Oh come on, how could I not watch the opening night of Celebrity Big Brother? First in was Michael Barrymore, who found the rapturous applause so hard to leave behind he was barely able to enter the house. Extraordinary how people can so wholeheartedly throw their support behind a stranger whose integrity is so clearly in question.
We also found out that one of Barrymore's phobias is clowns, which annoyed me. I have a phobia of people who say their phobia is clowns - I really don't believe them. When was the last time you actually saw a clown? That's what people who don't actually have real phobias say when they're scratching around for an answer. I think more likely is that Barrymore's phobia is a limelight powercut. His exile to New Zealand must have been hell. But once he was in the house, the man looked instantly at home, and each new housemate was like a courtier visiting his kingdom.
The first real surprise for me was the appearance of Preston, lead singer of The Ordinary Boys, a Morrissey-tongued band of nu-Britpop urchins from Bournemouth. If you want to catch up, download Talk Talk Talk - it's a great song. Anyway, Preston shot into the lead in my book when he managed to greet Barrymore with his own "awight?" catchphrase.
The most mouth-dropping moment came when MP for Bethnal Green George Galloway was announced; he arrived looking eerily calm. I began to wonder whether the Endemol kids hadn't heavily sedated him in the limo on the way there. He greeted actress Rula Lenska (whose preview tape included the unfortunate line, "If I could describe myself in three words? Passionate, fun, slightly eccentric") and the show finished with the most unlikely fragment of a line you could've hoped for: "... knew her from the old Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign days..."
From the Electric Goose archives
- Kearns' hatred of Galloway
- More Big Brother bile