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I’ve seen very little of this year’s Big Brother, partly because I know that I’ll get obsessed with it and partly because it seems to be full of the most objectionable, monstrous people ever put together in one place at one time. I saw a little of the opening week, and actually thought that the witch had something interesting to give but naturally enough, the Great British Public™ had her removed just as soon as she demonstrated a modicum of individuality. I later saw a little of the Maxwell/Saskia affair which was agonisingly embarrassing (two of the most awful, destructive, arrogant bullies that I think I’ve ever seen); I saw the introduction of Kinga (who – thank the Gods – seems to have disappeared just as quickly as she arrived); and I’ve seen Science arguing about his dinner a lot (actually, 'behaving like a bit of a mentalist' would better describe it).

The person who I barely noticed however, was Vanessa. She seemed to be the background person as far as I could tell; Russell T Davies’ ‘nice one’. I wasn’t in on Friday but had heard something of her controversial eviction and noticed that Channel 4 were so pleased with themselves that they were giving the whole thing a Saturday repeat. Well since I have no friends and had nowhere to go, I stayed in to watch.

And I was shocked. Mouth open, unable to blink, shocked. They might as well have just strapped Orwell’s rat-cage contraption to her face and gone the whole way. Were the producers taking advice from the people behind SAS: Are You Tough Enough? This was mental torture of the most painful kind, both to watch and (I’m sure) to be involved in. I felt very unusual afterwards. Granted, it makes the series more interesting, but I can’t help feeling uneasy. To be locked in a room and to have every person in your world essentially tell you that you’re unliked must be soul destroying and probably psychologically harmful. Not since the final episode of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance have I thought that reality TV had gone too far and become something more vicious and dangerous. Was Vanessa really an awful person? Did she deserve this?

They didn’t show the post-eviction discussion on the rerun so wonder how she dealt with her sudden projection back into real life. I did hear her interviewed on The Pete and Geoff Show yesterday morning though, and I don’t think that she was very impressed with Geoff’s comment that she was ‘painfully boring’! But at least she wasn’t sobbing uncontrollably like a desperate, broken woman.

I remember when they were marketing the first series of Big Brother as a comprehensive educational study of the human condition - what happened?! A line has been crossed here, and without wanting to sound like a spokesperson for The Daily Mail, I'm not sure that I like it. It's only a short step from this to Varos.

Darth Marsden

I've tried to avoid Reality TV shows this year, and have been pretty damned successful in that respect. The only times I've let my guard down are for Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares (which I think we can all agree is completely understandable) and for Doctor Who's parodies, which I didn't think were much cop, but there you are. I despise reality shows, and think they're one of many things wrong with our great country at the moment. It's cheap, nasty and pointless, and yet half the country seems to be addicted to it. It's America all over again, and I'm fed up of it.

Regarding the Great British Quiz, I was in the same dilemma (I think I wrote about this in a different post, but never mind, it seems relevant here as well). I was watching a puzzle called 'Count the Digits', which you may come across at some point, and I stayed up till midnight trying to see if anyone would get the answer. Nobody did, and since I had Sky +, I decided to record the program, intending to watch it the next morning and fast forward until someone got it and I could be put out of my misery. Imagine my horror then, when I started fast-forwarding and was presented with the 'End of Recorded Program' message before anyone had got the answer! An entire evening, ruined because the British public were bamboozled by a pointlessly stupid puzzle with a seemingly random answer! My guess (80-something) had already been rejected, so I was left with a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. If anyone should happen upon the answer to this fiendishly evil trick, kindly put this poor soul out of his misery!

On a totally different subject, the Doctor Who Big Brother personality you're searching for, Phil, is "Lynda with a Y", who was 'sweet' rather then nice. God I feel like a nerd pointing that out.


Ah, 'sweet'. You're quite right. That'll teach me for only seeing those episodes once! Please don't feel nerdy - I could explain four different continuities of the planet Cybertron if it'd help!

These not so great quiz shows have completely passed me by. I guess that's the good thing about being on humble Freeview. I get Two Pints of Lager marathons (the joy) and I get E4 - your national CCTV channel. It runs a live overnight feed of people asleep in nightvision. It's like Springwatch but with animals. And if I skip over to E4+1 I can see the same people asleep an hour ago!

Sometimes I think I must be dreaming.


Phil - you are right - it was a terrible thing to do to another human being. It *did* cross a line and we should all be ashamed.

However, it happened to Vanessa who deserved everything she got. She *isn't* nice - far from it. She was a Queen Bitch from Hell. If it had happened to anyone else I might have complained to Ofcom (twice in one week!!) but I actually whooped for joy when it unfurled on screen.

Sure, I felt a bit dirty... but... it was Vanessa!

Phil Perry

Fair enough. Well if the sauce of all evil got her just desserts, then I guess it's okay. Justice is served! (I heard that she eats a lot, so I hope that these food puns are not going to waste.)

If anyone's interested, the interview I mentioned before can be heard by going to www.virginradio.co.uk/djsshows/shows/pgbreakfast/audioclips.html and selecting July 18.

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