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TV: Celebrity Big Brother (C4)

The egos have landed at the Big Brother house. AA Grill watches the latest collection of prototypes all piling in it to win it

Published on January 5th 2009.

TV: Celebrity Big Brother (C4)

AFTER a year out in the moral wilderness, Celebrity Big Brother is back with a scoop over its ITV rivals. La Toya Jackson is said to have knocked back I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in favour of the C4 reality show because she did not fancy the idea of eating kangaroo testicles.

It may not be the marsupial variety but I guarantee a lot of bollocks will be talked by the 11 celebrities locked into the Celebrity Big Brother House over the next 22 days. The latest intake has been chosen according to a tried and trusted formula. So, for instance, there is another member of the Jackson family (following Jermaine's 2007 appearance); another firebrand Scottish politician (after George Galloway's impression of a frisky feline); another of Sven-Göran Eriksson's girlfriends . . .

There is also the obligatory “Scouse in the House”. In the wake of Craig Phillips, Claire Sweeney, Pete Burns, and, rather less gloriously, Danielle Lloyd, comes actress Tina Malone, self-confessed "loud, fat, funny Scouse bird" once Mo in Brookside, more recently the matriarchal Mimi Maguire in Shameless – "Tony Soprano in a frock," as she puts it.

Malone promises to be one of the more interesting occupants of the House with her declaration that "I'm not a people-pleaser. I will be emphatic."

Bring it on. Over a nice cup of tea (she gave up the booze a decade ago), Tina soon palled up with La Toya, their friendship deepening as they swapped psychological traumas, from crap marriages to low self esteem. But Tina's neurotic, addictive, bipolar and obsessive compulsive issues were never going to be enough to top La Toya's trump card – growing up in the Jackson family.

La Toya spent the first 24 hours looking like a baby bird that had fallen from its nest, with an expression that permanently said "holy shit!" Her face brightened briefly at the arrival of Verne Troyer, two-feet-eight-inch-high star of the Austin Powers movies, thus proving that Michael is not the only Jackson who enjoys hanging out with little people.

Verne spent more time than anyone on the red carpet leading to the Big Brother House but it was unclear whether that was because he enjoyed the attention or because his legs took longer to cover it.

Tina's closest rival for the title of Resident Big Gob is likely to be this year's token Mancunian, motormouth and former presenter of The Word, Terry Christian. Big Brother appointed Christian head of the house on the basis that he was the last to bag himself a bed and was thus deemed to be "not putting himself first". But the housemate who suggested it was more to do with him "being a lazy git" may have been nearer the mark.

"I know I'll get flak but it doesn't bother me," Christian claimed unconvincingly, but not as unconvincingly as ex-Sugababe Mutya Buena who insisted "people call me a bitch but I don't care".

While Mutya said she hoped her home for the next couple of weeks would be like the Little House On The Prairie, her initial dress sense owed more to the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Controversial Glaswegian politician Tommy Sheridan is facing perjury charges over a libel case he won over some pretty racy allegations in the News of the World concerning his personal life. He is not the first housemate to be of interest to the police but he is certainly the first one who has had to give the Big Brother House as his bail address.

By now the contestants were coming thick and fast. But mostly thick. Ben Adams (formerly of boy band A1 – no, I've never heard of them, either) is evidently there to catch the once-pubescent female vote; while Page 3 model Lucy Pinder, who informed us she was largely (and I mean largely) known for her breasts, is there to pull in Nuts readers. She may also attract a few nuts with her views on "bleeding heart liberals" and "thick people".

There were some big boos for the one with the big boobs, not so for Ulrika Jonsson, who was last in but could, if she doesn't make a bit more effort, be first out. The former weathergirl, mother of four children to four fathers, presenter, ex-battered girlfriend of one-time Liverpool striker Stan Collymore and ex-mistress of ex-Manchester City and England manager Sven (a triple X indeed), has already got on the wrong side of Housemaster Christian. Terry has been feigning reluctance to wield his authority, but things may be different when Big Brother ratchets up the tension and the outspoken start to speak out. Indeed, his initially breezy demeanour is already showing cracks.

It could also prove interesting if US rap star Coolio gets hot under the collar. "I don't have many celebrity friends," he revealed in his first visit to the diary room, "because they're so fake and I'm so real". Coolio and La Toya were unsurprisingly drawn to each other. "I'm the first person in my family to make over $100,000 a year," he whispered. "You're kidding!" replied La Toya, when what she was actually still thinking was "holy shit!".

Funny how we spend more and more time worrying about Big Brother watching us, then we all end up watching Big Brother – 6.4 million tuned in on the first night. Indeed we watch it for much the same reason all those CCTV cameras are trained on us, just in case it all kicks off.

Given the history of the show, it's hard to see what the participants hope to gain. Some, chiefly those from the USA, clearly have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. La Toya revealed at the weekend that she thought the experience would do her good because she didn't really know anyone outside her family. Couldn't somebody have told her there are easier ways to make friends?

On that first visit to the diary room, Coolio commented: "They say there's always one asshole in every group, but I've not met one yet." Give it time, Coolio. Give it time.

Celebrity Big Brother, C4, 9pm.

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claire bowmanJanuary 5th 2009.

i think cbb is bloody wonderful to see all differant people getting along in one house and famous people even better love it !!

leighJanuary 5th 2009.

more irony for you then...he was never made in to a gangster as he was never accepetd in to the gang that he sings about...

emma graceJanuary 5th 2009.

It tickled me that when asked what his favourite song was, Coolio said Gangsta's Paradise

leighJanuary 5th 2009.

Ironic that Coolio hasn't met an asshole in the CBB house yet,there are mirrors everywhere!

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