Big Brother I Was Watching You

They’re watching us watching them…Big Bill watched Big Brother.

Just my thoughts…


Rula Lenska

This was all so, so unfair for poor Rula. Many will now probably remember her career for two things; Rock Follies and this TV Folly. Rock Follies was arguably the start of her career in the public eye and this TV Folly looks like being the end of it. Pray for a cat-food commercial, Rula! In fairness, though what a nightmare she must have found herself in – a 57-year-old, clearly past her physical best, finding herself in the company of a Mata Hari (Faria), a Daisy Duke (Chantelle), Britain’s Primo Slapper (Jodie) and, to cap it all, Baywatch Babe Traci! Most woman well past a certain age would bridle at the thought of competing with any of them, poor Rula had to take on the lot and she lost, in spades. I thought George Galloway was right in his comments after she did that ludicrous striptease – she was, indeed, trying too hard. Who wouldn’t have their confidence rocked? The brave face she put on arguably wasn’t the best one either. Go to bed with a countess, wake up with a count. I choose my words very carefully here! Gee, I’d rather go to bed with Pete – at least he looks the same in the mornings as he does last thing at night!


Chantelle Houghton

A (not quite) singing version of Jade Goody.
She is so very self-possessed, the producers must have been thrilled beyond belief by the way she stood up to Dennis Rodman. Enough is being written about her at the moment; I have no further comment other than to observer she seems areal-life version of Billie Piper’s character Rose in the current Dr. Who.


Dennis Rodman

Everyone knew Pete Burns had a hard time deciding what to wear for the day but what about poor Dennis, eh? Let’s (hypothetically) listen in….”Uhm it’s time to get up, what kind of look shall I wear today? Little Lord Fauntleroy? Nope, did that the other day. Geisha? No, Pete’ll do that any minute” (and he did). “I got it – lemme see now, just give the ol’ tattoos a burnish….get them pointy studs all in…adjust the baseball cap just so…and there it is – third circle of Hell! Yay, me, not that I give a shit…”
Did anyone note that while Pete Burns got awful raggeddy when he ran short of booze and cigarettes, both Dennis Rodman and the adorable Traci Bingham got grouchy when the food got low? They being the two pro athletes it wasn’t at all surprising. I noticed Dennis complaining that training without proper food wasn’t too much fun. Probably the first time he’s ever had to do it.
And did you see how he balanced on the exercise ball with one foot while he did push ups? Have you ever tried that? Do you know how HARD that is? And he made it look so simple! No wonder this guy is major league.


Jodie Marsh

Poor, poor Jodie. How sad and muddled she appears to be. I gather, though, that there’s a very upbeat enthusiastic and likeable girl in there somewhere. She seems to be gathering acolytes rather than making friendships, confusing fans with friends. I noted when Pete Burns and Michael Barrymore were trying to get through to her late one night, Michael suggested to her that she try and envisage a certain scenario just for the sake of argument. Oh no I couldn’t agree to that, says our Jodie, that would be immoral and I don’t tell lies. Something similar seemed to be happening when she was talking to Davina McCall after her eviction, Davina gently suggesting that the other housemates had been trying to act in Jodie’s best interests and Jodie went immediately off on a complete tangent in her reply.
I think myself that there’s a great big rock sitting in the head of Jodie Marsh, never referred to, never to be admitted to. What lies under it? Something that Jodie finds so terrifying that she visibly flees from considering the rock’s very existence.
One suspects that self-contemplation is not a regular pastime for Miss Marsh. A shame, as rarely does one encounter a light bulb that really, really does need to change.
Poor, poor Jodie.


(Sam) Preston

Just like Dennis Rodman, I had no idea who Preston actually was. I gathered he was in a band called the Ordinary Boys, and going from his appearance in general, I’d have put them somewhere between the Jam and and number of ska bands, say, The Selector? Later in the show we were treated to some Ordinary Boys tunes and it looks as though I wasn’t too far off the money.
Apart from that, I knew nothing before about Le Preston and I know little else now, other than that he seems to be a perfectly decent sort of geezer with, I rather imagine, considerable woman trouble on his plate.
All quite ordinary, in fact.


Michael Barrymore

What a piece of work is this man! How infinite in frailty, his new personna suggests, and I have no reason to believe anything other than that the face we saw was the real one. He seemed a perfectly decent being, flawed, ragged round the edges, and while he and Pete Burns together both displayed an ability to provoke gales of genuine laughter (from me) it’s Barrymore who has the touch of genius about him, the air of one driven to perform yet denied his stage. I hope the UK does what Pete said it should and opens its arms to welcome Barrymore back. He’s a tonic for the nation. We probably need him more than he needs us.


