Belfast Telegraph

Big Brother: Ex-BBC Northern Ireland journalist Andy West enters house

Former BBC Northern Ireland journalist Andy West has entered the Big Brother house.

A 34-year-old journalist was sacked by the BBC after saying he was ashamed to work for the broadcaster when it refused to axe Tyson Fury from the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist over his homophobic remarks.

West is among several contestants who joined Channel 5's reality show on Tuesday night.

Asked what he might find most difficult about being in the house, he replied: "If there are people in there who don't stop, who are your face the whole time".

The Englishman had been working for BBC Northern Ireland last year when he went online and strongly criticised his employer for refusing to remove controversial boxer Fury from the shortlist for the awards, which were staged in Belfast.

After being suspended by the BBC West eventually left Belfast and said it was with sadness that he was departing across the Irish Sea. However, the Belfast Telegraph revealed in April that he returned to the city and was working as part of the Stronger In Europe campaign to ensure the UK stays in the EU.

Rylan Clark-Neal has said fans of Big Brother can expect numerous "evil" twists in this summer's new series.

The presenter of Big Brother's sister show Big Brother's Bit On The Side teased details about the contestants on Facebook Live.

He said: "Big Brother's getting evil this year, let me tell you that. There will be a lot of tricks up their sleeves."

The 27-year-old also dropped hints about the contestants, promising an "eclectic bunch" of housemates in Big Brother's two houses.

"I know I say it every year, and I sound like a broken record and some years we haven't got it right ... this year is completely right," he said.

"It's going to be amazing. We've got a very eclectic bunch, I think it's quite safe to say."

He added: "This year is probably the most mixed we've had in a long while: different races, genders, sexuality, age, everything."

Two houses

The new series of the reality show is featuring two houses for the first time.

Fans of the long-running programme had suspected a twist of this nature was coming due to construction of a new Big Brother house extension.

The new set-up will give viewers the opportunity to watch all the action in both houses from the set at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.

In previous years, Big Brother has utilised secret rooms and annexes primarily for twists such as fake evictions.

However, this series will be filmed with two houses from Tuesday's launch date.

Bosses of the show have promised an "unpredictable" and "ominous" new summer series.

Housemates have been warned to prepare for "paranoia and suspicion" as they discover a dark force at work which "will have a dramatic and divisive effect".

A black and white "yin and yang" theme is accompanying this 17th series.

Last year's show was won by Doncaster office administrator Chloe Wilburn.

Big Brother is broadcast at 9pm on Channel 5

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