Big Brother's Big Blog: Celebrity Big Brother launch night reviewed!

Big Brother 2011 eye

The Celebrity Big Brother 2011 launch night finally arrived earlier this week and at two minutes past nine on Thursday evening all the hype finally came to an end. The endless speculation about who was in the house was about to be confirmed or shown up as total rubbish - in the end, it was a mix of both.

Cue the familiar theme music (thank god they kept that) and then cue to Brian stepping out of a fabulous huge Big Brother eye. Marcus starts his now familiar announcements that Big Brother was back and we were off and running. I was on the edge of my seat. Would there be shocks? Would there be surprises? Would there be Charlie sheen?

Yes, Yes and No.

Now before I go on I should just point out (as it was pointed out to me) that this is NOT Big Brother on Channel 4 and although I was disappointed overall with the line up as it was revealed I should remember that the old series also had some poor line ups and ‘celebrities’ in the past.

This is Channel 5. They are not an independent channel. They are owned by Richard Desmond. This is the same man who owns The Daily Star and OK magazine. Bear this in mind as I step through the mire of names making up this year’s CBB housemates.

So, back to the stage and Brian was looking great in his suit (although he really needed to undo the top button of the jacket) and it was time to announce the first housemate. I had my list of who I thought would be going in from my last blog on here and was ready to tick them off like some sad train spotter collecting celebs.

First in was Kerry (no shock here) Katona!! I gave myself a little fist bump there as I had her on my list. Looking like a cross between Robyn and Brigitte Nielsen she strolled out to cheers into Brian’s waiting arms. She looked very nervous in her apparently borrowed dress but she did look like she was mentally recovered. I still remember This Morning and the producers made sure we did as well by reminding us all on the VT they showed about her. Up the stairs and into the house she went. Down the stairs on the other side and over to the Champers. Too bloody right.

So no shocks there (tick) who’s next?

Tara American Pie Reid! She may have been in American Pie but I was starting to get hungry for more than pie. Sure she looked great and the apparent plastic surgery had not made her look as bad as reported in the past. Great dress, fabulous shoes, another HM with a drug problem past. CBB was starting to look like Celeb Rehab. Not surprisingly she turned down the Champers that Kerry offered when she went into the house.


Ah. The inevitable Ad breaks and promises of punk paparazzi and Baywatch babes. Nooooooo! Darren Lyons? REALLY? Celebrity? At least we would have Pamela Anderson right?

WRONG! But more of this later.

Next into the house was my big fat gypsy wedding ‘star’ Paddy Doherty. I am stunned. Where are the big names we were promised? I had Paddy on my list of suspects so I ticked my scorecard (2 yes and 1 no) and moved on quickly.

In Paddy went going on about being there for the crack. Looking as sweaty and greasy as he looked under the lights I’m afraid there won’t be a lot of crack for Paddy in the house. Fortunately for me I grew up in Tottenham and the large Irish contingent there means I can understand Paddy quite easily. Tara I’m afraid was not as fortunate.

I was starting to struggle to understand her though. She appeared ‘tired’ probably the strain of the day.

Next up it was Essex’s finest...Amy Childs. If you can’t get Katie Price then send in the clones. The only way is Essex star apparently gave up her spot in the ‘hit’ ITV2 show to appear on Big Brother. Great. She looked great. She certainly knows the media game already and absorbed every flash of the paps bulbs like a seasoned pro. Work it girl (and she did!)

Into the house. Double air kisses ago-go. Again Tara does not have any idea who this person is. I love it when the US HM’s don’t get our idea of celebrity. Maybe I am an American because to be honest I wasn’t getting it either.

Next up Darren Lyons, or as he likes to be known, Mr Paparazzi. Looking like Elvis on acid he strolled out to virtual silence. The crowd as stunned as I was to see him on ‘celebrity’ Big Brother. He is not a celebrity. He makes and breaks celebrities. He is not one. Max Clifford is not a celebrity. Neither is Mr Lyons.

Pamela Bach Hasselhoff

Brian senses the drop in atmosphere and tries to whip the crowd into a frenzy again. He does it. He is actually doing really well. I’m starting to forget who that woman was who used to present this show on channel 4. Belinda something I think. In you go Darren says Brian and he is off.

Half way through and I’m still waiting for the BIG stars to arrive. Only five spots left. Who is next? Charlie Sheen? Pamela Anderson? Sarah Ferguson? Bobby Brown? No.

Sally Bercow. The only person other than Amy Childs who was a dead cert to go in (regardless of the stuff about her hubby not knowing). She quickly told us that she was there so that her fee could go to her favourite charity and for that I instantly took a liking to her. She came across as genuine and was the first of the inmates housemates who came across as ‘real’ she does not drink and takes no s**t. I liked her.

