Celebrity Big Brother 21

Celebrity Big Brother 21 was a remarkable series. In many ways, one of the best they’ve ever done. But, with it being Celebrity Big Brother, it was also a bit messy.

The series was dubbed “Year Of The Woman”, to mark 100 years since women got the vote in the UK. As long as they were over 30 and were wealthy enough and other “certain conditions apply” small print, but I guess it’s a good enough reason for a Big Brother gimmick. They put the female contestants in on Day 1, and put the male contestants in a few days later. Given that is got an, at best, mixed response when they tried it last time in Big Brother 8, this was a bit of a risk, as was the Year Of The Woman theme, because Big Brother 18‘s “Brexit” theme went about as well as Brexit itself is going.

Anyway, the women were actress Amanda Barrie, former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, Ashley James (a “social influencer”, whatever that means. She’s also a DJ and was on Made In Chelsea), transgender newsreader India Willoughby, glamour model Jess Impiazzi (she’d also been on The Only Way Is Essex and Ex On The Beach, so she ticked three typical Celebrity Big Brother cast boxes).

A much less typical Celebrity Big Brother housemate was Maggie Oliver, a former police detective who became well known after exposing the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, she was portrayed by Lesley Sharp in Three Girls, the BBC dramatisation of the case. Then there was U.S. reality TV personality Malika Haqq, though she’s probably best known for being friends with Khloe Kardashian, and journalist Rachel Johnson, though she’s probably best known for being Boris Johnson’s sister.

The launch night circuit board task wasn’t great, but I was pleased with the result, my two launch night favourites Amanda and Jess winning immunity from the first eviction. Amanda Barrie, star of Coronation Street, Bad Girls and Carry On Cleo, of course she’d be one of my initial favourites! As for Jess, I just thought she came across as very nice, and also I loved her Jessica Rabbit-esque outfit and hairstyle.

There were a lot of interesting discussions in the first few days, a lot to do with women’s rights and whether any of the housemates had faced discrimination. India, who has seen both sides of the fence, stated that as a man she hadn’t, but as a woman she had.

The men arrived on day 4. One was Andrew Brady, who’d been on series 13 of The Apprentice. It wasn’t so much of a surprise to see him go into another reality TV show soon after, more that he was the one they cast! The big personality of that series was Elizabeth McKenna, and a distant second was Michaela Wain, so they were more expected, especially with it being Year Of The Woman.

Three of the male contestants had pseudonyms. One was Courtney Act, an Australian drag queen who had appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and who’s real name is Shane Jenek.

There was Dapper Laughs, real name Daniel O’Reilly, a comedian mainly known for a rape joke controversy, and was clearly on here for a redemption arc. (He didn’t get off to the best start with that, making lecherous comments about Jess within a few days of entering the house).

Ginuwine, real name Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, despite having the most interesting real name, he was the one contestant out of those three who always went by his stage name. He’s a R&B singer best known for his 1996 hit ‘Pony’.

There was also former football player John Barnes, Jonny Mitchell who was on Love Island, Boyzone member Shane Lynch who coincidently was also on Love Island, but
the mid-noughties celeb version which flopped, and tapdancer Wayne Sleep.

Courtney Act had a wardrobe malfunction, losing her skirt on the way in!

Shane J mostly appeared as himself, but dressed up as Courtney fairly often. He said that Courtney is a performance, but as time has gone on he’s come to the conclusion that she was an extension of his own personality, and he has gone to bed with people as Courtney!

The men did a talent show, with the women being the judges. Shane L proved why he wasn’t one of the lead singers in Boyzone. Wayne did a tapdance. John played football and re-did his memorable rap from New Order’s ‘World In Motion’. Andrew juggled, and was quite good! Daniel did a crude, obnoxious comedy routine. Ginuwine performed ‘Pony’. Jonny apparently doesn’t have a talent, so tried to chat up Rachel, Maggie and Ann, which was a bit of a car crash. Courtney performed a song she’d written with Jake Shears and Sam Sparro, and she won the talent contest!

