World of Chig   

And good riddance to you too...

The whining limpet has finally stopped demanding all of Big Brother's attention and has left the BB house. About time too. I know ZiggyZak has shamelessly turned hot and cold on Chanelle whenever it suited him, but blimey, had she become difficult to deal with. It's a real irony that Chanelle has left now, just when the eviction of Charley should have made her life so much easier, but she only has herself to blame. She was second or third favourite with the public for most of the run, but Chanelle was stupid enough to believe Charley's lies and convinced herself that she would be booed. It was in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, with her whining and attention-seeking in the last few days. I really liked her at first, but she blew it, the silly thing and now I'm glad she's gone - and ZiggyZak will be too.

I think we've now reached a record number of people - four - who have left the BB house without being evicted. Emily, Lesley, Jonathan and Chanelle have all left for other reasons, almost keeping pace with the number of evictions, which reached only six on Friday. Twenty-three people (and one dog*) have entered the show so far this year.

Last night, the halfway housemates, who have been able to watch the show earlier in the run, all attended a party in the main house. So, did any of them point out the hidden washing machine?

*That's Molly, not a really obvious comment on Charley.

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It's stopped reigning

Chig never thought he would be glad to see the day when a grammatically-challenged single called 'The Way I Are' made Number One, but today is that day. Rihanna's Umbrella is down, after a thoroughly undeserved run of ten weeks at the top. History will record that it spent a week longer at Number One than 'Two Tribes' and that's just not right, is it?

Now the Umbrella's gone, do you think it might stop raining?

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What's Mark Lawson doing in the Big Brother halfway house?

Separated at birth? New housemate Jonty Stern and journalist/TV presenter Mark Lawson. Spooky.

PS. Thank goodness Charley's gone, with 85.6% - well done the public. Now the housemates can relax and enjoy themselves and we can enjoy it too.

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Today's Top TV Quotes

Carole reveals that she's one of the few housemates who understands the point of Big Brother. Thank goodness she does.

This is almost as good as when a journalist reportedly asked The Corrs how they had met.

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It's definitely okay with me. Thank you for asking.

No, it's not a new gaydar homepage model, although it surely could be. It's only Shayne Ward, innit?! Anyone would think he had a new single lined up. Oh.

Chig is going for a lie down.

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Hell ends on Friday...

...for Big Brother viewers and housemates alike. The horrendous Charley is up for eviction, for the first time. About bloomin' time too!

Spare us all from more of her bile and get her to a psychotherapist by calling:

09011 21 22 04.

She should be out on Friday (for real this time), even though Tracey has become nastier recently, so Charley won't get to see the six (six!) new people who'll be entering the house. (Not all of them will stay.) The big question is, will any of them find the washing machine? Fifty-six days in, and the housemates are still wasting their time washing by hand...

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The question that everyone is asking today.

That was a body double for Paul Nicholls, wasn't it?*

(I would have written this earlier today, but I was too busy slitting my wrists after watching Clapham Junction last night.)

*Blimey. It seems it may not have been (or the director is winding us up).

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Everybody Loves Kalvin

The guy on the left is called Kalvin. I've known him for years as one of the dancers at the Nightingale club here in Birmingham. He's a brilliant, energetic dancer (as is Andy, on the right of the photo, which I took at Birmingham's LGB Ball in March this year). Kalvin's also an adorably sweet, lovely, enthusiastic guy (as well as being rather beautiful). Imagine my surprise as I kept half an eye on DanceX on BBC One tonight. Kalvin is one of the sixteen finalists. Hurrah!

Go Kalvin! Birmingham will be with you all the way.

UPDATE: Kalvin made it through tonight's 'final audition' programme and was picked, tantalisingly, as the third and last of Arlene's three men. He now becomes part of her team in the dance-offs from next week against Bruno's team.

And to think, I wasn't going to watch this series at all.

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Bloody weather

Chig is pissed off.

I was supposed to be in Cardiff tonight, for a night out with the gay rugby club boys of Cardiff Lions, who were kind enough to invite me, their semi-official photographer, to their annual dinner. I had a hotel booked and have bought a new pair of trousers.

However, the traffic from the Midlands to the South is so bad that I drove only as far as Birmingham to Worcester before having to give up and come home again. Every road further South is either closed because of flooding or has a logjam of traffic. The road West of Worcester, which would have been an alternative 'long way round' via Hereford, is coned off. You can't escape Worcester city centre, except to come back up North again. The M5 is almost at a standstill from J6 (North of Worcester) down to J11 in Gloucestershire. Effectively, South Wales is cut off from England.

So, I'm back home. Pah. Two hours and forty minutes in the car, 66 miles covered, and all for nothing.

At least I'll be able to watch C4's gay drama thingy later. Small comfort.

Perhaps I should read a book. Is there anything new out? ;-)


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Today is Talk Like A Brummie day. I do hope you're joining in bab. There was an event planned for Birmingham city centre today, but unfortunately, this being the new monsoon season, it was rained off.

Kipper tie:

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Save Gerry!

