27 August 2010
[bb] Top Ten Big Brother housemates no-one remembers … George (BB7): ‘…was less a wannabe, more a neverwas. The self-confessed mummy’s boy walked on Day 13, claiming probable post-BB fame would be too much for him. More likely the prospect of eleven weeks in the company of Nikki Grahame filled him with terror.’ [via Feeling Listless]
8 June 2010
[tv] Big Brother changed my life, but the time is right for it to bow out … Anna Nolan On The End Of Big Brother … ‘As I was sitting on that couch 10 years ago, all cameras on Craig and me, waiting for the show’s presenter, Davina McCall, to call out the winner’s name, two thoughts went through my head. The first was: “I could kill for a pint of lager”; the second: “How do they choose the winner?” I had not seen how we came across, I didn’t know yet that the production of this massive show brought narratives, drama, love stories and war into what had seemed an uneventful 10 weeks. Big Brother had created personalities out of all of us, and we were the last to know.’
1 December 2009
[bdj] Meanwhile… Belle de Jour on Celebrity Big Brother? ZOMG!!

belle de jour on celebrity big brother

17 June 2009
[tv] Grace Dent is on Twitter … if you’re into Big Brother you really should be following her … ‘god my heart was a bit broken by that fake hide and seek game. #bb10’ [link]
31 May 2007
[bb8] Big Brother: A girly night in — Grace Dent on Big Brother 2008 … On Lesley: ‘Once upon a time, retired posh women used to trek the Andes for charity or make prize-winning marmalade; now they want to go on Big Brother and have a breakdown in public and let people they’ve never met watch them without make-up looking like a cadaver. I’ve no idea what possesses someone as sport-mistressy as Lesley to do this show. She seems to have one expression, which is: “Yes, you will do cross-country running in the sleet, young lady. Nowwwww!”…’
31 January 2007
[TV] Grace Dent’s Final Word on Celebrity Big Brother 2007: ‘It’s only a game show: only a few careers and livelihoods ruined. Only a few relationships shattered, a few contestants’ families heartbroken, only a few safehouses booked and kids living without mum while she’s in hiding, and only a few psychologists on standby and contestants said to be near-suicidal. This is totally normal on game shows, isn’t it? You should see the drama on Countdown when they run low on pens. Carnage, emotional fall-out, safehouses being booked everywhere.’ [via Feeling Listless]
7 January 2007
[tv] Things I have learnt from Celebrity Big Brother, #1 — Troubled Diva on Celebrity Big Brother. ‘…by placing real-life inter-personal relationships under a microscope, and by raising the emotional temperature in order to elicit a series of controlled reactions, Big Brother is – whether by accident or design (and I couldn’t really care less) – usefully illuminating the human condition. This is why, for all its peripheral irritations, I never tire of watching it.’
11 July 2006
[bb] Meanwhile, in the Big Brother House… ‘After winning the tennis task, the house is furnished with lots of alcohol and a small sense of drunken bonhomie fills the air. “I know!” shouts Mikey, “Let’s play Truth or Dare!” “Yes! What a great idea!” shouts everyone else. There must be a box on the Big Brother application form that says: “Despite being over the age of 12, do you still think it’s a really good idea to play any drinking game with a title like Spin the Bottle/Ten Minutes in the Closet/Bap-Grope/Touch the Snake, or any other party game that will no doubt result in someone needing 72-hour emergency contraception? Tick yes or no.”‘
20 June 2006
[bb7] Grace Dent’s Big Brother Blog — well written blog about Big Brother from the Radio Times … ‘Mikey goes to bed clutching a photo. Instead of sweet nothings and a peachy bum, Mikey is lulled to sleep by the sound of Glyn vigorously excavating his right nostril and dislodging phlegm.’
3 June 2006
[tv] — one stop shop for Big Brother updates, gossip and chat.
23 May 2006
[bb] Diamond Geezer nicely sums up the contestants on Big Brother 7. … On Shahbaz: ‘unemployable flirt. camp tactile nightmare. hysterical egomaniac.’
18 January 2006
[politics] Day 13 … and Things aren’t going to Plan in the House — Simon Hoggart on George Galloway‘Take the scenes last week when he pretended to be a cat, licking imaginary cream from the cupped hands of Rula Lenska, while she murmured to him “here pussy, pussy, pussy, yes, ooh, little pussy … you’ve got cream all over your whiskers!” (In the words of the old Grolsch lager ad, “Stop! This porno film is not ready yet!”) You can be sure that episode will never be forgotten, and every time Mr Galloway rises to repeat his grand denunciation of George Bush and Tony Blair, he will be met with a chorus of miaows.’