Shane L talked about Boyzone quite a lot. He vaguely knew all of them when they went to their first audition, except Ronan Keating. Shane L said that Stephen Gately was always openly gay to the band but not the public, he struggled with having to keep it a secret and the tabloids outing him, but once he came out and with the support he got from fans he was much happier than ever before.

Shane J asked Ann about the fact she had voted against LGBT rights every time when she was an MP, and it was quite a civil discussion, Shane J was very calm, though Ann wasn’t giving much away. I did like later on when Shane J was rehearsing how to approach a discussion with Ann, with Jess pretending to be Ann, her impression was quite funny.

Most of the first week featured India, and her many, many, many clashes with other housemates. It’s understandable India would be upset about being referred to as the wrong gender, (especially by Ann, Amanda and Rachel when there were only women in the house at the time), and of Ginuwine suggesting he wouldn’t date a transgender person. But
the way India handled conflict was to storm off in a huff and sulk. On the occasion where Amanda slipped up and used the wrong pronoun, despite Amanda constantly trying to apologise for it, India refused to even listen to her.

What was worse though was India’s attitude to drag queens, saying she had a phobia of them, though she apparently has no problem posing for pictures with them. Her comparing drag to blackface was pretty offensive too. One night Shane J dressed Andrew in drag (Andrew used the name Betty Swollocks), everyone seemed to be having fun, but India was seething. Andrew asked her if she was alright, but she just brushed him off. He decided it was best to get out of drag. Hours later, at nearly midnight, when people were tired and a bit drunk, India came out of the bedroom and wanted the whole room to listen to her go on and on about just how offended she was about it. It was annoying to watch, it must have been even more annoying to live with her. India would try the patience of anyone. I think Malika was right about India loving being a victim.

To be fair though, I can somewhat see why drag queens might unsettle India a bit. While others might see dressing up in drag is fun and a performance, for India it’s about her gender identity, she probably feels like she can’t joke about things like that, it’s her life. I did like that they cast a transwoman and a drag queen in the same series, as I think a lot of people do still confuse the two. Shane J/Courtney was very understanding about issues India might be having, and explained that well along with the nuances of LGBT and gender identity to some of the other men (and also in an indirect way, to us viewers watching).

It was no shock however that India Willoughby was nominated for the first eviction. Only the women nominated in this round, but it’s likely India would have been nominated if the whole house were able to. (As a side note though, India was nominated by all the other women except one – Malika! If I was asked to predict who wouldn’t nominate India, Malika would probably have been my last choice!).

There were only two people up, so it was a head to head, against Jonny, but whoever it was they most likely would have stayed against India. I suppose the producers could have put more than 2 up if they wanted a chance to keep India in, as she might have scraped by in a vote to save then, with only two people up if people wanted to get rid of India they just had to vote to save the other person. But I can see the possible reasons why they didn’t. India, while an interesting housemate, was universally unpopular and getting on everyone’s nerves in and out of the house, having her stay longer might risk her becoming a hate figure, and as she’s probably quite fragile, she wouldn’t handle that well.

However, India’s departure was, in the short term, a blow for the series, leaving an empty gap which was filled with showmances. The worst of these being the Ginuwine & Ashley showmance, which NOBODY cared about. Maggie even thought they were being given a task by Big Brother! Like all showmances, it ate up a LOT of screentime.

The bromance/showmance between Andrew and Shane J wasn’t as unwatchable, and unlike Ginuwine & Ashley, it actually had fans, but I wasn’t among them. I just thought it was a rehash of James & Austin from CBB16. A straight laddish Apprentice himbo (James/Andrew) and gay guy from a country beginning with a letter A. (Austin/Shane J).
The main differences were that the hair and eye colours were reversed, (James and Shane J have blond hair and blue eyes, Austin and Andrew have brown hair and brown eyes), and so were the temperaments (James and Shane J were sensible and calm, Austin and Andrew were ticking time bombs).