In she went and as Paddy greeted her with the phrase “alright woman” she looked him in the eye and said (bear in mind this is Paddy Doherty) “Are you going to call me woman?” Yes said Paddy. I REALLY like Sally Bercow.

Just as a side point, Tara and Paddy are now turning into the same person and becoming more and more incomprehensible to the other housemates as each moment passes.

Now it ‘must’ be time for the big guns? Wheel in the massive star. The huge mega bucks signing?

Cue the tumbleweed

Lucien Laviscount... I’ve been in Corrie and Waterloo Road (nope still no wiser. More info please) I’ve done some modelling with David Beckham (isn’t he a footballer) and he said I should be an actor? Apparently he got off with Kym Marsh’s character in corrie and had quite a big role in Waterloo road. I don’t watch either and I don’t know many models (which would not put me in good stead for later).

He is however a fabulous looking young man and he certainly drew the eye of some of the ladies when he went into the house. Amy especially (I see a pattern developing here)

My score is now Yes 4 and No 3 it can only get better right?

Three left. Surely Pamela is next? Yes!

No... Somebody ordered the wrong Pamela. Yes she was on Baywatch. Yes her name is Pamela. No her surname is not Anderson.
It was the Hoff’s Ex wife Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff. She has a catchphrase and everything (which will wear as thin as an Eastenders plot line very quickly) It is ‘What’s up buttercup?’ The game is what is up Pamela. You are a celebrity by proxy. This is not looking good.

Only two spots left. No Charlie sheen yet. Surely they must be getting him lined up to come on next and where are Jedward? I hope they are not the last two?

Nope. Time for the biggest shock of the night. The next ‘celebrity’ was, wait for it... Bobby (Zoolander) Sabel ( I had to Google him to even know what his surname was) He stands with Brian and says something along the lines of how hard it is to be ‘seriously good looking’ and then strolls up the stairs into the house. Another stunning looking man for Amy to fall in love with. The camera pans to Amy as he enters. She looks suitable enamoured.

Are my worst fears being confirmed? Is this a dating show? Is it all just a vehicle to make Amy Childs the next Katie Price? No Mark. Of course it isn’t. Sort yourself out!


Again Amy is checking the location of every camera in the house. This girl is a complete pro. She is going to win this hands down. I guarantee it. Personally I would like to see Sally or Zoolander win it.

And so, finally, we come to the last of them. To the end of the line. We all know before Brian tells us that it is Jedward but we hope against hope that it is Charlie. It isn’t. It is Jedward. Dressed in Tigger suits the showbiz equivalent of Thrush. I know a lot of people love them but I see them as a symptom of the decline in the youth of today. Look at us. You can make it by having no discernable talent except the ability to never shut up and believe your own hype.

They will make great housemates and great viewing.

So that’s it. The end. I feel slightly deflated. My twitter timeline is awash with disappointment and sadness. People are getting ready to watch Josie on Big Brothers Bit on the side. I am just getting ready to log onto the Channel 5 website that will be running the live stream for the next couple of months. Then I wake up and there is no live feed. It has all been a terrible dream.

The problem is that is wasn’t a dream. Those ARE the CBB housemates and apart from maybe 2 of the 10 they are not as advertised.

No Charlie Sheen.

No Live Feed.

No idea.

To end on a positive note though. Brian Dowling was brilliant. He made a natural progression from housemate to presenter and has a unique understanding of the dynamics of doing the show. He handled the celebrities brilliantly and Emma Willis and Brian Dowling will be the glowing lights in this series of Big Brother on Channel 5. Big Brothers Bit on the side was also really good and as a new format worked well. The Skype audience members were always going to be a technical challenge and so it turned out to be. Time lag is inevitable. I work in IT and could have told them that but who cares about my opinions?

I’ll be watching the rest of the series via the highlight shows as there is no live feed (I won’t mention it again) and hope you will join me. I promise the next one of these will not be so long.

About the author

Mark Lockstone is a self confessed TV addict and Big Brother fan since 2000. I’ll be sharing my views and opinions on this year’s Celebrity Big Brother and ‘Actual’ Big Brother as they air for the first time on Channel 5. I’ll be providing a weekly roundup of the comings, goings and the housemates themselves from the most famous house in the UK. I may not have made it into the house this year myself but it doesn’t stop me having an opinion on every aspect of the Big brother Experience.

Follow me on Twitter @Locko8668 for more of the same in 140 character chunks.

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