First published 16th January 2007 on

Well unless Shilpa Shetty develops Carrie-like telekenetic powers and destroys the Big Brother house in an orgy of bloody and fire (although I hope Face escapes and doesn’t get walloped with a bucket) this really does look like being more of the same depressing shower of sewage, regardless of the fact Endemol producers have probably been frantically whispering to Jade Goody and her cohorts in cuntery to “tone down the Indian stuff”. Is it really worth me watching this in order to “testify” how bleak it all is?

This celebrity Big Brother has taken the concept of behaviour in confined spaces to a rather unpleasant logical conclusion. It’s always threatened to do so but the last few years in particular have seen the genesis of a monster. Over 10,000 people believe that it has gone too far in some way and complained to Ofcom about “racism” and “bullying” in the show. I’d like to keep those two things separate for now.

The racism I’ve picked up on in the show so far (from Jade, Jack, Jo and Danielle) is a sort of casually ignorant “mad nan” bigotry that’s been all too prevalent in this country for years and embarrassingly still lingers on. It’s not direct “racial hatred” as such and as a result most people from a non-white ethnic background will put up with it despite it being fucking annoying (even when it strays from “what do they eat?” into questioning hygiene habits). It can even soften with time (my ex’s dad used to be a proper Alf Garnett figure, now he dotes on his “mixed race” grandkids and says things like “I used to hate chinky food but it aint alf bad” (Ok you can’t win all the battles at once)). This is still learned behaviour in parts of the UK. Growing up in the Industrial North (about as multicultural then as a NRA rally) I heard kids my age parroting their parents’ views about foreigners (especially the darker coloured ones) stealing their jobs and women. For fucks sake we were six, “Love thy neighbour” and “It aint alf hot mum” were TV hit shows. We really haven’t moved on much.

It’s funny how the people who say “It’s funny that the people complaining about racism are always white” to my knowledge have always been white. They’ll be saying that Mr Rigsby wasn’t racist next – as though you can only be a racist if you’re firebombing a Pataks factory whilst reading Mein Kampf. On last night’s show we saw Jermaine Jackson declaring “I’m tired of bullshitting. Look at [Shilpa’s] face…her colour. Call it what it IS.” to a clearly distressed Cleo Rocos, like a lot of us preferring some hippy denial-world  where nothing nasty ever really happens (apart from those bloody Goblins). But if people from India posting on Indian forums are stating that using the word “Indian” rather than their name, making hints about Indian people being “dirty” or living in “shacks”, constantly impersonating an Indian accent (rather than Shilpa’s one-off questioning of Jade Goody’s pronunciation) and unfairly singling out a person in the minority is racist behaviour; people like DJ Jas (from Club Asia radio) and Meera Syal are stating that it is racism (and don’t tell me that all of the 10,000 people complaining to Ofcom were white), then perhaps there is something we should be forcing ourself to face here.

The second part of the equation is the bullying, and I honestly think that if it wasn’t for the continuous, concerted level of venom displayed by a group of people towards an individual, that the racism issue would not have ballooned up to it’s present elephantine state. And of course to some level the bullying is based on Shilpa’s differences. Not just the colour of her skin but the fact she is from a different culture, is beautiful, intelligent, capable of keeping her own company and is actually found attractive by the men in the house (male approval is usually the thing these pack hags covet the most). So the bullying seems to stem from a mixture of fear, ignorance and INSANE jealousy. The racism this allows to be revealed is just the facist icing on the shitty cake of female aggression. Perhaps any woman who’s been bullied by a gang of girls at school should make the men in her life view Big Brother – because in my experience men never believe that fluffy, squidgy women can be such harpic bitchmatics. I find the latest description of Team Goody as “the witches of Eastwick” a massive misnoma, as those witches were attractive, sexy and on the side of good (as only someone who shags Jack Nicholson can be).

Shilpa realises what’s going on and plans to talk to Jade about it, although as Jermaine points out “It’s not just Jade, it’s her crew. Just be yourself” (meaning “carry on as you are”), to which Cleo leaps in with “Yes you have to be true to yourself” (meaning “Jade says you’re fake, so this is all your fault). Arggh!

In the bedroom Jade describes her latest dream to her cronies, but it’s not exactly Martin Luther King. Predictably it features Shilpa and her (extended?) family rolling up their saris and kicking shit out of Jade and the girls (“there was one big girl. A skinny one”). To most of us not exactly a nightmare then. The harpies gasp in horror at this latest indisputable proof of the intrinsic evil of Shilpa Shetty.

Danielle chats to Shilpa in the toilet “I don’t want you to feel left out.. come and join us. No-one’s got any bad feelings about you.” Later in the lounge when the shitehawks have donned their New Look “evening dresses” Danielle states “I haven’t bitched about anyone”. When the opposite is pointed out she states that she doesn’t like Shilpa “fingering the food”. Unfortunately at the same time Shilpa has discovered some rancid chicken stock which Jermaine suggests that she chuck down the loo. The cronies stare like silent harbingers as she walks past them, not one bothering to ask what she’s doing or offer help, but inwardly gleefully anticipating a disaster to gripe about. Then as soon as she’s panned the pan contents, they’re picking (not literally) over what she has done. It’s like Macbeth without the comedy. “She should have poured it down the sink and then picked the bones out”, “Shilpa you’ll have to come and pick these bones out with your hands” (they’d like that), “pathetic”, “stupid”, “aggravating”, all this whilst still sat on their arses mind. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to imagine them in a retirement home ordering round a member of the staff. Shilpa comes and investigates the mess (which Danielle had in the meantime forced Face to look at, giggling that it was “Shilpa’s shit”. Nice) and Jade tersely says “That needs to be scooped out”, to which Jack (cocky little shithat) retorts “I think you should do it with your teeth Shilpa”. Shilpa gives him a slight Paddington Bear hard stare and says “There’s more I’d like to do with my teeth” at which Jo or even Cleo starts “Ooh. Is that bitchy? Is she being nasty?”

