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While you were out: Big Brother (C4)

Nicola Mostyn wonders whether Sylvia has ever watched the show as everyone starts to crack in the house from Hell

Published on June 23rd 2008.


While you were out: Big Brother (C4)

S0 Alex has gone. I am loathe to credit the baying Big Brother audience with sophisticated levels of judgement, but they knew from Day One she was a wrong-un. They booed her as she went in and within a matter of days she’d justified every heckle with her bullying and all round evil behaviour. After repeated warnings, things finally came to a head on Friday when Alex indirectly threatened fellow housemate Rex with the full might of her gangster posse.

After repeated warnings, things finally came to a head on Friday when Alex indirectly threatened fellow housemate Rex with the full might of her gangster posse

I don’t know what was worse, listening to Alex’s cringeable attempts at intimidation, or watching her scarily convincing reaction in the Diary Room as she claimed that, far from issuing threats, she meant that she was going to find the housemates’ families and give them a big hug. Pow, pow, pow indeed.

With Alex gone, the fracas has to find a new place to settle. Happily, there are no shortage of irritants.

There’s Luke: a DVD commentary you can’t turn off, in the voice of George Formby.

Then there’s two-headed beast Lisa and Mario (Lima), the couple you absolutely wouldn’t want to get trapped next door to on an all-inclusive holiday.

“I manage people for a living,” says Mario at every available opportunity. “I’ll just facilitate, not manage,” he says of the opening of a can of beans.

“We met on eBay, I bought a crystal ball off him,” said Lisa, as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Lisa is like a dead-eyed footballer’s wife, though, being with Mario, I’d probably develop that thousand-yard stare too. The pair are clearly made for each other, though, which means we have to endure them licking each other’s tongues, squeezing each others pores and, recently, Mario sponging down Lisa’s buttocks like she was a Vauxhall Nova. Somebody please make it stop.

Then there’s Mikey. You knew something was different about Mikey when he entered the house in a poncho. True enough, he’s not quite like the other housemates. He’s blind. At least this means he’s spared the sight of Lima’s nauseating pawings.

Alas, he isn’t spared their sympathy, which borders on, and then tips over into insulting. “His life must be a living hell at the best of times,” said Lisa sensitively, whilst her beefcake partner allocated the thirtysomething radio producer a triangle in the musical task.

Actually, Mikey stands out in the house not because he’s sightless, not even because of that eerie haircut, but because he’s a bit of a curmudgeon. And that voice. Forget endurance karaoke, get everyone in a booth listening to Mikey speak. I give them five minutes, tops, before they start poking out their brains with unravelled coat hangers.

Actually, that could easily happen anyway, since there’s more than a whiff of Lord of the Flies about Big Brother, with hysterical behaviour very quickly becoming the norm. Think we humans are a sophisticated species? One look at the housemates when they win food/hear music/are handed a bucket of diluted alcopops rapidly puts paid to such grandiose illusions as they’re sent into a frothing, frottaging, eye-rolling frenzy. And what was that silent dancing last week all about? Gave me nightmares, that did.

Speaking of silence, or lack thereof, Sylvia has been keeping Mikey awake with her big gob. “I’ve come in here so I can do what I want,” she ranted, having apparently missed the entire point of the Big Brother house.

“The bores are taking over,” complained Dennis, of whom I haven’t yet formed a strong opinion except to say that the way he had his socks rolled part-way off in his audition tape made me feel violated. Anyone else feel that? Just me? Okay then.

Then there’s Dale - don’t hate me because I’m beautiful – Howard, in tears on Friday night at the thought of being evicted for being such a hottie. He wasn’t evicted, of course. Just ousted from his position as house eye-candy as Stuart from Manchester strolled through the door all (alleged) eyeliner, facial hair and sensitive single dad-dom, destined - or so Big Brother producers sincerely hope - to challenge Dale’s budding romance with Geordie Jennifer.

If Dale was stunned, the girls were agog. “I’ve just come out of the toilet,” said the “obnoxiously happy” Rachel as she shook his hand, clearly having read the wrong books on how to chat up men.

“We’ve got a man!” chanted Sylvia, which must have made the other guys - let’s call them half-men – feel wonderful. And after Dale heroically smashed that piece of wood the size of a crispbread, too.

It’s around now that the house will begin cracking up. The conspiracy theories have already started. The alpha males are bristling, and Sylvia is falling hard for Stuart to the point where she’s starting to doubt her relationship with her boyfriend on the outside world.

Erm, hello Sylvia, have you never seen the show? Can I just bring your attention to Chantelle and Preston? Nicky and Pete? Ziggy and Chanelle? Don’t you realise that, after a few weeks in the house, you’d develop a crush on a pepper grinder? No. You don’t. Because you’re an idiot.

A final word has to go to Kat. While the other housemates are all variations on arseholes we’ve met in our lives, Kathreya is like nobody I’ve ever seen before. It’s like she’s been created with CGI.

I’m hoping she has a dark side. If she does, chances are it will emerge when she finds out the housemates have been hiding cookies. Don’t make her hungry. You won’t like her when she’s hungry.

Big Brother, Channel 4, 9pm

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Penny LaneJune 23rd 2008.

Mario is a David Brent of the modern age. FACT.

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