7 January 2006
[politics] Get Back To Work, George — find out how much George Galloway is costing the British taxpayer whilst he’s in Celebrity Big Brother.
11 August 2005
[bb6] The Going, Going Gong Show — Charlie Brooker neatly sums up this years Big Brother. ‘…the prestigious Most Sickening Housemate award, which this year goes to a couple: Maxwell (London’s village idiot) and Saskia (burly, wrathful harridan with a face that could advertise war). Their daily routine consisted of bullying, bellowing, cackling at their own dismal non-jokes, glaring, sniping and discussing their imminent ascent to the toppermost peaks of stardom – until the last week, when, faced with eviction, they settled for sulkily rutting like doomed livestock. The latter surely ranks as the least sexy thing ever broadcast on television. I’d get more aroused watching a dog drown in petrol.’
21 June 2004
[tv] Big Brother Gets Therapeutic — interesting essay on Big Brother’s approach to last Thursday’s events … ‘To anyone who has ever been involved in a drinking session that went a bit too far, nothing especially outrageous happened in the house on Thursday morning. The reports say there were ‘death threats’ – well, Jason (the bodybuilding Scot) did threaten to ‘rip the head’ off Marco (the gay one), but I don’t think he was literally going to do it. Yes there were ‘violent confrontations’, if you think that throwing a plastic tray at someone counts as violence. There was also ‘verbal abuse’, some of which was quite funny – especially when Jason told the strange, wiry, helium-voiced Marco, ‘Don’t fucking disrespect me, gimp boy Gollum’. Yet reading today’s reports you’d be forgiven for thinking that all hell broke loose…’
22 July 2003
[bb4] Jon — the official website … One of Tickle’s most amusing moments: ‘…was during the Cub Scout task. As the camera focused on Jon, pottering round the cub scout tent, treble checking every guy rope and peg; Marcus Bentley’s voiceover drily commented: “One hour and thirty two minutes into the tent task. The task was successfully completed thirty minutes ago…”‘
18 June 2003
[bb4] Big Brother 4 Nomination Diagrams — charts describing who has nominated who … Some interesting analysis: ‘…Looking at this potential 5-5 split in terms of gender, it appears that Cameron and Gos have become honorary girls, while Sissy has been singled out as not girly enough.’ [Related: Diagrams for Series Two and Three | via Diamond Geezer]
12 June 2003
[bb4] Ebay Auction: — currently at £510 with 3 days to go and it’s misspelt … ‘You are bidding for the complete ownership and management of JOHNTICKLE.COM. Due to a certain persons popularity in a certain Channel 4 production, this domain name is going to be very popular and will attract a LOT of visitors.’
11 June 2003
[bb4] Jon’s Geek Army — Jon Tickle fanpage … ‘Chosen by God, Loved by Women.’ [Related: Jontical]
31 May 2003
[bb4] Jon’s Website (of rather interesting things and little known facts) … ‘The universe is like, well big and is made up of loads of galaxies. Galaxies contain stars which are rather like our sun. Molecular structure differs but their intrinsic function is very often similar. Stars can die. Like people, but with less crying. It is my ambition to be an inter-galactic Jedi.’
29 May 2003
[bb4] Anouska-isms — On Death: ‘It’s just another transformation… granted a bit more radical than puberty.’
27 May 2003
[bb4] Jon Tickle on Women: ‘You have only one prize to pick — and you know there are, let’s say, 30 prizes on the conveyor belt. They are coming through one at a time. But what makes you stop the conveyor belt and say you want a prize? The mathematical way is to look at the first ten items — the first third. Then the first thing you see out of the next two thirds is better than anything you have seen before. Because if the first ten items are spread evenly on the good or bad scale, you will get a few things in the 90 per cent area. It’s unlikely you are going to get the 100 per cent best item in your first third. So pick the best thing in the next two thirds. Then you’re going to get something pretty good.’
25 May 2003
[bb4] Earlier, in the Girls Bedroom at the Big Brother House

‘”I’ve got a big bed and no-one to share it with me” [Anouska] says. They then started mentioning “Follow The Van“.

The rest of the girls then start saying “follow the courgette”, “I don’t get it” says Anouska …

Meanwhile in the living room the boys are discussing Star Trek.’

