First published 23rd January 2007 on

Day 20 in the rest home for the terminally “in between” and already Jack is coming on in leaps and bounds, forming rudimentary sentences in order to whinge about the mess in the kitchen. To be fair he’s probably only recently made the connection between eating food and messy pants, that causal leap to plates requiring cleaning is still a couple of evolutionary steps away.

Jo, Danielle and Cleo discuss their sense of unease with potential events in the outside world. Danielle sees the bright side; “I’ve never classed myself as a celebrity. Now people are going to know who I am, “. (“Isn’t that Teddy Sheringham’s unfunny racist ex-titrack?”) . It really validates the entire concept of “Celebrity Big Brother” doesn’t it?

Whilst Cleo has a conversation with a helpless carpet cleaner in the bedroom, Face lolls in the garden in his rugged overcoat, every inch the hunkiest hobo.

In the diary room, a panicky Jo develops Stockholm Syndrome, clearly terrified of leaving the house. She talks of her special bond with Cleo, with whom she’s apparently always “on the same page”. Why bother learning how to read more quickly eh?  She then talks about how much Shilpa has surprised her by coming out of herself over the last few days (since the werepig-led triumverate of hectoring shetards was dissolved, curiously enough Jo). However Faceman just drives Jo “insane”, a gripe I’m sure we will hear more of.

Meanwhile Shilpa confides her concerns about Jo’s growing anxiety. In a curious combination of empathy and extreme tactlessness, Ian suggests that Jo is “lost” having ended her career as she knew it. Shilpa suggests that Jo lacks ambition and Ian agrees, “she doesn’t care about being famous”. This explains why she subjected herself to exposure as a hammer-faced binge drinker under the unforgiving nightly scrutiny of Channel 4’s audience.

It transpires that Jermaine was the dirty dawg of the Jackson 5, as ironically Michael would have been underage when they were first confronted by armies of jailbait groupies (it all starts making sense now). He gives us yet another insight into his domestic life, revealing that all his five ex wives attend the same parent evenings at the same school with him, and that they all had his children delivered by the same doctor. Aside from the fact they’re divorced it’s almost like a great big horny mormon happy family!

Cleo, Danielle and Jo huddle together in the bedroom when Face wanders in hunched up and grumpy at the world in general, and probably Cleo in particular. In response to Jo’s “How are you?”, he grunts about it being cold and carries on with his business. This isn’t good enough to Jo, who starts an alcohol-paranoia induced whispered rant in the corner about Face being “fucking rude”, before he leaves the room, whereupon her tirade of hate continues. “He’s got an attitude problem” she spits to the others, furiously trowelling on make-up. “He ain’t fucking deaf, it’s selective hearing” (it probably is, but can anyone blame him?). “He’s a miserable twisted bitter old man who still thinks he’s 25, but he ain’t, he’s 60.” She snarls poisonously, the very portrait of a lady herself, missing the irony that at 28 she looks and acts closer to 70. Oh Jo, you foolish, graceless bitter little woman. You’ve just flushed away your final bobbing chance of garnering any form of public sympathy with a convenient panic attack.

The housemates are set a “Showgirls” style task, which from the sequence shown on the plasma screen, apparently involves gyrating around like a drag queen on poppers whilst wearing a porno bra and minge-garrotting thong ensemble straight off 1970s prime-time entertainment shows. A dribbling Jack sucks his thumb, transfixed by the video. You’d have thought this would be right up Cleo’s street, considering her portfolio of work, but she, Jo and Shilpa object immediately to the skimpy costumes, and start planning their £1 a day diet, as though there was somehow something wrong with objectifying and demeaning women on national television. The spoilsports! Danielle, desperate to be seen as the only geezer bird in the house, pretends to be up for it, and accompanies Shilpa to the diary room to complain on behalf of the others; “I think some of the girls have a problem with the outfit”.  Not her, like, cos she’s madferrit and has no qualms about flashing her bubblies to gain approval. An “appropriate” outfit is promised (Prince Harry probably has a few spare), and Face points out that the men probably should also be concerned. Danielle causes many a traumatic flashback by squealing “Put Jack in a thong and he’d be made up.” Thanks for that from my ears and my eyes.

