There are two givens when Celebrity Big Brother arrives on our television screens. One is that most of the ‘celebrities’ will require ‘googling’ to ascertain at what point in the past couple of decades that they had their fifteen minutes of fame.
The other is that there is going to be some kind of controversy that will be whipped up to a frenzy in the tabloids in the hope that viewers will flock to the show with the promise of witnessing some car crash TV.
So there must be pats on the backs all round among the producers of the show as the 2015 version has achieved all that and a whole lot more. The problem is, has it now gone way too far in the name of entertainment?
Of course, we all wanted it to descend in to chaos during their time in the Big Brother house but there is a difference between celebrity flounces and a bit of slap and tickle to the robe grabbing and racial slurs that the housemates have served up this time.
Wounded characters and outspoken personas are the default and as they all went in to the house, there were defiant statements of how they would ‘tell it how it is’, whilst hoping that the wounds of past discretions wouldn’t be opened up for everyone to pick apart.
There is obviously a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of those that bring us the show and it is a head-scratching wonder why they would encourage a person that has a history of alcohol dependency to have a few drinks. I hope that the fall out was as dramatic as they hoped when they flooded the house with an array of tipples that would tempt the strongest willed off the wagon. No dry January for this group.
The inclusion of Jeremy Jackson has stretched the definition of celebrity to its extremities. Star of Baywatch is the headline that we have been fed but in the small print it does read, ‘son of David Hasselhoff’s character in the hit show’ which means that he was just a young teen when he was a ‘star’ and has spent most of his adult life in a perilous state of self-destruction.
Equally Ken Morley has always been a caricature of a celebrity with his camp, jokey performances as Reg Holdsworth in Coronation Street to his cringeworthy, outspoken turn on Come Dine with Me which confirmed that he would say anything to get a share of the limelight.
Add to the mix a disparate bunch of desperate individuals, it always going to be the case that social order will break down.
The problem this time around is that the viewer is left uncomfortable and needing a shower to wash off the grubby episodes that happened during the last few days and you are left feeling, is this really entertainment?
Blaming the drink for his inexplicable groping of Chloe Goodman seemed an easy option for Jeremy Jackson, eventhough he appeared to sober up pretty quickly after the incident. It was right that he was ejected from the show but why there is a different standard for Ken Morley’s lurid and racial slurs is incomprehensible.
Let us hope that he will suffer a similar fate and just because Alexander O’Neal put him in his place and Chloe Goodman told him where to go, doesn’t mean he should be excused from packing his bags and following Jackson out of the door.
After the build-up that had TV executives instructing lawyers to watch and listen to every word that Katie Hopkins spoke, it is a statement of how far Big Brother has plunged that she has become a voice of reason and has even garnered some sympathetic ears.
They say that all publicity is good publicity but let us hope that the housemates have removed such controversial methods from their modus operandi as the whiff of criminality that is emanating from the house is a smell that we could all do well without, let alone the victims that are still in there worrying what is still on the menu, ready to be served up in the name of entertainment.