24 May 2003
[bb4] Big Brother 4 has started. I’ve already been sucked back in (I am weak!). Any First Impressions?

  • Official Big Brother Site‘Anouska was more hurt than she was letting on. “Whatever we’ve done in the last hour,” she told Scott, “has irritated someone in some way. “The last hour I’ve been me,” she went on, “Give a s**t! Give-a-s**t! Where’s my wine, Goddamit!” she finished, marching off towards the kitchen.’
  • Big Bro 4 — Unofficial site … ‘Todays top headline: the victims enter the house’
  • Big Brother’s not-so-dirty dozen — BBC News Report … ‘”Have you seen her bum?”, screamed Davina McCall as Anouska tottered into the house on her heels. And with that, the tone for this year’s Big Brother was set…’
  • Diamond Geezer: ‘It’s back. 64 days of meaningless addiction. Excellent.’
  • Barbelith on BB4: ‘…Cameron, the happy clappy Bappy that deserves a slappy.’

12 August 2002
[bb3] The voice of Big Brother — interview with the narrator of BB3 … ‘”Chickens.” It is quite a thrill. Say it again, I ask. “Chickens.” For some reason, this pleases me no end. As an added bonus, he continues in familiar Geordie tones: “Day 44 in the Big Brother house.” I clap my hands. I am having a conversation with the voice of Big Brother. And I can see his lips move.’
29 July 2002
[tv] Enough of Big Bruv – for now — comment from Barbara Ellen … Even though I’ve been disenchanted for several weeks, there I was on Thursday, watching again as moody model Alex issued a quasi-Shakespearean speech from the bottom of the Big Brother staircase. Priceless. It was all about his regrets: Regretting coming in, regretting staying in, regretting everything. A broken man apologising to himself and the nation, a bit like Hamlet with designer face fuzz and hair gel. Watching him, swaying about in self-pitying grandeur, you couldn’t help but think: Excuse me, you have regrets? How do you think I feel? How do you think any viewers feel?’ [Related: Big Bro 3 – The Last Night]
24 July 2002
[bb3] It’s Imperative that I spot any Nudity — behind the scenes at the Press Agency covering Big Brother 3‘Rob Kelly, 21, works for a press agency, Kent News and Pictures. For the last eight weeks, he’s watched Big Brother for 12 hours a day. His eyes must not leave the screen. If he needs the loo, someone stands in. Every three to four minutes, he fills in a log of the housemates’ activity. When his shift finishes at 9am, another “monitor” immediately takes over for the next 12 hours until Kelly resumes his watch at 9pm.’
23 July 2002
[bb3] Baying For Blood — Why the press hates Jade and has the tide turned? ‘Jade Goody is poor. She is badly educated and not terribly bright, and so she says remarkably silly things such as “East Angular? That’s abroad. Is there not a place called East Angular abroad?” Her father is in prison, her mother is disabled, and she has admitted to shoplifting when she was younger. She is also of mixed race, which accounts for the distinctive, full features which have seen her lambasted for not being sufficiently “English rose” for the nation’s sensibilities. But – perhaps most importantly – most of the criticism that has been targeted at Jade, explicitly or not, is because she is a woman.’
22 July 2002
[bb3] In It to Win It — Brian Sewell discusses Tim‘Tim, 100 per cent, is a humourless wimp with no sense of fun, no ability to let slip the middle class inhibitions that so undermine his frail sense of security. Not for Tim a knockabout race with supermarket trolleys (his hair might be disarrayed), not for Tim a venture into uncomely drunkenness, not for Tim a romp of any kind, for this is a boy still dominated by the suburban manners of his mother, a boy who in his own esteem has stumbled onto the stage of a farcical pantomine.’
10 July 2002
[tv] Big Brother, Where Art Thou? — comment on the success of Big Brother 3. More people are watching it but the media frenzy around it has died down … Peter Bazalgette: ‘Big Brother has moved out into populist television. You can’t read the runes after one set of viewing figures but if – and I stress if – we have reached the so-called ‘tipping point’ of the show [Malcolm Gladwell’s description for ‘that moment in an epidemic when a virus reaches critical mass’], we will now start to hear negative remarks from the people who originally lauded it for being a cult revelation.’
6 July 2002
[bb3] Meanwhile, in the Big Brother House

Adele – “If you want me to be there when you come out will you tell them?”

Alex – “Look, I’ll tell them there is no problem you being there, but don’t just come down for no reason.. just if you want to…”

Adele – “mmmm…” (smooch)

Alex – “… it’s no problem… but I just don’t want you to come down for…”

Adele – “not at all”

Alex – “… no reason”

Alex – (muffled in Adele’s shoulder) “I can’t believe it… I CAN’T”

Adele – “I just… I had a bad feeling… I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know”

Adele – “Do I look fat?”