Jermaine confides to Big Brother that he feels strange performing, not with his brothers, but with a bunch of vacuous nimboids. He imagines his siblings mocking him for “dancing by numbers” and feeling that he always could have done better, giving another scary taste of deeply imprinted Jackson family values.

A series of excruciating sub-generation game rehearsals ensue, with poor Face under constant scrutiny from the brand new harpies, who pounce every time he fucks up. Ian_TWFS bravely strives for some semblance of common focus and co-ordination whilst the women shout out conflicting instructions simultaneously. Jermaine and Face observe the chaos like a resigned and broken Waldorf and Statler. “There’s too many chiefs,” sighs Jermaine, whilst Face more succinctly sums up the mess with a heartfelt “Jesus Christ!”

The move doesn’t improve when Ian and Shilpa try to take charge. Jo wears the smacked arse face of an Asbo teenager who’s been caught shoplifting in WH Smiths. Danielle sulks; “I hate being controlled”, (“control” being the last possible applicable word for this situation). “I get fucking frustrated, ” she continues petulantly, “I don’t get told what to do at home.” This explains why you’re coming across as Viz’s Spoilt Bastard with a wig, gland problem and speech impediment.

Face and Jermaine shiver manfully in Nowhere discussing how they’re surviving their private hell by rotating underwear, admiring Ian’s leadership skills and complaining about the cold. Please Big Brother install a brazier and soup kitchen just for them. “You could put your socks on your hands” suggests Face helpfully. Jermaine is more creative; “Or boil some potatoes and put them in my pockets”.  “Would you do it again?” asks Jermaine, adding “for all the tea in China?” as a sweetener.

Face seems unenthusiastic, “Maybe all the tea in China or,” he pauses, “A million bucks”. They laugh warmly and genuinely until Jermaine is driven in by the cold Elstree wind, to Face’s amusement. The latter remains stoically huddled outside; an old fashioned hero facing a bleak post-apocalyptic world.

Rehearsals continue later with Face spiritedly trying his best (and doing his own groovy thang when that fails). Danielle asks if he’s struggling to which he ruefully wisecracks “Nobody’s noticed”. Jo butts in unnecessarily harshly;  “Don’t you go fucking this up for everyone”, prompting  Ian_TWFS to give Face extra tuition in some private dirty dancing sessions. In Nowhere Danielle announces “Dirk’s so funny”. A bitter, jilted Cleo hisses “Is he?”

Ian_TWFS’s suffering with the weight of responsibility “If I fuck up everyone fucks up”. Endearingly the Welshman like Jermaine worries about his brothers thinking he’s a knob (you’re not in STEPS now Ian). He appeals to the “Little Britain” demographically by wistfully relating how his very Welsh nan keeps on asking if he has a “special friend” (“What that boy needs is some greasy fist action).  Jo can’ t resist an opportunity for a bitch about the Face. “You try having a giggle with him and he gets the hump”, she moans. Some recipients of pack sexual bulling truly have no sense of fun.

The “Showgirls” task eventually kicks off with the housemates dressed in a bizarre fusion of flamenco and circus.  Ian_TWFS actually does a great job of shouting out instructions to the mob. Shilpa looks amazing, and manages to make everyone else look out of time. Jack is a plank (he’s really going for it!) , Jermaine works hard and Face is a complete joy to behold, ever the showman. Don’t take my word for it – watch it on Youtube.

The results are announced and, despite Face and Jack receiving two fails each, they pass, which sends Ian_TWFS into a paroxysm of OTT delight, reminding us all unfortunately of That Wanker From Steps.


“We can eat we can eat” he bellows as he bounces around spazmodically – like Tigger on Sunny Delight.

