Yes, I'm chatting Celebrity Big Brother and I can already hear the uprising gusts of simultaneous noses being thrust in the air. No matter what your stance on Big Brother though, whether it is the judgemental aloofness of your superiority complex in boasting that you'd NEVER watch something of that ilk, thank you very much or whether you secretly, if a little shamefully, rather like it, there is no denying that it is a fascinating social experiment.
And nobody could have hypothesised the outcome of this particular experiment: some of the inhabitants are actually (and worryingly to some) making Katie Hopkins come across as a likeable and relatively sane human being.
I work in an industry where I cover the goings on in Celebrity Big Brother from the controversial to the mundane; there's no getting away from the fact that it attracts a lot of traffic. The announcement of the line up of famous and not so famous faces this year was a big deal traffic wise; my article so far on the topic has, at the time of writing this, gone over 100,000 unique views. And as the news of the celebrity identities started to leak, focus shifted very quickly to controversial motormouth Katie Hopkins.
This is a lady famous for voicing the unvoiceable, sparking outrage and generally getting widespread attention (mostly negative) for knuckle chewingly awkward statements on social media so it was inevitable that the controversy klaxon was sounding when her name was confirmed. This lady has gone from refusing to acknowledge that certain names such as Tyler could ever be held by decent human beings to waging a war on the obese.
So much jaw dropping offence was expected to hit the viewing public that the very first task in the new series was to have Katie secretly passing judgement on her new housemates as they entered. She made her arrival to deafening boos from an arguably vocabulary lacking crowd and she loved it. She plays up to the pantomime villain character as this is what gets her revenue.
We were all so busy watching with bated breath for Katie Hopkins to utter her first horrific statement that we didn't really notice the bumbling, slightly lost looking but surely harmless old man from Corrie, Ken Morley, who turned out to be a vicious bigot with racist tendencies and zero respect for women. We were taken aback a little bit by quite how infuriatingly self centred Perez Hilton was (why we were surprised, I will never know) and it took us a while to worry that a recovering alcoholic was being plied with booze but Jeremy went on to trigger a very unsavoury incident where he opened the robe of a female housemate.
Throughout all of this: Ken using some of the most offensive race related words available, Jeremy being cast out after leaving Chloe in tears with his behaviour and Perez screeching and crying and turning every crisis into being centralised about himself, Katie Hopkins remained dignified, calm and, while opinionated, she justified her thoughts with intelligence and an almost pleasant demeanour.
That's right; these repulsive housemates saddled with her have achieved the unthinkable: they have revealed Katie Hopkins as a likeable person. You might not agree with her views but her approach to life in the Celebrity Big Brother house has made me cast aside what I thought I knew about this person painted as the reviled most hated woman in Britain.
She pointed out that certain interferences in the house have made situations spiral out of control and she was correct. She made an opinion (a valid one in my view) about another housemate's choices in their child's diet and then apologised when she realised she had upset her. She has correctly pointed out on many occasions that when someone is racist and when someone is made to feel sexually uncomfortable, it is inappropriate for Perez Hilton to make it about Perez Hilton. She reacted with dignity when crucified by Perez for sleeping with a married man, now her husband. She has been a friend and confidante to women and men alike in the house and , unlike the frankly ridiculous Ken Morley, she has not said anything worthy of causing a fuss. But half of the rest of the house have.
This can prove a number of things and I suspect it is a combination. Katie Hopkins actually isn't an incarnation of Satan and, while she has questionable views at times, her Twitter persona isn't necessarily her true self. Katie Hopkins can get on with people and can concede to the views of others; she can also apologise. And the evil Katie Hopkins we sometimes see being downright cruel is probably partially an act to gain publicity and create interest in the media and in the audience. And, let's be fair to her, it works. Yes, she will always have an edge to her, but there is seemingly a lot more depth to her than that.
What I am saying is, it's all very well to go along with a bandwagon and hate someone on the basis that everyone else does. Sometimes you have to take time to think for yourself and form your own opinion. Katie Hopkins is not Britain's most hated person.
In fact, much like the secret shame of liking Big Brother, some people actually, deep down, quite like her.Suggest a correction