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BB's cast rival any soap opera

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Private Dancer

Joined: 19 Jan 2004
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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: BB's cast rival any soap opera
    Posted: 09 June 2010 at 09:04
Why we'll miss these heroes and villans... BB's cast rival any soap opera



Published: Today

AS Big Brother gears up for its final outing, media personality and telly lover JULIE BURCHILL tells us why she regrets its demise but is glad she never appeared on it.

I LOVE reality TV. Over the years I've been asked to be on it many times.

Celebrity Detox (they don't have the time and I don't have the inclination), Celebrity Wife Swap (couldn't trust myself not to re-gay around Sam Fox) and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (ditto all those birds in bikinis).

Transgendered%20...%20Nadia
Transgendered ... Nadia
And in 2005, Celebrity Big Brother. I turned them down, as per, and they asked Germaine Greer who, ever lonely and attention-seeking, gratefully accepted.

I well remember, snuggled up on the sofa with my old man, watching her vomiting on a roundabout with a colander on her head having just waded through manure - all of this voluntarily, mind you! And I just looked at him and purred "Ooo, Daddy - I WANT her life!" How we laughed!

Trolly%20dolly%20...%20Brian
Trolly dolly ... Brian
In my case, I think that reality TV is for watching, not appearing on; I'm too old, too rich and too fond of my husband to leave him for more than a week. And of course I WOULD win, and be there till the end, so it WOULD be more than a week!

But watch it I do, with great pleasure, from the talent shows to the tantrum shows, and none with more relish than Big Brother.

And as Big Brother season rolls around one more time - the last time! - let's get ready for the hysteria, the ignorance and the behaviour that makes one ashamed to be a member of the human race.

No, I don't refer to the housemates - whoever they may be - but rather the media commentators who hate this brilliant television event.

And who have effectively witch-hunted it out of existence - with all the grim, seat-sniffing prissiness that characterises what passes in witch-hunters for sexual excitement.

"Get a life" is the lame, favoured jibe from reality-haters to reality-fans, but from where I'm sitting, it's the haters who totally get reality TV out of proportion, and spend far too much time obsessing - fuming, spitting, bed-wetting for all I know - over it.

I will watch Big Brother for an hour each evening - and the rest of the time, I won't think about it. (Except when I analyse it as part of my work, natch.)

And, as I've pointed out before, hating Big Brother says far more about the hater than it does about the hated.

BB-haters, in no particular order, hate the young. They hate the working class. They hate gays. They hate people who have sex more than once a fortnight.

And as with a lot of unfounded, ungrounded hate, envy is in there somewhere - despite the protestations of pity that the haters have for these "freaks". (And what a giveaway about the haters' attitude to young people, poor people and gay people is contained in that endlessly repeated word!)

Unlike the plodding killjoys who deride them, the housemates live in a world of extremes.

The change in the definition of the word DRAMA over the Big Brother Decade illustrates this better than anything.

Dire%20diva%20...%20Nikki
Dire diva ... Nikki
Before BB, it referred to a bunch of wusses in bustles dusting doilies - surely the reason it's called "period" drama is that it's about as much fun as having one?

Now, "drama" refers to real people experiencing real emotions, and one of the reasons why actors invariably slag off reality TV is that it shows them up for the phoney baloneys that they are, unable to make us laugh or cry without someone else's words in front of them.

Words which they are paid a stupendous amount of money to recite like so many poncy parrots.

But the BB cast has been cheap and cheerful for ten great years, and along with the invariable dross there has been many a moment of TV gold which trashes the most expensive scripted television dramas.

Amongst the dozens of dopey blondes and stroppy queens, there have been heroes and villains to rival those of the most sterling soap opera.

And despite what the critics carp, there is a sense of morality at play in BB world which corrupt politicians and bankers could learn much from, where virtue is rewarded and vileness punished.

Year One, and the kind Craig Phillips won out over Nasty Nick Bateman, donating his £70,000 prize to a young neighbour, Joanne Harris, whose Down's Syndrome meant that she needed a heart and lung transplant which the NHS, brutally, refused to give her due to her condition.

Lost%20out%20...%20Nasty%20Nick
Lost out ... Nasty Nick
Year Two, the sweet-natured trolley dolly Brian Dowling won out over a houseful of big-headed heterosexual yuppies such as car designer Paul "in many ways I've lived the life of an international pop star" Clarke.

The real winner of BB3 was runner-up to Kate Lawler, Jade Goody, who when she died of cancer on Mother's Day last year was thought to have inspired a more than 20 per cent rise in women seeking cervical cancer tests - more of a feminist heroine than Germaine Greer could ever dream of being, vomiting on a roundabout or not.

Big Brother 4 was won by the Christian Cameron Stout, who took the Bible into the house and bought his church a new piano out of his winnings; most booed of this year was the loathsome Federico, who qualified his statement "All girls are slags" with "All girls from Newcastle are slags".

Year Five was won by the brave transgendered Nadia, who struggled manfully with her parents' disapproval - Year Six by the gorgeous, gracious Anthony, who struggled even more manfully, and with limitless patience, with the unwanted attentions of his self-styled best friend Craig.

The loveable Tourette's tyke Pete took BB7 from under the suspiciously snub noses of dire divas such as Nikki, Grace and Lea.

Kind%20...%20Craig%20Phillips
Kind ... Craig Phillips
Big Brother 8 was won by my personal favourite, the gentle giant and all-round gent Brian Belo, who saw off pure evil in a boob tube in the shape of Charlie, the Nando's It Girl.

The adorable teacher Rachel Rice triumphed over the foul Rex to take BB9 - in fact The Sun recently reported that she was the most popular housemate EVER. And last year saw the delightful Sophie Reade take the prize from a bunch of the nastiest men ever to masturbate in a shower.

See what I mean? Virtue is rewarded and vileness punished in this most moral of madhouses. As I said in this very paper some years back, to be against reality TV, in my opinion, is to be against life itself.

Never mind, snobs - go and watch your dreary costume dramas like a good swot and keep telling yourself how much better you are than the rest of us.

Me, I will miss the celebration of human spite, spirit and soul that is Big Brother.

But somehow, I get a feeling it won't be away too long...




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  Quote Jonnyboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2010 at 11:37
considering we are talking 11 years worth of contestants, I don't think there are that many that are memorable. 
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