Though some interesting conversations continued. Amanda grew up during the Second World War, and talked about taking gas masks to school and seeing Manchester burning,
but she kind of took it as “normal” and as she was so young she didn’t know any different. What was worse for her was when she began to realise how scared the adults around her were.

The second round of nominations started out with two twists to begin with, only the men could nominate after winning the previous weeks tasks, and Ashley was given immunity after winning another task. Fine. Then they nominated, and after the results were announced there was a seemingly last-minute twist which had a save and replace decided by the results of yet another task. I don’t like save and replace at the best of times, but announcing it after nominations had taken place looked poor. This also meant that they weren’t able to open the phone lines until the end of the week, and if they hadn’t done this completely unnecessary twist they could easily have done an eviction on the Tuesday, got the housemates to nominate again and have another eviction on the Friday.

Anyway, at the end of the week Rachel Johnson was the first to go in the double eviction. In theory, she could have been a good housemate, in practice she… wasn’t, really. Sure, she was a reasonably significant figure in the house dynamic, and she had some good observations now and again. I liked her comment that “In the Big Brother house you can go from Queen one day, to a mere pawn the next”. But I still I wasn’t surprised she finished bottom of the vote, despite probably counting as a “big character”, because I’m not sure who would actively vote for her. Her most memorable moment was having a middle class whinge about them not getting Parmesan cheese, and that was mostly Shane J’s nomination, sarcastically saying “How are we ever going to live without Parmesan cheese?”. Then she did awful rap, and when she returned to visit weeks later she did another equally awful one. Seriously, did anyone apart from the Celebrity Big Brother producers find Rachel rapping that funny?

The second person to go in the double eviction was Maggie Oliver. It did seem unfair, as she was only there because of the last twist, she’d received no proper nominations at all during her stay. Ann and Daniel won a go-cart task, which meant they had the power to do the save and replace. Ann and Daniel were both up for eviction, and the decision was to save Daniel, while Ann decided to replace him with Maggie. I personally think Ann was being quite sneaky here, as she would save the other person and look selfless, and get a chance to take out one of her rivals. Ann’s reason for voting Maggie was clearly bullshit, that Maggie had laughed during a task where the men were getting electric shocks, as nearly all the housemates were laughing at the task. Maggie stated in her eviction interview that she and Ann were opposite politically, and that in the past, as a politician Ann would have had the power to do something about issues Maggie and others were highlighting, but didn’t. Maggie also later criticised the edit, saying she had a lot of discussions which weren’t shown. I think the problem with Maggie as a housemate is that while she seems like a nice person and she’s certainly an admirable person, she’s not someone who really chose the public eye, she ended up being in the public eye as a result, so basically she’s probably a bit too “normal”, and isn’t enough of an attention seeker for reality TV.

Still, the show ran into a problem, with the series being dubbed Year Of The Woman, and the first three evictees were all women. There were also too many housemates left generally, 13 housemates with just over two weeks to go. You have to wonder why the show made what could easily have been an eviction night a “live nominations” one and for the second round of nominations sticking a last-minute twist delaying when they’d be able to open the phone lines, but having made their mess, they had to create another twist to clean it up. Cue a task to reduce the numbers and even the numbers out…

The men and women were split up again, and each had to pick two from the opposite team to be nominated for eviction. Then they were given tasks to compete in. One was endurance, holding a big feather at arm’s length. Jess and Ashley lasted the longest. Then there were building a cube, colour eye and memory tests. Eventually, the women won. They had to decide who would be eliminated right away out of the two they picked, Daniel and John. They picked John, who then had to leave via the backdoor.

Credit where it’s due, Ann was very good chairing and organising the jury in this task. The transferable skills from a career in politics I guess.

Everyone was sad about John’s departure and the way it was done, but as the narration pointed out they mourned the loss of John for a whole five minutes before fighting over who got his bed.

