I know the London Olympics were great and all that, and I did enjoy the fervour of the burgeoning national pride they inspired. But there’s been an Awful Lot of sport on telly these past few months. Which has been hard for those of us that need our regular fix of something to slob in front of that doesn’t involve very fit people running about, making us feel bad about eating a whole large packet of Tyrell’s salt and vinegar (you umami-packed seductive bastards) in one go. So, for me, it’s quite nice that we’ve got some excellent tosh back on the box.
And Celebrity Big Brother has hit the ground in camp, leopardprint running shoes. I stopped watching Big Brother after the first season on Channel 5. Too many ad breaks and it has all started to horribly claustrophobic. It also goes on far too long. It’s not a good sign when you think you can smell the telly. In this case a rank mixture of the nocturnal odours of too many inactive people on a weird diet plus the whiff of damp towels.
But with the merely three-week long Celebrity Big Brother, both Empress of Twitter Grace Dent and I have been lured back. The major thing they’ve done to make it too tempting to resist is to have the delectable Martin ‘god of EastEnders’ Kemp as a housemate. My entire purpose for watching the soap back in the day (and, as I recall, PLA had a bit of crush too. We share such good taste).
Then they chucked pretty, witty, savage-tongued Julian Clary into the mix. And THEN they added Bet Lynch in a “GET IT, GOT IT, GOOD” t shirt and animal print leggings, and Heather Trott (AKA Julie Goodyear and Cheryl Fergison). Then there’s Loose Woman and ex Nolan (and so used to shacking up and sharing a hairdryer and make-up with a lot of women, one might imagine, given the number of sisters she used to sing with) Coleen Nolan. What with her and the other glamour pusses, I get the sense that the bathroom drains are soon going to get blocked with hair extensions of many colours.
The rest – an Olympian judo player, someone from Jersey Shore, a bitchy journalist who thinks she’s too darn pretty for this world, some assorted muscle-clad lads and a scattering of glamour/underwear models – are just The Rest to me right now, but that’s fine. We need some wallpaper for our superstars of soap, comedy and daytime telly.
There they all are in the house now, like the most fabulous, crazy selection-box of characters, with a burning desire to get more attention than anyone else.
Early days I know, but I have the highest of hopes for Julian Clary as the perfect, acerbic Diary Room commentator on house action. As soon as he sat on the Big Brother gold diary chair, fondled an arm and said, deadpan as only he can be: “Plastic. How disappointing.” I knew we were in for for some fun. I loved it when he met the American reality show “star” and said, discovering who he was, said tartly something like “I’ll use short words with you then”. It’s adorable that he’s so excited about sleeping in the next bed to Julie Goodyear: “Just think, I can reach out and touch Bet Lynch”. He also had my favourite line before going into the house about his plan after entering (phnerr): “I’m going to have sex in the first twenty minutes in the jacuzzi. OR I’m going to have sex with the jacuzzi.” Sadly the garden doors were shut when he arrived, but I still have high hopes for the one-time proud owner of Fanny the Wonderdog.
Big Brother seems on excellent form. The first secret task was to get Bet/Julie and Heather/Cheryl to put in ear pieces and have a huge, staged soapy, cat fight over Julie’s alleged past affair with Heather’s fella (the idea of which the young things of both genders were sneering at – but easily understood by us grown-ups, who know not to underestimate the true power of soap divas). The two snarled, faced off, stomped about and had hissy fits. Julie chucked a glass of wine in Cheryl’s face. Cheryl was ‘racked with sobs’. All of which meant they passed the task.
So the whole gang got thrown a party in the garden that was every bit as eccentric as Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony. The bloke from Jersey Shore, “The Situation” (so stupidly named I can’t be bothered to even mock or find out why he’s called that) looked more than a little baffled at the hot pot buffet, darts, warm pints and Queen Vic/Rovers staging.
When I mentioned to Jo-the-Hat on Twitter I was doing this review, bless her lovely heart, she assumed I’d be skewering the show with my (sometimes) savage tongue. But this is no Apprentice. I love this guys (well, I do so far). Well, except I can imagine wanting to knock into the pool the brunette with legs like orange twigs (Jasmine Lennard, an ex of Simon Cowell – just looked her up) who was discussing star signs to smooth talking cosmetics baron, Prince Lorenzo, and ended up saying “I’m constantly falling for Geminis”).
But still and yet, until my hopes are shattered by too much Stupid, what I’m looking forward to is:
- As much Martin Kemp as possible for as long as possible, ditto Julian Clary
- Also, I really hope those gorgeous older women do get in their swimsuits and into the jacuzzi. This show has some fabulous characters in it. It shouldn’t be all about the skinny minnies in their eensy bikinis. In fact, I wouldn’t mind too much if the more traditionally built women sat on top of the glamour models. But I guess they’d be bit boney.
Posted by Inkface