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Celebrity Big Brother: When one Battersby isn’t enough

janice lesTime was when Bruce “Les Battersby” Jones was the most disliked and disgraced ex-Corrie star, but that was in the good old days before most of the cast had to be suspended or let go for offences alleged or actual.

And now here he is on Celebrity Big Brother, alongside former screen wife Vicky “Janice” Entwistle. I don’t know how recovering alcoholic Bruce is going to settle down in CBB – I caught a glimpse of him being interviewed by Jeremy Kyle once and he seemed like a vulnerable kind of man to me, but perhaps the powers that be are hoping he’ll have a ratings-winning meltdown.

Vicky set to by pouring wine for everyone (I’m not very good at this…”). This is a good move, as early domination of the kitchen has often proved to be a tactically wise decision. I can already hear evicted junior housemates telling Emma Willis, “Vicky was my mum in the house.”

They won’t be saying that about Carol McGiffin, as she set out her stall early doors (as “Big Ron” Atkinson would say – he’s in there too) by informing Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore that she isn’t actually famous, although Ms Crosby clearly thinks she is due to her apparent fondness for not being concerned how, when or upon whom she goes to the toilet (she’s currently favourite to win – *baffled face*). Carol McGiffin is therefore, early doors, my favourite housemate.   Continue reading

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Kick ass women: Betty White

One thing I enjoyed very much about the recent run of Celebrity Big Brother was that 70-year-old Julie Goodyear was assumed to be a sweet little ole’ granny figure, when really, her personality is far from that. She behaved like a scheming, back-stabbing minx. Much like my dear mama in fact (whom I’ve called in print ‘Arthur Daley in a skirt’ – and usually a mini skirt at that. And why not? At 76, she’s got better legs than most 20 year olds).

Julian Clary loved this about Julie Goodyear. All the young things were shocked and appalled. Bollocks to them. I like my old ladies to be Machiavellian. It’s so much more fun. Apple pie my eye. There ain’t nothing like an evil old Dame. I certainly plan to be one.

And on that note, but with a more gentle Miami spin, I’d like to dedicate this post to the fabulous Florida queens, The Golden Girls (1985-1992). I loved them, one and all. And what a joy it was to have a programme, not just focussing on women, but on (reasonably) badly behaved older ones. Tiny Estelle Getty, glamorous Rue McClanahan and elegant, acerbic Bea Arthur have sadly all died in recent years. But the ditsy Minnesota-born Rose (from the glorious town of St Olaf. Even typing that made me laugh) played by Betty White, still lives on. Continue reading

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Celebrity Big Brother: Bonfire of the Vanity Cases

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.  Continue reading


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Celebrity Big Brother: Oh, Lucien

“I just hope my parents are proud of me,” says Lucien Laviscount, gazing at the camera with the serene confidence of one whose parents have been proud of him since he was in the womb. I don’t actually know anything about Lucien’s family background, but his general demeanour would certainly indicate a boy who’s been brought up surrounded by love and support.

But there are things a teenage lad is supposed to get up to ideally without his parents watching. These include cack-handed chat-up attempts, unconvincing efforts to look like a regular and seasoned smoker, chasing anything female and with a pulse, and mildly drunken behaviour generally. He’s not done anything especially wrong in the Big Brother house (apart from that cringingly misjudged quip to Tara during their meal together), he’s just being a normal lad – but it’s all a bit embarrassing with several million viewers watching. I can’t help thinking that, if I was his parent, I’d be prouder of his work on Corrie and Waterloo Road.

Posted by PLA          (more Big Brother here)


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Celebrity Big Brother: What a Carry On

Is it just me or is this Celebrity Big Brother turning into a Carry On panto type caper? I’m not complaining. I’m very amused. Alex Reid is a tangoed version of a Barbara Windsor character who keeps dropping his towel to show his bits. Nicky doing giant burps like Sid James. Could Steph be Kenneth Williams? Not, don’t think I can follow through with the analogy. But there are such daft shenanigans in that house. Vinnie creeping across the floor under cover of darkness to tweak Alex’s feet in the bedroom. All of them dressed as farm animals. Davina sneaking in the house in Nicky’s chicken costume and almost getting the head ripped off by the other ‘animals’ approaching with menace.