John Barnes seemed like a nice enough bloke most of the time. He talked about issues such as racism and homophobia in football. He let himself down a bit with a comment that if Andrew slept with another man “Andrew is out of the club”. Shane J later discussed this with him, and John then and in his eviction interview stated that he was talking about society’s attitudes, not his own personal views. I think John is a mostly decent person, but as a housemate he wasn’t a “big character”, so in that respect he was similar to Maggie in that he ended up getting an unfair exit because they hadn’t paced the evictions out properly.

This was followed by, probably the biggest twist of the series, all the housemates nominating in the Diary Room and the two or more with the most nominations facing
eviction! This ended up with 5 people up, and Ginuwine going, one of the most satisfying eviction results of CBB21, not because Ginuwine was terrible per se, but because it ended the tedious showmance.

The next round of nominations was decided by another series of men vs. women tasks. The women won, and despite everyone being eligible for nomination, they nominated only men! This was also a triple eviction, so this week in general end up being a massive cull of the fellers, and the triple eviction in particular taking out the LAAAAAAADDDDZZZZZ clique.

The most notable thing here was the downfall of Andrew Brady. While he’d been doing bad stuff now and again (such as putting his arse on the bedroom window, and “leaving a skidmark”. Gross.), he’d mostly been trying to look good to everybody, to be all things to all people. He was at least top 2 in one eviction save vote, and in the previous round of nominations he received none from his other housemates. But it all started to unravel soon after that. I think what started it was probably after Ginuwine’s eviction, Andrew saying about Ashley he’d “smash that” almost as soon after Ginuwine had gone. He said this to Courtney, who given how close and huggy she and Andrew had been, seemed a little hurt by it. It did look a little like Andrew had been stringing Shane J/Courtney along a bit and was now trying to push him back.

Ann nominated Andrew and Shane J, disapproving of their antics. While there may well have been an undercurrent of homophobia in Ann’s nomination, and her saying that Andrew’s mother and grandma would be ashamed of him was a very low blow, Andrew did not react well to it. He lost his temper, came across as aggressive and arrogant throughout
that night, and calling Ann a c-word and a bitch, even if it was only behind her back, didn’t reflect well on him. I think Malika was spot on when she said his ego was bruised that after trying so hard to please everyone he got so many nominations. Andrew ended up last in the eviction vote. I didn’t mind Andrew, but I wasn’t sorry to see him go. He has the unfortunate distinction of going in a triple eviction in both The Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother.

Jonny Mitchell was next, and … oh, I don’t know, what can you say about Jonny? He was a bit of a doofus, and neither his presence nor his absence made much difference.

The final evictee that night was Daniel O’Reilly. I had no interest in his transparent redemption arc, and I don’t think he’s funny AT ALL, but, just judging by his time in the house, to be honest…. I somewhat liked him. I mean, I think he’s a bit of a cringey, cheesy sort of person with his generic GEEZERLAD personality, and his proposal to his girlfriend on his eviction was not dissimilar to Mario’s in BB9. But he seems friendly and he was quite good when he was given the host/compere role in parties, and all the housemates seemed to like him. I think he’s alright, really.

Courtney was top of the vote, and therefore the only survivor.

I had found Ann amusing now and again through the series, but sometimes she grated on me, and by the last week I was completely fed up with her. Her constant eye-rolling, putting her fingers in her ears and disgusted scoffing got incredibly annoying at this point, even more so when she added yawning to her repertoire. I didn’t find her good entertainment at this stage, despite the shows and her stans attempts to paint her as such. Ann Widdecombe raving is predictably the sort of irono-shit thing that gets hyped as “TV gold”, but I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Don’t get me started on people making out Ann getting into a hot tub one night was the conclusion of some sort of epic “journey”. Then there’s how pompous she was judging everyone else’s behaviour and declaring herself as “defender of the unborn” and “the scourge of political correctness”.