“Didn’t you eat TODAY” deadpans Jermaine wearily (unaware that Ian_TWFS has ordered “cock” on his luxury budget).

Danielle adds perspective; “I can get me nail varnish!” she screams happily.

Whilst magic superhero cleaners Mountain man and OCD boy blitz the kitchen clean, the remaining housemates blissfully gorge themselves on their treat of chocolate cake, ice cream and lashings and lashings of lovely booze, which seems to perk Jo out of her existential angst no end.

The mad chimps party reigns supreme in the lounge, and Face and Jermaine huddle in the bedroom, their work done. “It’s a frickin nightmare” sighs Face.

Danielle heads to the diary room to demand more twatjuice. “we’ve only got one beer left’ she pleads (and Jo’s mainlining with that).  She suggests that Face is sulking in the bedroom because he “wasn’t very happy at having two fails. He failed yesterday at making you laugh, and now he can’t dance”. How about he’s tired and irritated and has just cleaned up unthanked for a screeching flange of ingrates, you blinking idiotgirl.  “Jo was ratty today, ” adds Danielle, ever on the ball, guessing that it was probably because Vinegar tits was tired and “hadn’t had her nap”. (Or nip – of meths). Shilpa’s back under fire for being “controlling” by “trying to teach everyone the dance routine”.  Move over the mind police!!! No-one can control Danielle, she’s just a crazy free force of nature. So’s diarrhea.

Jack pipes up in his typical  unsavoury way; “I wanna see Shilpa drunk”. They all repeatedly and insistently cajole her to have one (not at all controlling behaviour) before asking why she doesn’t drink. Shilpa claims she doesn’t like the taste and doesn’t want to make a complete and utter twat of herself. Jo’s confused – surely twattery is part of the fun?  Nice to see that recent events have instilled a respect for other people and their culture into housemates.

Danielle returns from the diary room to hysterically overreact at the hilarious jokey mention of the word “spider”, screaming blue murder around the house at the thought of one lurking ready to pounce upon her gusset. Let’s hope this doesn’t inspire nutters everywhere to send her arachnid  based hatemail .

The elderly statesmen of the house pull their duvets closer.

 “We should come in and scream and make noise when they’re asleep”, Face grumbles.

“Yeah” says Jermaine stoically “but we’re not like that”. Word.

Will Face and Jermaine keep their cool whilst digging a Shawshank style tunnel and crawl through 500 yards of shit (better than the Davina interview) to freedom? We can only hope.

In the live feed that I see, housemates are sat in a Mastermind chair and quizzed about a fellow housemate in order to earn them a treat. There seems to have been some jiggery pokery as to who’s teamed with who as Jack is teamed with Shilpa and Face has to answer questions on the specialist subject of Jo in an attempt to earn her special treat “hair dye” (If I was Shilpa I’d start taking the piss). Most of the questions involve conversations that took place when Face wasn’t present, or even tougher, S Club Lyrics. Asked who Jo’s role model is (to my dismay I remembered that it’s “Karen Carpenter”, he ums and arrs for ages before hilariously guessing “Linda Blair”! I’m not sure how he can connect a woman famed for playing a satanic, growly voiced, twisted, crucifix bothering Devil Child with Jo, but it’s still funny.

The bitches harp on about Face failing tasks recently (because they’ve all given 500% – unfortunately in maths tests).  An unnaturally gallant Jack points out that he’s lost more tasks than Faceman, and earns a look from Cleo that seems to scream “Watch it bigmouth or no more titty for you”. Or maybe I’m reading far too much into her mothering thing.


 “On the application form, Big Brother asked which living person Dirk admired the most. The answer was: Dirk Benedict” (Big Brother explains why Ian_TWFS got a Mastermind question wrong)

“Oh Jack that’s an easy one!” (Face encourages Jack  at Mastermind when he’s asked the name of an Indian film award Shilpa received)

“Jermaine Man!” – Danielle says something nearly funny – and potentially names Jermaine’s next son.