So Ivana and Nicky have now left the building. So who will win? I do love Steph, but I’ve recently been wondering if Dane might just manage to pull it off. He’s not expecting to, which goes in his favour. Vinnie has been the bookies’ favourite since the start, but he’s very arrogant about it, and voters like someone to win for whom it has meaning. It would have a great deal of meaning for Dane, but much less for Vinnie. He sat on the sofa telling everyone how ‘depressed’ he was when he came into the house to see what nonentities he was in with. “I didn’t know anyone. I’d been hoping for a few big names in the grand finale”. Alex has come across as much less awful than people thought, but he’s still a bit of an idiot. I can’t see Jonas winning. I wondered, after Dane refused to wear a mankini early on, if he had some issues with his body. He seems a pretty decent bloke, but as Nicky pointed out to Vinnie, he is really lacking in self esteem. Still, we shall see.

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Celebrity Big Brother: Standards drop even lower

CBB hits new levels of sophistication

I didn’t realise that what was missing from my life was the sight of a naked Alex Reid screaming “Spray my arse!” at the artist known as Basshunter. The other housemates had hysterics as Jonas wielded a can of spray tan at the ever-darkening “cage fighter.” Reid’s girlfriend, “The Pricey,” is said to be livid. How very dare he be a darker shade than her?

Posted by PLA          (See all CBB posts here)


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Celebrity Big Brother: My baby’s got me locked up in chains

I found myself grinning throughout last night’s CBB episode. It was a brilliant idea to chain together certain housemates to ‘give them the opportunity to spend quality time with each other’. I’m thinking it could have the makings of a new kind of family counselling technique, actually. Not because it would help the people chained, but it’s excellent therapy for anyone watching.

There is a classic League of Nations poster featuring two donkeys chained together and two piles of hay. First they pull against each other then they learn to go first to one pile together, then the other. The strapline is ‘Cooperation is better than Conflict’. It seems to me that Dane and Alex reached that conclusion pretty quickly.

It was assumed that putting Katie Price’s ex and current blokes in the same house would cause fireworks, but it’s gone the opposite way. They rub along perfectly amicably, although the truth game the other day that reminded them of old sex tapes clearly left Dane feeling uncomfortable. The tabloids and gossip mags have been full of the life, loves and split-ups of Katie Price, but the whole thing has felt very dramatic and stage-managed. It has also seemed, from odd comments from Alex, that she pretty much told him before he went in the house what he was and was not  allowed to say about their relationship. As time’s gone on, he seems to have forgotten that edict, which is interesting. But it’s the ordinariness of Dane and Alex that I’m most enjoying. Watching them find a way to both lie on the sofas whilst chained together. Cleaning up the kitchen and clucking at the water on the floor like a couple of dinner ladies. Laughing at Vinnie’s face when he was preparing a chicken stir fry chained to Ivana.

They didn’t even unchain themselves, which they were allowed to, when Dane went for a wee. Like women mates who go to the bog together. It was entirely endearing.

Ivana and Vinnie were extremely amusing together chained together as well, as were Jonas, Steph and Nicky.

I kept on grinning until the end of the show, with Dane and Jonas, post chain task, being given access to the room of boy heaven. Pizza and beer, pin-ups on the wall of a younger Steph, Nicky and Ivana. What made them happiest of all was the Wii.

For more posts on Celebrity Big Brother, see here

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Celebrity Big Brother: Not in front of the water-shed

As I frequently find myself watching telly with a viewing companion who is just a few months on the child side of being a teenager, I tend to rely on the fabled water-shed to protect her from “inappropriate” viewing. Celebrity Big Brother is a case in point. When it’s screened at 10pm or later, you expect a bit of swearing and possibly some smutty content, and I do not expect PLA Jr to be up watching it.

Last night, however, CBB was on at 8pm. Lovely – a bit of family viewing before bedtime. How we chuckled at Nicky’s feeble attempts to insult her fellow housemates for the reward of seeing a video from home. “You look like you’ve got a bush on your head!” she told Stephanie, who patted her beautifully sleek bob into place and purred, “Yes, I rather suppose I do!”