One of Ann’s many eye-rolls was when Courtney said to Wayne she appreciated having another gay man in the house. Courtney noticed this, and called Ann out on it. Shane J later talked to Malika and Wayne about how Ann had, in 23 years of her parliamentry career, consistently voted against pro-LGBT legislation. Wayne told Amanda, and Amanda had a row with Shane J, saying that she is in a civil parnership and she gets on with Ann. But the thing is, if Ann had got her way, Amanda wouldn’t be able to be in a civil partnership, if Ann had got her way no pro-LGBT legislation would have been passed in that time. Apart from that, it was annoying that Amanda started an argument, then just left the room without giving Shane J much chance to reply to it.

It’s not surprising Amanda and Ann bonded on some level, they were both old ladies, and Amanda was the older of them. She probably wants to see the best in her. Wayne stuck up for Ann too, despite not liking her all that much, after all he nominated her soon after this happened. It’d be one thing if Amanda and Wayne got on well with Ann despite her views, but they went a step further and defended her. I suppose they are at a point in their lives now where they are old, and don’t care anymore, and Ann might remind them of a time they are more used to. They have a bit of an “I’m alright, Jack” attitude perhaps, but that’s hardly an unusual one.

The final eviction was also a triple one. The top 2 in the vote to save were Courtney and Ann, confirming that it was a two horse race for the winner. But the three that were evicted were Ashley, Malika and Amanda. So after an all-male triple eviction, there was an all-female one.

I found Ashley James to be very unlikable, but I’m not sure why. She was never particularly nasty. I suppose she could be a little petty and two-faced at times, but nothing out of the ordinary. As a housemate though, she was incredibly bland and lasted a lot longer than she should have.

In contrast, I really liked Malika Haqq! She was a good reader of her fellow housemates, the house dynamics and how the vote would go. I’ve slated Kardashian hangers-on being on CBB in the past, but not this time, if anything I’m jealous of the Kardashians, I’d love to be Malika’s friend!

Amanda Barrie had her moments, she was often very funny. At 82, she is one of the oldest housemates they have had. But the role she ended up taking, by her own choice
as well, was that of Ann’s sidekick, so I wasn’t too bothered to see her evicted just before the final. I still like her though, and I genuinely I hope to see her on TV again soon.

I will say that triple evictions are a lot better than backdoor evictions. If they overstuff a series again (and let’s face it, they will) and have too many housemates left towards the end, I’d much rather they get a triple eviction “semi-final” to get rid of people with no chance of winning than backdoor evictions. If it’s a vote to evict series, just change it to a vote to save/win for that one.

The last highlights episode had housemates returning. They did Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack again, this time with evicted housemates taking over as Big Brother. There was also a television news report with India. She and Ann argued, with India saying to Ann “You might win, but I hope not”, and Ann retorting “Why don’t you go back to reading the news instead?”. She then made a comment that India takes offence at everything, which might be true, but it’s a bit rich coming from Ann.

Andrew’s housemate picture started moving and talking Harry Potter portrait style to give Courtney a secret task. Then later all the ex-housemates came back for a party. This was one of the best ways they’ve brought ex-housemates back, it felt like a good celebration of the series.

In the final, the finishing order ended up being exactly as most polls and bookies thought it would.

5th place was Wayne Sleep. His best moments were his friendship with Amanda, both being elderly LGBT showbiz types. Wayne was nude quite often, which probably counts
as fan disservice. Is it cruel of me to compare the scenes of Wayne being bathed by Amanda to Mr. Burns in The Simpsons? I’d quite like to see Amanda playing Smithers. Wayne namedropped a lot, and was self-deprecating about that. On the whole, he was OK.

4th place went to Jess Impiazzi. She got all the way to final receiving 0 nominations at all from her fellow housemates! I really liked Jess. I thought she was sweet, and a lot smarter than she thinks. Her comment that cucumbers were recalled after containing salmonella drew laughter from the other housemates, but it turned out to be true, it happened in America in 2015.

