Fancy some train wreck fest on your flat screen but bored by this catastrophe called Torchwood: Miracle Day? Don't worry, Celebrity Big Brother is back thanks to Channel 5. Frantic press speculation is now over after yesterday's launch night, which unveiled its line-up of well, err... "celebrities".
The reality programme was axed by Channel 4 in 2010. Channel 5, bought by press baron Richard Desmond one year ago, reached an agreement with producer Endemol to revive the show. Big Brother 2001 edition and Ultimate Big Brother winner Brian Dowling replaces Davina McCall as the host. And Marcus Bentley remains the BB narrator.
Amongst the gazillion usual rumours, the mother of all was certainly the possible presence of Charlie Sheen in the new Big Brother compound (based in Elstree Studios). But unfortunately this year's "winners" will not endure the antics of Charlie Harper:
- Former Atomic Kitten band member and reality TV personality Kerry Katona.
- American starlet Tara Reid.
- Paddy Doherty, from Channel 4's hit reality series My Big Fat Gipsy Wedding.
- "Vajazzle" queen Amy Childs (The Only Way is Essex). Don't ask.
- Australian punk paparazzo (!) Darryn Lyons.
- Sally Bercow, controversial wife of John Bercow (the Speaker of another house, the House of Commons). It's amazing how Brit telly can mix Reality TV and politics, in 2010 former Conservative Party politician Ann Widdecombe was a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing. With her participation, Mrs Bercow will raise £100,000 for charity Ambitious About Autism.
- Actor Lucien Laviscount (Corrie, Waterloo Road).
- American actress Pamela Bach, ex-wife of David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff.
- British model Bobby Sabel.
- Twin Irish X Factor duo Jedward.
Celebrity Big Brother premiered with 5.16m (22.3%) between 9pm and 10.30pm and peaked with 5.6m (26.1%) at 10pm.