Who are the celebrities in this year’s Celebrity Big Brother this year, people are asking.
No, but seriously, who the fuck are they? Obviously part of the appeal of Celebrity Big Brother is that its stars are not stars at all. In devaluing the word ‘celebrity’, the show soothes our souls. If this is what a celebrity looks like, you think, looking at this line-up of bankruptcies and botched plastic surgery, I’d rather work in IT recruitment, thanks very much.
Admittedly this year they’ve has bagged Christopher Biggins – loveable TV actor, perennial panto dame, general fucking dude – which is something of a coup. But Biggins don’t come cheap and this, it seems, has left bosses at Channel 5 to stretch those remaining pennies across the likes of Ariana Grande’s half-brother and a man who was once married to Anthea Turner.
I once walked past Gok Wan in the street, which presumably makes me eligible for the show next year. Here, then, is your primer for the human people appearing on Celebrity Big Brother throughout summer 2016. Know them, love them, for they are your reminder of the gain in mundane.
Let’s start with this big dog. You know Biggins, the man who needs only one name, like Cher and Pitbull. He was in a bunch of ’70s comedies your dad probably likes, does a lot of panto, kicks it with Joan Collins and is, on the whole, #lifegoals.
The 24-year-old was on Geordie Shore, the hard-hitting documentary series about one region’s crippling addiction to fake tan and Tiger Tiger. So it’s good that she’ll be raising the profile of these issues on an even bigger platform.
If you’re going to trade off Ariana Grande’s name, you might as well be her actual brother, right? Half-brother? Pfft.
The one from Storage Hunters who is not Sean Kelly. Not even the most memorable one from Storage Hunters.
He found a facsimile of fame on The Only Way Is Essex. That facsimile is about to get photocopied again, this time weaker, more transparent, until it seems almost entirely non-existent.
Jesus, this is even more tenuous than TOWIE. This bloke was on the MTV show Ex On The Beach and apparently dated Vicky Pattison from Geordie Shore. The novelist Peter Carey once said that being a famous writer is “like being famous in a village”, in which case being a reality star is like being famous in the cramped office of a TV producer with limited time and very little budget.
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Genuinely the least famous person on this list, which must be some kind of achievement. She was a runner-up on The Apprentice more than a decade ago. Did anyone hear my Gok Wan anecdote? Channel 5, know this: I am probably cheaper than Saira Khan, and just as qualified.
Celebrity Big Brother has a thing for scooping up former contestants from The X Factor and locking them in a house for three weeks. It worked with Rylan Clark, who became the host of spin-off show Big Brother’s Bit On The Side and turned out to be a talented presenter. It’s been six years since Waissel belted her way through Elton John’s ‘Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)’ and beat vulnerable dreamboat Aiden Grimshaw. If you’ve been wondering what she’s been up to in the interim, it appears the answer is: not much. Taking the bins out, putting her plastic bags in other plastic bags, that kind of thing.
Aka Chloe Mafia, she was also on The X Factor in 2010 and claims to have become a millionaire via a successful webcam stripping business. Yet for some reason wears a dollar sign that appears to be made of felt.
Aka Fatboy from Eastenders. He left Walford last year but the Big Brother House will soon welcome him in from the cold. Stock up on the home comforts, Fatboy – the show’s only on for three weeks.
She played a minor character in Absolutely Fabulous, which gives her a bit of pop culture currency, since the new movie is currently in cinemas.
Michael James Whale
The same cannot be said of this dude, whose addition is baffling even by Celebrity Big Brother standards. The 1980s shock-jock probably agreed to appear in exchange for a fiver and some assorted bric-a-brac from last year’s House.
She’s from the American reality show Mob Wives and I’m not going to make fun of her because I’ll probably wind up frozen in the back of a meat truck while ‘Layla’ by Derek & The Dominoes plays softly in the background.
Anthea Turner’s ex-husband who went bankrupt after declaring himself £50m in debt. Lesson here: unless your notable wife/ex-wife is Kim Kardashian, do not get that badly in debt.
She was in the Diddy-endorsed MTV reality TV show Making The Band about 1000 years ago, which is pretty lame, but apparently she knows boogey man of the hour Donald Trump, which might make her a bit interesting.
The former Page 3 model became a pop star in the 1980s and her single Touch Me ‘(I Want Your Body)’ went Silver in the UK and, weirdly, Gold in Canada, where it was super successful. Apparently she was the most expensive person this year, even more so than Biggins, commanding a “six figure” fee. A timely reminder than nothing in this world makes sense.