Then, at about 8.50, things started getting smutty. “I never masturbate!” Nicky proudly informed Dane, Jonas and Alex. I never did find out why because I grabbed that Sky remote and paused live action while I despatched PLA Jr to bed. When I resumed watching, the discussion had turned to group sex. Quite big groups, too. Well, I’m sorry but this has made me come over all Daily Mail. Was this really appropriate for pre-9pm?

Meanwhile, I have to sing the praises of the man who has done more than anyone else to make this year’s Celeb BB entertaining. No, it’s not you, Vinnie Jones, you egotistical, arrogant twonk. It’s the voice of the Tree of Temptation, my favourite Big Brother voice. He’s funny and cheeky in the diary room, and as the Tree of Temptation he’s been hilarious. In real life he’s Task Producer Daniel Nettleton (video of him being interviewed here), and I’m not the only one loving his work, apparently.

Posted by PLA          (see all Celeb Big Brother posts here)


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Celebrity Big Brother: Queen Steph

My admiration for Stephanie Beacham grows every day I watch her on Celebrity Big Brother. Britain is a horrible place for aging women. Sex is power in our society and, appalling as it is, youthful women usually have vastly more of it to barter with. Look at Ronnie Wood and Kat. It’s poisonous and self-esteem eroding for the rest of us. Where are our Cleopatras? How many women over fifty get to be objects of lust?

Well, Joanna Lumley for one. And Steph Beacham for another, and hurrah for her. First Stevie B’s ‘crush’ on her. Jonas was flirting with her too. And I loved watching her lying like a gorgeous strumpet on the massage couch in the Swedish spa getting Alex Reid to massage her bottom with his ‘wooden balls’. Fabulous stuff. Then Ivana popped up for a bit of attention, showing her age only in the classy way she hoiked herself up on the couch without flashing her knickers. Watch and learn Britney et al.

Steph brings to mind my favourite female character on TV –Shirley Schmidt in Boston Legal, played by 70s supermodel, Candice Bergen. Schmidt is a powerful, sexy woman in her early sixties, adored and lusted after by all men around her, including the equally gorgeous James Spader as Alan Shore. If I’m having a crappy hair day, or feeling hormonal and generally not the sex goddess I’d like to be, I just look at her and think ‘Bloody hell’. Like Steph, she’s classy, intelligent and a siren to boot.

I quite fancy them actually.

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Celebrity Big Brother: Jolly japes in the dorm

I’m not sure exactly what Sisqo said to Dane that upset Vinnie so much he was threatening to get his solicitors involved. I do know Pauseliveaction spotted recently that Vinnie isn’t quite the nice, avuncular guy he’d been purporting to be for the first couple of weeks. Vinnie raged around like an embodiment of a bloody enormous and very physically threatening  thundercloud: “Why’s he having a go at me? All I’ve been doing since I’ve been here is cooking and cleaning.” Then he went a couple of times to get very irate in the Diary Room at a couple of differently gendered Big Brothers (a man and later a woman I mean, I’m not casting aspersions on the proclivities of the people behind ‘the voice’). He wouldn’t say what was said. “Go and review the tapes” he bellowed, but it was clear he felt the great British public, his nan and every man, woman and child in the country would have seen this great slur on his good name and he was deeply offended about it. Whatever the insult was supposed to have been. Extraordinary. This is, after all, the guy known for full-on aggression on the football pitch, and his name has not been unsullied since those days either, if reports on a court case about a nasty bar fight are to be believed.

Transpires the ‘real’ Vinnie has not been hiding very far beneath the surface. He transforms into a whiny, petulant bully the moment something doesn’t go his way. The Sisqo Kid is a physically small, apparently fairly harmless guy. He’d given up smoking, he was upset about being nominated and he threw a hissy fit of envy that Vinnie gets to be the ‘main man’ around the house. He woke up sorry and ashamed of being such an arse to everyone, and said so straight away.

What we’d just heard Vinnie saying to his kitchen bitch Dane, was something like ‘If there weren’t any cameras I’d sort him out myself. There wouldn’t be much left of him mind.’ Vinnie please, get a grip. The guy comes up to your waist. Sisqo said sorry like a man, and Vinnie had a go for a bit then eventually let it go. All very silly as far I could see.

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