Everyone is pretty game during the assault course apart from Danielle, who before the task is heard whispering gleefully in anticipation, “My boobs are coming out! Let me tell you”. She takes about 2 minutes to finish the assault course, after much gurning, shrieking and noncomedy pratfalling. Unfortunately her unleashed spamswingers take 3 minutes (at one point Shilpa sweetly tries to help her cover herself, but is sternly reprimanded). Afterwards Danielle is distraught at being a useless titstand, but is comforted by Jade saying “Danielle you did better than Shilpa”, a claim of such manifest jaw-dropping inaccuracy that even Danielle isn’t dim enough to buy it. Later the gang bullies Shilpa out of her shower after 2 minutes, handing her a manky towel off the floor rather than the one she asks for, and I realise I’ve run out of ways to describe what cunts they are. It’s the ground zero of cuntitude.

I’m only kept going by the sight of Face all dirty in his dressing gown smoking a cigar. And his flirting with Shilpa, an added bonus being that it infuriates the shebeasts in their lounge lair.

Cleo in the diary room lamely tries to blame tiredness and hunger for the house-rift. “Jo says she prefers to function with something in her system” (yeah METHS). “Everyone in this house is very honest”, I’m sick of Cleo sitting on the fence and saying nothing through the most insiduous nasty gossip about Shilpa, apart from “We must try to get along”. She’s coming across like a rubbish sensitive lesbiotic games teacher at St Trinians.

After the balls-up of the late shoppping list (which mainly seemed to be taken over by the moanie cronies, who refused to let “controlling” Shilpa get a look in), there’s a possiblility that they might not get all the food ordered. Jermaine looks delighted “We’re all going to fast. That’s wonderful!” (yes. We need to bring out the anti-Muslim feeling in the house too). Jo bursts into tears in bed and Jermaine coolly observes “They’re breaking down”, as though he’s transmogrifying into Rambo. Excellent! Jo claims she’s having a panic attack which she says are brought on in her by stress, homesickness and claustrophobia (not booze and withdrawal then?), but fails to do anything useful or interesting like choke on her own vomit, so we switch to Shilpa in the diary room later. Shilpa sweetly talks about her rollercoaster experience in the house, and claims that living in a different culture has been a difficult learning curve but she’s OK now (that she’s tuned her brainwaves into radio Moron).

After Big Mouth (which inexplicably features pint-sized tumbleweed Leo Sayer. I thought he’d fucked off home to Australia where people appreciate him after ineptly flipping the bird to Endemol, Elstree and the British Isles in general. Could it be that they’re less likely to stick the deluded cockwig in front of a nice shiny camera down under?), watch as much as I can bear of the live streaming which only magnifies the level to which Jade especially despises Shilpa as she launches into what feels like a two hour tirade of irrational venom and lies with Twathat, Jo, ScouseTits and Cleo nodding along. A pissed Jo starts launching into a limerick in a sing-song voice “There was a young girl from Bom-bay” to which Jade quickly shoots her a look, hissing “No let’s not do that” (those 10,000 plus complaints have made an impact then). “Don’t get me wrong,” clarifies Jo, “I don’t dislike her, I just don’t trust her as far as I could throw her”.

Jade, Jack, Jo and Danielle then proceed to list all of Shilpa’s sins to a complacent Cleo. These apparently include whispering about Jade and the other girls to Jermaine and laughing, turning Face and Jermaine against them (apparently both men have been ignoring the all day. Shows taste), throwing herself at Face and flirting when Face should have been getting on with Jo (at which point Jo does a Goodness Gracious Me inspired impersonation “Ooooh Durk”), getting special priveledges from Big Brother (when only Jade should get perks, as it’s clearly her show) including being let into the house straight away to take out her contact lenses before the task (not actually true – which Danielle points out, to which Jade reasons “Yeah but she got in eventually), actually being responsible for ISOLATING herself and making it look like she’s being bullied to garner sympathy. The woman’s a fucking genius. The whole conversation smacks very much of ones you have (if you can’t avoid) with people who think that poem going round about “Illegal immigrants” is “funny because it’s true” rather than appalling, racist bullshit born of our delightful culture of blame. I’m part of that culture too, I blame sitting on my arse watching these hagrids endlessly discuss the faults of a beautiful woman until late at night for making me somewhat equally haggard and full of wide-eyed, violent loathing.

Hilariously Jade then comes up with the theory that Shilpa is a non-celebrity plant (not at all wounded by Shilpa’s comment that Jade was only known for Big Brother then?). “I mean who are you?” gurns the bendy faced Bermondsey rem. “She don’t look Bollywood to me. For all I know she could be some phony off the Old Kent Road”. This suggestion meets with popular approval from the assorted “real” celebrities; the spunkmonkey hatstand boyfriend, the failed pop star turned dog toucher, Teddy Sheringham’s titrack. All seem outraged that some pleb pretending to be famous and important could walk amongst them.

Cuntbubble quote of the day. Jack: “Shall we go and lift her up and put her in the garden and lock the door?” (about a sleeping Shilpa). I’m not sure how much more of this I can stand.