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Rollo Ross

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I'm Watching Big Brother

Posted: 06/06/2012 09:56

I am so bored of people telling me that Big Brother is moronic.

I believe the critics are, to be honest.

You see, you can't get better dramatic narrative than by throwing strangers (especially ego-centric ones) among each other in a confined space and seeing how they'll get along.

One of my favourite British film directors - who because of the critics and the shame, will remain nameless - told me once it was his secret obsession.

The fact of the matter is that it's a programme which offers real drama, real narrative and real characters (once they forget who they're trying to portray) - and there is nothing else on television like it.

I'm not a subscriber to Charlie Brooker's view that the narrative is created by the way it's edited (that's editing, full stop, Charlie. You have to lose time - get over it), but I do subscribe to what transpires from the character clashes and the misunderstandings that take place.

It is akin to watching a bullfight but this isn't inhumane viewing. They are not wild animals put unwillingly in a pen but instead are people who have their own minds and by now know the consequences, but are willing to risk them.

I feel a need to watch these people as they are as dangerous to each other and to themselves and you can't get better narrative than that.

Tonight, we were introduced to the new bunch by the Master of Ceremonies, Brian Dowling.

He's not really a Master but more of a Bachelor, as his improvised comments and gestures fell painfully to tumbleweed with the audience at the studio as well as at home.

I honestly thought this year that the young Monty from Withnail and I would have been sidelined and given his P45 and one of the other three Big Brother presenters - Emma Willis, Alice Levine or Jamie East, who are each utterly brilliant on the spin-off show Big Brother's Bit on the Side - would have taken his place.

Anyway, is there any scope for good narrative this year? I would say so but we have to get the totty over first.

There's angry totty (Sara), sweary totty (Ashleigh), almost famous totty (Lydia - she goes out with Andy Scott-Lee, dontchaknow), tomboy totty (Lauren) and male model totty (Arron).

Then there are the 'characters.' Shievonne, a playboy bunny who doesn't drink water; Adam, a convicted gangster from Los Angeles who lives in Dudley for the purpose of nationality; Chris, a chipmunk in a bodyguard's body; Caroline, a gap year posh girl idiot, and Victoria, presumably an ex-Richard Desmond employee.

There is also a chance of bigger fights this year as they seem to have cast numerous alpha males to lock antlers with each other.

These are Conor from Derry, who thinks he is the perfect man but, leaving himself up to objective judgment as they always do, seems to have hips bigger than his ego; Luke, an entrepreneur who's decided to leave his businesses for the summer just for a laugh; and finally Benedict, a school teacher and porn star.

Shocking stuff. Actually, it's not.

My ex-flatmate was a London based school teacher and porn starlet. She told me 'What else are we supposed to do with the summer holidays?' so I'm not sure this is as unusual as it sounds.

Scott from Macclesfield popped up at some point. He's posh, he's gay but he surely cannot be from Macc - I come from there and his proper British accent isn't available in the most plush areas of the borough. I have him down as fake before the show has even started.

Then there's the headline-grabbing one - he's Luke (the other one) - a straight guy who was born a girl. Although I don't doubt him for a minute, the problem is he doesn't look or sound like a girl so his vote is already diminished. His only valid stake on this claim is that he's quite physically small.

Lastly, there's Deana - the girl who had to pick nominees for Friday's eviction (she picked Lydia, Victoria, and Conor).

I'm wondering if Deana - the current Miss India UK who resides in Mumbai and Birmingham - is intended as bait for another Indian outcry after Shilpa Shetty and Jade Goody. I only believe this because the producers also have Bhavesh an outwardly gay citizen from Mumbai too in their Wildcard section (you vote for the next contestant!).

If this is a plan for outrage, it won't work. I was the one who unwittingly unleashed Shilpa-gate last time and it was a pure accident when it happened. I was just a TV producer who got a license for Channel 4 material in the Indian markets and when my company syndicated it, they didn't like what they saw.

Yeah, you can blame me for that one (although little known fact - they thought that Jackiey Goody was Jade so their outrage was at Jackiey, not Jade!).

If this year's mini-family is going to get any publicity, they only have Richard Desmond's Daily Star, Daily Express and OK! Magazine to do the business.

But, if it's any consolation, they'll always be doing the business in my brain.

 

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