable moments to watch on CBB in 2006.

As part of a task Galloway imitated a cat by crawling on all fours, purring and pretending to lick cream from the hands of actress Rula Lenska.

His political opponents branded him a “laughing stock”.

Kim Woodburn removed by security after furious row with Jamie O’Hara

Television presenter Kim Woodburn was removed from the Celebrity Big Brother house by security after an explosive argument with several housemates.

Woodburn, one half of cleaning team Kim and Aggy, was escorted away by the show’s security guards after rowing with professional footballer Jamie O’Hara and glamour model Nicola McLean.

As she was removed, the How Clean Is Your House presenter called O’Hara an “adulterer” and fellow housemates “chinless wonders”.

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TV cleaner Kim Woodburn finished in third place in 2017. (Ian West/PA)

Courtney Act’s wardrobe malfunction

The show’s last winner Shane Jenek suffered a major wardrobe malfunction while walking into the house as his alter ego, drag queen Courtney Act.

The whole lower part of Act’s dress fell off during the grand entrance on live television.

Roxanne Pallett accuses Ryan Thomas of hurting her

This year’s eventual winner Ryan Thomas was accused by fellow housemate Roxanne Pallett of hurting her with a punch, which many viewers defended as play-fighting.

After walking out of the Channel 5 show, former Emmerdale actress Pallett apologised and said she had made “a massive, horrible mistake”, saying she fears she is “the most hated girl in Britain” .

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom received more than 11,000 complaints about Pallett’s behaviour.

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