23 June 2002
[bb3] When the Going Gets Tough, the Toughs Get Going — some interesting comments on Big Brother 3

‘It seems significant that, while this series of Big Brother has seen the most actual sex (that gory little escapade under the covers between PJ and Jade), it’s the ongoing aura of violence (the hostility, aggression and glowering resentment) that has been truly riveting. We might not like to admit it, but it is human nature to crane one’s neck towards an argument – we are all magnetically attracted to trouble, be it obvious (the chair-smashing ruck in the pub), or subtle (the backstabbing feud in the office). While I, for one, found it repulsive and tedious watching idiots like BB 2’s Helen and Paul leadenly flirt with each other, the anger whirling around in BB 3 somehow seems more honest, the resentment intoxicating, the unique misery of Other People impossible to fake.’

8 June 2002
[bb3] Meanwhile, in the Big Brother House

‘Jade – “I love you chipstick”

PJ – “I’m not gonna lie to you Jade.. about this girl outside that I like.. if you didn’t have a boyfriend it would be different… cause I’m not with anyone.. this girl outside, no matter how much I care for her.. she has a boyfriend… I really do I really really really do care for her… if she hadn?t a boyfriend I would definitely get off with her now.”

Jade – “shut up…”

PJ – “well I would if you didn’t have a boyfriend…”

Jade – “shhhh”

PJ – “dirty git”

Jade – “I should just keep my mouth shut…”

They go quiet for a good ten minutes. Probably busy just fiddling around.

They whisper. Jade says “I love you” several times.

PJ pushes her out of bed.’

2 June 2002
[bb3] Meanwhile, in the Big Brother House

PJ – “aww the games kicked off! … say 10 mins gone… Beckham, has he got his boots on?”

Lee – “you realise… this is like missing Wrestlemania.”

