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'Celebrity Big Brother' - Is There Anybody There?

18/01/2015 22:57 GMT | Updated 20/03/2015 09:59 GMT

This year's houseful of washed-up celebrities is starting to look a bit thin, Katie Price's £500,000 surprise* appearance notwithstanding, as yet another one departed, admittedly this time of his own volition.

Alexander O'Neal walked three hours after being admonished by Big Brother for using a derogatory term to describe Perez Hilton. Some might suggest there are thousands more appropriate derogatory terms available to describe Perez Hilton, but that kind of talk is for another columnist. Katie Hopkins, for example.

Yet Ms Hopkins has been out-nastied at every turn; the best she can come up with is being mean to Alicia Duvall on the basis that she reckons the plastic surgery fan is stupid. Even Keith Chegwin climbed onto the Alicia-Is-A-Thicko bandwagon, saying that when he tells a joke he has to count to 20 as it takes that long for Alicia to get the punch line. Given that Cheggers jokes are (1) not funny, (2) still not funny and (3) nope, not even a hefty dose of laughing gas is going to work, Alicia's behaviour is not that of the slow-witted. Rather, she is not in the business of pretending she gets the joke when no joke has been made. No matter how many times you shriek "Wha-HAY!"

Alicia also hid two bananas under her bed, a crime apparently punishable by death if some of the louder voices in the household had their way. Only Kavana appears to be even vaguely connected with the normal, and that's probably down to the fact that he's not a celebrity.

This is a household where everybody shouts at and over everybody else, and when that isn't happening there is nothing other than an endless stream of bitching, arguing, back-biting and sly, cruel remarks. The Daily Mail has taken to referring to Perez Hilton as "The Most Hated Man In Britain", a patently ludicrous moniker and one that nobody is using other than the Daily Mail itself. Hilton is finding little support this side of the Atlantic though, with celebrities such as Louis from 1D, Amanda Abbington and Arlene Phillips all condemning his actions.

With the exception of the increasingly deranged Hilton, most of the people in the house are pretty normal, and I never thought I'd say that about Calum Best. But if the programme can't keep hold of its guests long enough to evict them, then the public doesn't get its say and that's not the premise of Big Brother.

As for the Channel 5 execs, before they congratulate themselves on all the publicity they've garnered, they should remember this: they could have saved themselves close on a million quid by not bothering with either Katie Price or Hopkins.

*Absolutely nobody was surprised

(This post was first published here)