I very much agreed with her that Brexit should never have been put to a public vote in the first place. Jess mentioned the infamous Leave bus line, and that she saw a racist tweet celebrating the result talking about a country that wasn’t even in the E.U. As a side note, Amanda’s comment was funny about Brexit. “Some people thought it was a breakfast cereal!”

Jess bonded with the three older ladies, and she said that Maggie was like her house mum while Amanda and Ann were like her house nans.

Jess gave her all in tasks, she was the women’s star player really, as her efforts helped them win tasks where they won the right to nominate. She also easily won the Yes/No game a few times.

3rd place was Shane Lynch. His skinhead and tattoos look might have made him look like hardcase, but he wasn’t at all, he was very quiet and laid back. In fact, he did nothing much of note. It speaks volumes that his highlight was going off the make a sandwich during a row. Oh, yeah, he mentioned his hobby of collecting potato peelers. The most boring housemate this series, but he’s decent, quite handsome and used to be in a boyband, that was enough to get him to 3rd place. Particularly when it turned out over 80% of the final vote went to the top 2.

2nd was Ann Widdecombe. There’s no doubt she was a fantastic casting choice, an ex-MP with controversial opinions and a, er, striking personality. Even more so in this series which was dealing with political themes. She was the source of a lot of series memes, most notably the gif of her not being able to use hair straighteners. However I’ve already said above why I found her overrated, and I didn’t like her archaic views, not just on LGBT, but
on issues such as abortion. She might not have “forced them on people” in the house, but she at one time had power to try to put them into law. And she did control the house in other ways by being a passive aggressive killjoy and everyone having to walk on eggshells for fear of offending her. It’s fair enough for her to express her views publicly, but some people seemed to think that meant nobody could challenge her views in any way. The bottom line for me regarding Ann in CBB is she was a good housemate, but I am glad she didn’t win.

The winner was Shane Jenek/Courney Act, which I was very happy about. He was my favourite on the men’s “launch night”, and he remained my overall favourite till the end. Shane J/Courtney received 49.43% of the vote in the final 5, so almost half of all the votes cast! Ann had 39.50%, so the other three finalists put together had only 11.07% of the vote, so it really was a two horse race, and Courtney was pretty far ahead of Ann. On the final night the cheers for Courtney and chanting her name were very loud throughout, so that was also a sign for how it would go. Courtney was only the runner-up in series 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she acknowledged how ironic it was that a drag queen won Year Of The Woman. She stated that it if she wanted her win to give a message, it was that it was OK to be different.

Shane J had been so eloquent on LGBT issues and how he hopes to do his bit to make things improve for younger generations of LGBT people. He’s clever, and well-informed on politics and health issues. He was very polite and diplomatic when discussing it too.

I’ll admit, I fancied Shane J, I think he’s really cute, and that he is such an admirable person adds to that. He is very beautiful as Courtney, but I’m not attracted to him as Courtney, I suppose that’s the opposite of Andrew! But speaking of Andrew, no disrespect to him, but it was refreshing that for once in Big Brother the gay guy lasted longer than the straight guy he fancied!

Regarding the tasks:

A 1950s task saw the women dressed in floral dresses and doing cooking and keeping house, men dressing in overalls and going to work in factory. However, the real task
was women working in the factory too in direct competition. The women won the cake production line, the men won the assembling and painting toys production lines. Turns out this task didn’t really challenge gender stereotypes, did it?

The housemates went into a crèche to entertain some children, and the kids had to pick their favourite who would win immunity. They picked Ashley, but I agreed with Andrew that they probably just liked Ashley best because she was wearing a unicorn onesie.

The driving task with them wearing colourful cardboard cars, having to follow traffic lights and signs. It was quite funny when they speeded the footage up.

