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Sally Bercow Will Be a Big Brother Contestant

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Following all the speculation this week, I can exclusively reveal that Sally Bercow IS going to be a contestant on this year's Celebrity Big Brother, due to start on August 18th on Channel 5.

I gather from a source close to the negotiations that Sally was eventually persuaded by the £100,000 offered by Richard Desmond, which Sally will give to charity. I don't know which one that is, but my guess is that it will be Stonewall - the gay rights charity - as Sally did a sponsored parachute jump for them a few months back.

I can also confirm what I have been suggesting all week - that her husband, the Speaker John Bercow, was very much opposed to her going on the programme. However, Sally could not be talked round and she will be in the house on August 18th. She is now the only confirmed guest so far on the series.

Sally's decision is a major gamble, and I fear that it might well wreck any remaining hopes she has of becoming an MP - Big Brother hardly worked out so well for George Galloway - and it's not the best way of showing one's serious side. The cast of The Only Way is Essex might, perhaps, have won a place in the nation's hearts, but we don't them to run the country.

On the other hand, Sally is very personable and I think she may well do better than people expect. Certainly they may like her a lot more after the programme is over.

For John Bercow, it will be an uncomfortable and embarrassing time. He'll be grateful that Parliament is in recess as that will provide some respite, but he knows that his enemies will jump on the inevitably embarrassing footage and use it to criticise him personally.