27 August 2001
[tv] Feltz accuses Big Brother — Vanessa Feltz claims she did not have a mini-breakdown on Celebrity Big Brother‘It was a blinding moment when I suddenly realised that there was no Big Brother. It was just a researcher. I suddenly thought I’m not going to give back the chalk we had for the shopping list. I thought I had suffered enough. I have lost my husband and there was sod all to do anyway except watch Anthea wash up and clean. So I started writing words on the table like “defenestred” and “innured” and then I had a look and I said I thought ‘it looks awfully Conran’ but you didn’t see that in the edit. Instead you saw me looking like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.’
26 August 2001
[bb2] Behind Big Brother — Elizabeth on the BB2 experience … ‘For the moment, us housemates have been set apart. We have become a kind of product, a brand. It is ironic, as people think they know me, that I sometimes feel I have become de-personalised by the experience. I am no longer just Elizabeth, but Elizabeth from Big Brother. I am now part of the exclusive brand.’
4 August 2001
[intersection] Adrian Mole and Big Brother 2‘I lay awake pondering yet again on the true nature of my sexuality. Did I vote for Brian out of gay solidarity or because he is a semi-erudite Irish eccentric? I garnered the evidence: a) I like Kylie Minogue; b) I sleep with a lavender pillow; c) I am no good at sex with women; d) I am very fussy about my sheets, pillowcases and towels.’
3 August 2001
[tv] The inside story on Elizabeth from Big Brother‘On Friday morning, after Elizabeth’s eviction , Druitt’s mobile phone is almost constantly engaged. The horror on her face at her exit interview, when nude pictures from the Star flashed on the screen, was, says Druitt, a big sham. “She loved those pictures.”‘ [via Popbitch]
25 July 2001
[intersection] Journey’s End — was Michael Portillo’s political career ruined by Big Brother? ‘”Michael was very struck by Big Brother,” reveals a Tory frontbencher who supported his bid for the party leadership. “We discussed it at length. His whole speech to last year’s Tory party conference was inspired by it. “The thing about that programme was the people. Young people, easy-going in their attitudes. They seemed to be the face of apolitical modern Britain. Michael knew immediately that we had to reach out to people like that. Britain isn’t reactionary any more.” Maybe. But large sections of the Tory party are.’
16 July 2001
[tv] Hi, I’m Big Brother — behind the scenes at the Big Brother 2 Studio… ‘On the wall are instructions on how to be Big Brother. “Always be calm, dispassionate and businesslike,” says one. “Don’t offer solutions,” reads another. “Don’t refer to things we’ve seen. Wait until they mention it.” A separate posting instructs them on how to react in the case of a threatened walk out: “1. Show understanding. 2. Dwell on the positive experiences. 3. Tell them they are strong. We think they can cope. 4. Suggest talking to the housemates.”‘
10 July 2001
[distractions] Sounds, wallpaper and other digital stuff from the BB2 household…. Amma Farting / Liz Burping. [Just Announced: Josh and Helen up for Eviction]
7 July 2001
[celebrity] Stars in their Eyes [Part One | Part Two] — Jon Ronson looks at what happened to the original Big Brother contestants one year on… ‘Andy and I entered the offices of Courier Systems. “This is wicked,” said Andy. “I’ve always wanted to be a cycle courier.” “When can you start?” said Paul, the manager. “Tomorrow,” said Andy. “Bright and early.” Paul laughed. He said he’d seen people like Andy before. They come in full of excitement and fanciful ideals about the life of the cycle courier, but reality hits them on the first day and they quit within a week. “Well, that’s not me,” said Andy. “I promise you that.” “Will I see you at Sada’s book launch party?” I asked. “No,” he said. “I’m not going.” “Why not?” I asked. “It would be deceitful,” he said. “I fucking hate Sada.” Andy’s career as a cycle courier lasted for three days. “God it was hard,” he told me at Sada’s book launch party. “And the money was shit.”‘
4 June 2001
[tv] I’m losing the will to live — 12 hours watching the Big Brother house. ‘1.05am Bubble asks Amma if she swallows. Amma says she doesn’t then suggests that the boys swallow a cup of “it”. Their own or someone else’s, she doesn’t specify. Paul says he is well up for a game of strip poker. If the fact that he is reading the Posh and Becks biography wasn’t enough of a hint, here is another that Paul is one classy bloke. Elizabeth is still in the kitchen washing and wiping things. She is perhaps thinking about feeding her boyfriend his rusks. 9.35am Penny fears that when she leaves the house, the crowds there to see her may be so large there could be “a Princess Diana moment”. Yes, and they’ll all be holding flaming torches and shouting “Burn the witch”.’
8 May 2001
[tv] Big Brother goes digital. ‘The new series of Big Brother will run for up to 21 hours a day on digital network E4, Channel 4 has announced. Fans will be able to spy on the house on TV all day long, and many will be able to make their weekly eviction votes through their remote control.’
14 March 2001
[gun fish barrel] So bad it’s good — Julie Burchill on Celebrity Big Brother. ‘The pathos of the short-term presenter is summed up heartbreakingly in the persons of Anthea Turner and Vanessa Feltz, the twin occupants of the lowest rung of the Big Brother ladder; as they fall apart – Vanessa messily and swiftly, Anthea more photogenically and professionally – it is horribly compelling, like watching a John Cassavetes film or hearing your neighbours’ marriage break up in gory detail through the wall. They are the flimsiest, most damaged and most compelling creatures in the house, with none of the confidence born of talent that Dee and Sweeney possess, or the dumb macho swagger of Eubank and Duffy.’
18 October 2000
[big brother] Ask Nasty Nick from the Independent. If you could make one apology, what would it be, and to whom? I’ve never had to make an apology, so I would apologise to no one.’ [via extenuating circumstances]
24 September 2000
[big brother aftermath] The Observer does an interview with Anna“Then there was Nick. ‘He fooled us all,’ sighs Anna, without a trace of indulgence, ‘and he fooled the nation so much more because everyone’s intrigued and adores him. I’m just like, “Nick, you just need help.” I was so dim, I just didn’t see it.’ Maybe she didn’t see it because he never showed her his little pieces of paper.”
21 September 2000
[tech] Was the real winner of Big Brother Real Media? ‘The extent of the Big Brother achievement should not be under-rated. Not only did it prove video streaming could reach a massive market, it was also a technologically smooth ride. Most of the people who signed up for the Big Brother RealPlayers were novices to the Net, yet the first job they had to do was download and install an intricate piece of software, something that even baffles experts from time to time.’ [via Yungee]
20 September 2000
[big brother] BBC News looks at whats next for the Big Brother competitors. On Darren: ‘He spent a good deal of his time in the Big Brother house looking after the often poorly chickens, including Marjorie – his favourite. Speculation that he will soon be back on TV screens as frontman to an advertising campaign for instant chicken sauce Chicken Tonight – for a six-figure sum – should come as no surprise.’
15 September 2000
[more big brother] The Daily Express interviews the Big Mother behind BB… On Nasty Nick: “It was obvious we had to get him out. People asked why we didn’t get rid of him earlier but this was the first time we had concrete proof he’d been trying to sway nominations and he was told he had to go. He came straight out of the house and into the back of a car. I was with him. We drove out to Welwyn Garden City to a hotel. He was very shaken and upset and had absolutely no concept of the scale of the big debate, so for the first four hours it was my job to gently tell him that he was probably the most talked about man in Britain…and that it wasn’t all good.”