Pete Burns

Twisted embittered genius. Youngsters will probably be too young to realise this but in the genre of movies known as noir, in small, run-down and seedy clubs in the boonies of Anytown, USA, the kind a Private Dick would inevitably find their way to when they were looking for clues or following leads they’d find the Heroine of the movie. She’d be seated, alone at the bar, she’d have a cool drink that she hadn’t paid for in a tall glass in front of her and she’d always be smoking. Whatever happened, even if it happened right in front of her, her face would be frozen into a mask of disdained amusement. In other words, she’d look like Pete. Assuming that’s what he had in mind when he had his plastic done, he’s got it dead right.
For me the best times in the house were when the Pete and Michael show hit the road, late at night or early in the morning over coffee and cigarettes when the rest of the house was asleep. Funny funny funny.
Who was it pleaded with George to go and speak with Rula because she was feeling so bad as a woman? Pete.
Who was it spoke up so volubly for Barrymore after being evicted, saying how much he needed to be rehabbed back into this country? Pete. Not quite such the monster then, eh?


Traci Bingham

The delightful, the truly gorgeous Traci Bingham. Every man should have a Bingham of his own. starting with me. The rest of you can get your own, though, I want that one. See how she went straight into a series of classic brilliantly executed girlie poses for the photographers as she left the house? An absolute professional, a master of her craft. And how beautiful in her red devil costume! Cheap to run too, (once you’ve bought the mansion), give her alcohol and she wanders around making small, happy sounds all day (whether you want her too or not). Does the guy she’s engaged to realise he’s marrying one of the Clangers? “Oh my Gah-had, it’s the Soup-Drag-gen…”
I don’t think Traci understood the show, which goes a long way to explaining why she was so devastated by being nominated. Observe when she was talking to Davina at the end, she said how hard she’d tried to be a good housemate. I suspect she thought you had to win by proving how pleasant you were to live with and dutifully went out of her way to be just that. I don’t think she had to go far our of her way at all, either, I think she really is that nice a person. that’s why she was so upset at being nominated, she thought she was doing something wrong on a personal level to the other housemates. Hence her shock and surprise. You get the feeling that to a certain extent, once you reach a certain level of stardom your life is run to a large extent by your agent; Traci and Dennis both gave the impression that they simply went where they were signed to go and did their best when they were there.


George Galloway

What a clear-cut warning to us all of how politicians plan to use us. We seem to be no more than stepping stones to their own self-serving ends. How did he serve his constituency in the BB house? His blustering complaints about censorship left me unimpressed.
I noticed too that when there was the first a major disagreement in the house – I believe over a misunderstanding about racism – George it was who suggested that a round table discussion be held which George, seemingly thoughtfully, offered to chair.
Thus, it begins. How long before, in order that George may the better to fulfil his post as arbiter of the house decisions, not be made to suffer the distractions of, say, hunger; shouldn’t he be given a bigger share of the food than the others, so that his thinking may be clearer and not distracted by hunger? It’s in the best interests of the group as a whole, after all; he’s the decision maker.
In the same vein, we might conjecture, how long before George’s sexual needs/desires must similarly be given priority over the others, the women of the tribe, sorry, house, should be encouraged to offer themselves freely and regularly to George over and above the others. All in the best interests of the group, of course. Politicians, eh? They never close.



Maggot, the common man – the voice of reason, as he said. A straightforward decent guy. Good to see he got over his initial reserve about Barrymore. Why was he concerned about his image, I wondered? How genuine can he be if that’s a concern? Subsequently, though, he proved himself a steadying influence on the rest of the household.


Faria Alam

The Big Brother experience must have been very difficult for Faria. I thought she behaved throughout as I imagine she was brought up to be, dignified and reserved. I never thought she was a slapper, or in any way cheap, when her sex life got her in the news. Her business, I would have thought. I was subsequently a bit disappointed to hear quite how promptly she was hawking her BB story round Fleet Street but, I suppose, a girl has to be practical and topical if she’s going to make money that way. For me, the most interesting thing about Faria was her apparent inability to express the emotions she was claiming to feel. I put this down to her upbringing to and there may be a lesson there for all of us. Imagine a girl bought up in strict circumstances in old established traditions, then abruptly cast out of that culture into a new and different one. She’ll know how to function emotionally in the old culture, her appropriate upbringing will have prepared her for that, but in this new (by which I mean, ‘Western’) culture, one where the world has moved on from the time that birthed the culture she was raised in, she struggles to express emotions that she has no name for. We’re probably all a bit that way at times as the world turns faster. Our childhood upbringing can less and less prepare us for adulthood as effectively the two happen in different worlds. Poor Faria. I liked her.

Big Brother grew up and found its feet here, this was ground-breaking TV. It still seems the fashion in newspapers that somehow, inexplicably, appear to consider themselves and their readers above Big Brother viewers. It’s only for the oiks is the subtext of the copy in pretty much all the nationals.
Synchronise watches, tv kids; only a matter of time before they change their tune and accept that here are observations made on life in the raw, that the spat between Dennis and Chantelle, the spats between everybody and George, everybody and the confused unfortunate Jodie Marsh, weren’t far more riveting viewing than anything scriptwriters could have dreamed up. It’s been an age in coming, but Big Brother seems to be coming of age.

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