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'Celebrity Big Brother' Launch Review

03/01/2014 23:24 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 15:52 GMT

'Celebrity Big Brother' got off to a cracking start this year, even by its own socially awkward standards… "I'm a year late, I was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree," announced Jim Davidson. He sure knows how to break the ice, that 'comedian and former gameshow host'. And we were off.

After a tedious tour of the house - presumably SOMEBODY was having trouble locating their eyelashes back stage - Emma Willis did a game job of channelling her inner Noah, leading this year's housemates up the stairs, two by two, helped by handcuffs.

Representing the Nolan sisters' contingent this year, Linda, who prides herself on being "a bit more confrontational than Coleen was". That'll be Coleen who screamed the place down when Julie Goodyear went all Mafia kingpin on her in 2012. We have been warned.

She faced a bigger test than many of us will face this week - being handcuffed to Jim Davidson, a man she kept praising for being "nice when he's sober". Whatever that means. They seemed to warm to each other, though, opting to stay handcuffed to one another, even when they were given the option to free themselves.

Other pairings seemed just as well thought through. Self-confessed sperm-stealing journalist Liz Jones was in bondage with Dappy. Not sure how Sam Faiers and Jasmin Waltz (this season's resident American import) are going to put their mascara on in shackles, and 'Apprentice' runner-up turned 'personality' Luisa Zissman was the only housemate with the manners to ask her partner Evander Holyfield, 'Which hand do you use?' 'Both,' he replied, with commendable understatement, considering one of either of his paws could wipe the whole lot of them off that Russian royal sofa. Funny how the most intimidating resident has by far the gentlest face. The paradox of gentle power.

MORE: Meet This Year's Housemates

Once all the housemates were inside, Jim and Linda were given the task of unlocking one pair, and they opted for Liz Jones and Dappy. Everyone else had to sleep together, still joined by handcuffs. Lee Ryan - tipped as an early favourite for the title by the bookies - was not heard complaining, shackled to a lads' mag cover girl Casey Batchelor.

And there was a further twist. Liz and Dappy's freedom came with the knowledge that they're the first up for eviction on Monday, which seemed to put a dampener on everyone's spirits. "We came here to have fun," moaned Lee. Better make the most of the weekend, then, chaps. Time to start the party, which means Lionel Blair surely reaching for his tip-taps. Bring it on.