Monday, 4 January 2010


[6.00 - French Time] Return of one the rare Channel 4 valuable dramas last evening: Celebrity Big Brother. For a seventh and final series hosted by Debra Steph... er, Davina McCall.

Kudos to Ms McCall for being as davinesque as ever with that weather. The housemates of CBB 2010 had more luck because, as one of the "guests" remarked, it's warmer in the Big Brother House. It should be anyway, because the theme of the series is Dante's Inferno.

"Hell lies in Others" recalls the intro on the extraordinary theme music by Paul Oakenfold and Andy Gray. And after an amount of massive speculations equal to the rumors about the David Tennant exit in Doctor Who (except there's less incoherences in CBB than in a Who finale) Davina McCall introduced us to the 2010 "celebrity" housemates.

I guess Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey were too expensive or under exclusivity with NBC Uni but actor and Born Again Christian Stephen Baldwin is in the House. His presentation was a bit cruel, jumping from McManus in The Usual Suspects to Barney Rubble in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (not the one with Goodman, the one where you want to throw yourself under a bus after seeing it). Quote: « I plan on being a representation of the Light of Truth ».

But what would be Channel 4's CBB without local glories: model and former Page 3 girl Nicola T - not related to Mister T, T means Tappenden - and Cage fighter/cross-dresser Alex Reid (You know who's boyfriend) followed. Will Reid dress as his alter ego Roxanne in the house?

Tappenden and Reid were just appetizers compared to the announcement of the name of housemate 4, a true living legend, a deity: Stephanie Beacham. Sable Colby herself (The Colbys/Dynasty), Martha in Corrie, roles in The Saint, Callan, UFO, Dracula A.D. 1972, Seaquest DSV, etc. Appeared on She's a Lady by Tom Jones.

Next three: rapper Lady Sovereign (« "Sov". S.O.V. »), singer Sisqó - who said to "Sov": « I've heard about you. You're a troublemaker », and DJ Dane Bowers (who has a mutual friend with Alex Reid). On the opposite, the name of housemate N°8 will certainly evoke something to our American readers: former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss (credited as "Entrepreneur").

Davina McCall asked her if she would give names of her famous clients once in the house and she answered « Not my style ». Inside, recognizing Stephen Baldwin, she said « I've seen you before ». Swedish producer and singer Jonas "Basshunter" Altberg (elegantly in a tux) and Ron Wood 's former girlfriend Ekatarina Ivanova were the next housemates before the big event of the launch show, « A British institution » as called him our host.

Can you hear it? The sound of drums? Former football player turned actor (some Guy Ritchie movies, X-Men: The Last Stand) Vinnie Jones is reportedly the highest paid housemate. He's the bookies'favourite and the star of this last CBB series (unless another Brit broadcaster picks it, which could explain such a coup). Forget Midnight Meat Train, it's Vinnie Jones, for chriss sake!

The episode closed with a first housemate task giving us an answer to this essential question: How many celebs can you fit into a Mini? "How many Gallifreys can you fit into one Earth?" was already used.

Update: Celebrity Big Brother opened on Channel 4 with 6.1m viewers and leads vs the boring British version of Wallander on BBC One (5.4 m) and the poirotesque Poirot on ITV1 (4.9 m) started one hour earlier the two others (


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