Belfast Telegraph

Big Brother returns, with a cast of Z-list celebrities

By Maureen Coleman

Just when you thought it was safe, the Big Brother freak show has returned to our screens.

After weeks of speculation, fans of the reality TV show were put out of their misery last night as the line-up of 'celebrity' housemates was revealed.

As predicted in the tabloid Press, madcap Irish twins Jedward were among the bizarre batch, along with former Atomic Kitten and I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here winner Kerry Katona, Sally Bercow, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, Australian paparazzi king Darryn Lyons, Hollywood actress Tara Reid and bookies' favourite The Only Way Is Essex star Amy Childs.

This year the spotlight won't just be on the celebrity contestants but on the fortunes of the show as well, following its switch to Channel 5.

Big Brother was axed in 2010 by Channel 4 after 11 series and a number of celebrity versions.

The station felt the show had run its course and several high-profile controversies, including the bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, contributed to a decline in ratings.

The series was then rescued by Channel 5. But other shows which have switched to the channel - including soaps Neighbours and Home And Away - witnessed a near instant drop in viewers.

For this new series, programme-maker Endemol has revamped the house in Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire and it retains narrator Marcus Bentley and the iconic theme tune.

The show's regular C4 host Davina McCall has made way for former Big Brother winner Brian Dowling.

Channel 5 bosses want this year's Celebrity Big Brother to be the sexiest ever and are providing alcohol round the clock to loosen inhibitions.

As soon as the celebrity series ends, regular Big Brother begins.

Viewers tuning into last night's launch were let in on a secret mission for Kerry Katona. The former popstar was told by Big Brother to become the biggest diva on the show and was ordered to throw the mother of all tantrums.

Tonight, the celebrities will be forced to choose the diva of the house and to pass their first task, they must select Katona.

Despite the hype, the bid to shake up the House of Humiliation seems to have been lost on its former C4 home.

Prior to its network premiere of vampire series Twilight this week, a C4 continuity announcer said: "Resurrecting the deceased might be what some channels like to do on summer evenings, but here on Channel 4, we prefer the undead."

Belfast Telegraph


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