‘Big Brother’ and its ‘Celebrity’ edition have been Channel 5’s biggest draw since they acquired the show in 2011, but they’ve now confirmed that the current series will be their last, making the announcement on the morning of launch night.
And while many (rightly or wrongly) herald the Channel 4 years as the golden era of ‘Big Brother’, its seven years at Channel 5 have been pretty eventful too, with plenty of headline-grabbing moments that have had us talking.
Here are just some of the most outrageous, shocking and memorable moments ‘Big Brother’ gave us during its time on Channel 5...
“David’s dead” (‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 17, 2016)
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? This moment of crossed wires between Angie Bowie and Tiffany Pollard (the former trying to tell the latter that her ex-husband, David Bowie, had died, only for New York to mistakenly believe that housemate David Gest was dead) was nothing short of breath-taking, eventually encompassing the entire house.
John Partridge in a towel serving as a mediator in a towel, Christopher Maloney’s “David? David David?” confusion, Gemma Collins’ facial expressions throughout. The whole thing was positively Shakespearean.
Stephanie Davis and Jeremy McConnell’s romance (‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 17, 2016)
But let’s not forget the other big talking point of the series. Prior to entering the house, former ‘Hollyoaks’ star Stephanie Davis said she’d be missing her boyfriend, Sam Reece, only for housemate Jeremy McConnell to wind up capturing her affections.
Of course, we all know two and a half years later that this was not a love story with a happy ending, but we also can’t forget those four weeks we sat glued to our screens watching the two growing increasingly close, despite the protestations of most of their housemates.
Luke Anderson’s victory (‘Big Brother’ 13, 2012)
For many viewers, ‘Big Brother’ offered the opportunity to get to know people from all kinds of different backgrounds, most notably from across the LGBTQ community.
Eight years after Nadia Almada was crowned the public’s favourite in the fifth series of ‘Big Brother’, Luke Anderson was introduced as the first transgender man to take part in the show, and wound up winning the whole thing.
‘The Perez Show’ lifts its curtain (‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 15, 2015)
The winter series of ‘CBB’ in 2015 was supposed to have a “twisted fairyale” theme, but with screaming arguments aplenty and housemates being thrown out left, right and centre, it wound up being the most stressful series in the show’s 18-year history.
At the centre of it all was celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton, who wasted no time in getting under as many people’s skin as possible, winding everybody up and cranking up the outrageous behaviour to 11.
Lateysha twerks herself out of her dress (‘Big Brother’ 17, 2016)
The title pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? This is a clip we will quite literally never get tired of watching.
Helen Wood’s surprise victory (‘Big Brother’ 15, 2014)
As soon as Helen Wood was rumoured for ‘Big Brother’, it was obvious she would be ruffling feathers, but when she was granted a free pass to the final on her second day in the house, she was also given the opportunity to be as badly behaved as she wanted without any chance of getting thrown out.
What ensued was nine weeks of Helen being one of the most universally unpopular housemates in ‘Big Brother’ history, only for things to take a sudden 180 when the final was in sight, and her to end up being crowned the most unexpected champion the show has ever had. A year later, she returned to the house as a ‘Timebomb’ twist, and quickly got up to her old tricks again…
Brian Belo leaves over the wall (‘Big Brother’ 16, 2015)
Anyone who really loves ‘Big Brother’ knows they can never compete with the show’s ultimate superfan, ‘BB8’ winner Brian Belo. So it says a lot that even he couldn’t stand being in the house with Helen Wood for another minute, finally escaping over a fence after a furious row in which she compared the former champion to a “rapist” and a “murderer”.
Roxanne Pallett’s “punch” accusations (‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 22, 2018)
Of course, we couldn’t list Channel 5’s most memorable ‘BB’ and ‘CBB’ moments without discussing the recent scandal that wound up making the national press, when Roxanne Pallett accused Ryan Thomas of “deliberately” and “repeatedly” punching her in the ribs, in a moment bosses described as “almost play-fighting”.
After leaving the house of her own accord, Roxanne admitted the accusation was a “mistake” and an “overreaction”, while Ryan wound up winning what would be the last ever series of ‘CBB’ shown on Channel 5.
Courtney Act schools everyone (’Celebrity Big Brother 21, 2018)
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ fans already knew what a good signing Courtney Act was before she’d even entered the house (snatching headlines with an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction in the process), but it wasn’t long before she won over the viewing public with her frank and unpatronising discussions about gender, sexuality and issues facing the LGBTQ community.
In addition to the serious discussions she brought to the house, Courtney was also a whole lot of fun, and became involved in a much-discussed friendship with Andrew Brady, eventually being chosen as the public’s winner, the first Australian champion of any series of ‘Big Brother’ in the UK.
Jayne Connery’s Diary Room meltdown (‘Big Brother’ 17, 2016)
While it’s Nikki Grahame whose tantrums will be best remembered in the ‘Big Brother’ history books, Channel 5 gave us their own version a decade later when Jayne entered the house as an “Other”.
Although her time in the “other” house was supposed to be a secret, it wasn’t long before Jayne and her fellow housemates’ loud antics exposed them, and we can’t imagine this ridiculous exchange in the Diary Room (“are you fucking on drugs??”) helped matters.
Christopher Biggins is shown the door (‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 16, 2016)
We all had such high hopes when Biggins was first confirmed for the house, and after his time on ‘I’m A Celebrity’ years prior proved to be a cakewalk, it looked like he’d easily be the first ever celebrity to make the double-win of triumphing in ‘CBB’.
However, between his anti-Semitic “jokes” and comparisons between bisexual people and the 1980s AIDS epidemic, producers were forced to intervene, and Biggins was shown the door.
Surprisingly, his controversial ‘CBB’ stint doesn’t seem to have hurt his TV career too much, and he was recently a participant in the cannabis-themed celebrity show ‘Gone To Pot’. Meanwhile, he’s suggested ‘CBB’ bosses “wanted him out from day one”.
“Open it” (‘Big Brother’ 15, 2014)
Do you know what? We all know what happened, and if you don’t… lucky you.
The last series of ‘Big Brother’ on Channel 5 airs on Friday night at 9pm.