First published 18th January 2007 on

The wheel of this year’s Celebrity Big Brother keeps on spinning from  from familiar to furore to farce.

From ITV news going with the Big Brother racism debate as the main story to poor Jeremy Paxman being forced to discuss the issue with a pained “why must I engage with the plebs” expression on their face, to Carphone Warehouse doing a Danielle and threatening to disassociate themselves from the nasty television programme and the perfume shop dropping Jade’s Eau’de Eater perfume – everyone’s a winner publicity-wise, apart from perhaps Jade, Danielle and Jo (Hatstand  never had anything to lose but his lovejuice). All of whom I see meekly supporting a high-profile anti-racism organisation in the very near future.

Call me cynical, but there’s something to despair about in a country that refuses to address or acknowledge prevalent racist attitudes in the light of the Stephen Lawrence murder enquiry, but suddenly becomes outraged on behalf of an actress who, whilst being treated abysmally, is not the victim of actual racial hatred (as opposed to bullying using racial stereotyping) or violence (as yet, although Jade Goody did openly declare her wish to headbutt Shilpa, which seemed to concern Channel 4 somewhat less than the accusations of racist bullying within the house – it’s a crazy world where an incitement to violence is the least of a reality show’s worries).  It looks like Endemol are going to play the denial card – with a carefully prepared and apparently rehearsed diary room statement from Shilpa saying “It’s not racism” already being circulated (I can’t wait until she actually sees the footage of some of the comments under dispute, some of which can be found in this article written by lovely Ken Russell).

Having assessed the celebrity nominations and pussy-footed around for a couple of days the rumour is that the eviction vote will be a straightfoward deathmatch between Shilpa and Jade. So many polarities: dark and light, Indian and English, Posh and Plebian, Old money and New money, Not resembling a pot bellied pig and… you get the picture. Doesn’t sound like a fix in order to generate a landslide of anti-Jade votes at all does it? What is mildly amusing is the notion that the public pays to evict someone accused of racist bullying from our TV screens. Perhaps there are some benefits to this interactive mallarkey. I could think of other potentially popular votes, possibly choosing to replace Davina McCall with a more probing interviewer (alternatives that spring to mind areWayne Rooney and a nasal hair strimmer), or voting who to kill off next in Eastenders (answer everyone apart from the characters played by known sex offenders), or even voting for who gets the opportunity to twat Jeremy Kyle on a daily basis for being a smug, weasel-faced shit. 

Personally rather than giving Endemol yet more oxygen I’d refrain from voting. In a perfect world nobody would turn up to Friday night’s eviction and all the celebrities would go home, some like Ian_TWFS, Shilpa, Jermaine and Dirk with their reputations mildly enhanced, others with more of an uphill struggle, and Jack back to relative obscurity as a fantasy football agent (perhaps he could get feisty Italian Nazi-saluter Paolo di Canio on his books?). And more wonderfully, the house itself could fall quietly to pieces, a fibreglass and plastic monument of the meaningless, whilst people learned to tolerate and accept their everyday lives and use them to create things of lasting beauty and wisdom for generations to come….

But balls to all that – we’ll probably all be watching, smirking unpleasantly as the jeering lamebrains in the Elstree audience fling trays of rancid offal over Jade Goody and all that she has ever had in the last four years is taken from her and eventually she is crucified on a giant bed of needles.

Now that’s television!