One of the debate tasks (the for and against one), mostly because they decided to do it when most of them were drunk, so it descended into chaos! (This was Shane L’s “go to make a sandwich” moment).

The winning letters from home task, not the task itself, but that it was a draw so they decided who won based on a game of paper, scissors, stone!

The Big Brother’s Nightmare task, the a tried and tested scary task they always do, but it works well. They had to spend a night in a room decorated in a creepy way, with stuff dropping on them in the dark, people dressed as things like a ghostly goth girl and a jack in the box evil clown. Amanda’s quip about the latter was funny. “What a rotten job if you’re an agent to get for somebody!”.

Best of all was the girlgroup task, particularly those that dressed up as the Spice Girls to perform ‘Wannabe’. Courtney was Geri, and was fabulous at it. Wayne was Emma, Ashley was Mel C, Ann was Mel B (though she did nothing but make a half-hearted “grrrrr” sound), and Jess was Victoria. She noted that Victoria has no lines on her own, so she had to pick up Mel B’s instead as Ann refused to sing.

Also, nice that Courtney got a message from Geri Halliwell congratulating her on winning!

This series had no walkers and no housemates removed! So it ran smoother than most in that respect.

In the context of Big Brother, 2017 was more of a Year Of The Woman, as all three of the winners were women. (CBB19 – Coleen Nolan, BB18 – Isabelle Warburton, CBB20 – Sarah Harding).

The Celebrity Big Brother Behind The Scenes episode was good, and it revealed, as much as we all criticise the show and the production decisions, a lot of hard work does go into making it, and they have to get it done within the day for it to be ready for broadcast every night.

Some YouTubers attempted to break into the house a couple of times, once during the first live triple eviction. Are they that desperate to become housemates themselves?

I liked some of the songs played, namely ‘Ride Wit Me’ – Nelly feat. City Spud, ‘Sandstorm’- Darude (shame it was played during Ann’s “hilarious” rave), ‘Came Here For
Love’ – Sigala feat. Ella Eyre, and ‘Classic’ – MKTO. I think they should have played ‘Andrew In Drag’ by The Magnetic Fields at some point though!

Shane J pointing out Teletubbie Tinky Winky’s red handbag wasn’t colour co-ordinated with his purple skin. That reminded me of the poem ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph, the “When I’m an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat” poem. Quite poignant in a way, as both Jenny Joseph and Simon Shelton, one of the actors to play Tinky Winky, both passed away while this series was on.

India mentioned being aroused by a Dalek in a Christmas Day episode of Doctor Who. Bizarre.

The fireworks in the final were good for once!

It was said that the big divide of the series wasn’t on gender lines, but on generational ones.

If you want to look at it that way, the Millenials (Andrew, Ashley, Daniel, Jess, Jonny, Malika, Shane J) got on alright with each other for the most part, the Baby Boomers (Ann, Maggie, Wayne) never quite bonded with each other, though they did with Amanda, who, bless her, is too old to fit into any of the main three categories! As for the Generation Xers (Ginuwine, India, John, Rachel, Shane L) eesh, as a group they fared rather badly, didn’t they? That’s 4 of the first 5 evictees!

To be pedantic, I’d say the divide was on age rather than generation per se, mainly people aged 20s-40s and people aged 50+. The younger group mostly were more into drinking and being in the hot tub, the older ones mostly wanted to go to bed early and eat chocolate biscuits, also politically the younger ones were more progressive, the older ones were more conservative. So it was as you’d expect really.

Celebrity Big Brother 21 was a great series, one of the best. But it also had one of the lowest viewing figures, which is a shame, as it was one of the most interesting, discussing important issues. Despite how messy it got production wise, they managed to rescue it towards the end. It had an excellent cast too, a good mix of ages and personalities. There were reports that Channel 5 may axe the show, and I hope not. Granted, the Big Brother UK franchise is very much a brand in decline, but I think it would be missed if it went. Courtney Act/Shane Jenek is definitely one of the best winners.

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