Tomorrow is Big Brother's birthday (and the halfway point of this series), so the nominations were made a day early (ie. yesterday). Because they're a bunch of idiots, the BB housemates have decided to put my future husband up for eviction. How could they?

Evict Nicky instead. She's a misery.

(Charley's plan - to tell a shedload of lies - is working brilliantly, as she avoids the public vote again. She's obnoxious, but she's not as stupid as she looks.)


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Who goes – and comes straight back again? You decide!

Name: Charley

Occupation: Unemployed – and unemployable

Career aspirations: Hooker for footballers, Vicky Pollard impersonator.

Hobbies: Causing fights in empty rooms, self delusion, pretending to be Nicky from BB7 in the diary room.

Likes: Herself, mirrors, arguments, money, having the last word, not being bovvered.

Dislikes: Other people, listening, team activities, being challenged.

Talents: Amazing foresight – but only in retrospect. She knew I was going to say that.

Truisms: “I’m not being funny, but…”
No, you’re fucking not. We’re laughing at you, not with you, you heinous bitch.

Why she should go out and come back in again:
She shouldn’t – we know what she thinks and so do the other housemates. There are no secrets that she can tell Davina.

What she’ll say if she’s evicted: “I said it would be fucking me. I knew it.”

What she’ll say if she comes back again: “I told you this was going to happen. Fucking bring it on.”

Name: Nicky

Occupation: Moaner.

Career aspirations: Professional lemon sucker.

Hobbies: Whinging, conspiracy theories, changing her mind, talking about nominations, being envious.

Likes: Moaning, men (but won’t admit it).

Dislikes: Everything about being in Big Brother.

Talents: Complaining, hiding the personality that she showed in the first few days.

Truisms: “I don’t think Liam likes me.” Perhaps if you smiled occasionally and stopped hanging around with your poisonous shadow?

Why she should go out and come back in again:
It’ll be far more entertaining for the housemates to see what she says in the diary room that she doesn’t say to their faces. She’ll also be shocked that six of the other ten nominated her. On the downside, she may well be so miserable afterwards that she’ll refuse to go back in. Who would blame her? I wonder if there’s a contingency plan?

What she’ll say if she’s evicted: “I was going to go anyway. I’m not enjoying myself.”

What she’ll say if she comes back again: “Can’t I go into the secret house next door? I don’t think I can do this. They all hate me and I hate them all as well.”

What Channel 4 will be saying next week:

“We deeply regret the death of one of the housemates. We had no idea that putting the mentally unstable, aggressive, psychotic flatmate Charley back into the house would lead to resentment from the other housemates and uncontainable violence. We are, however, very pleased with the ratings for the show where the housemates all took turns at stabbing her.”


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Brit wins Wimbledon!

Yes, it's true! After exactly twenty years, we have a British Wimbledon champion! Well done to Jamie Murray and his Serbian partner Jelana Jankovic (left), who have just won the mixed doubles final 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

The last Brits to win anything at Wimbledon were Jo Durie and Jeremy Bates (below), who won the same competition in 1987. They were also the last Brits to win any Grand Slam title before today, with the Australian Open back in 1991.

Who would have thought that Jamie would win a Wimbledon title before brother Andy? I believe Jelena promised to kiss Jamie "all over" if they won. Yuk. (But I bet he can't wait.)

Hurrah! The Brits* are coming! (Eventually.)

Congratulations as well to Roger Federer for winning his fifth successive Wimbledon earlier and equalling Björn Borg's run, in front of the iceman himself, visiting the men's finals day for the first time since 1981. Nadal made it a brilliant match; it was a shame someone had to lose. One day, Rafa, one day. What a treat it was earlier to see the Holy Trinity of Borg, Connors and McEnroe together on centre court. Those three were Wimbledon when I was growing up and playing a bit of tennis (badly). For eleven consecutive years (1974-84), at least one of those three was in the Wimbledon final, such was their dominance of the game.

I thought the Wimbledon organisers were mad not to play last Sunday to catch up on the days lost to rain, but the Championships have miraculously ended on time today.

*Note to Scottish readers:
The Murray brothers will be 'British' for as long as they're successful. The moment they show any signs of failure, they will revert to being 'Scottish'. That's just the way it works. You should be used to it by now.

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Say "g'day" to Poo!

I've now realised that the easiest way to predict the late entrants into this year's Big Brother is to examine my CD collection. After ZiggyZak from Northern Line, we now have actress Thaila Zucchi, who enters the house today as fake Aussie BB contestant Pauline, known as 'Poo' to her friends. Thaila is not only the Bunny Boiler from recent episodes of Balls Of Steel, but she was also in allSTARS*, the pop band who had four top 20 hits in 2001-2.

The allSTARS* group started off in the children's TV series STARStreet* and had a hit with the theme song first, Best Friends, before going on to tackle the works of Duran Duran and Buck's Fizz with later releases. At the time, they were seen, by me at least, as a British rival to Sweden's A*Teens. God help them. Both groups even had asterisks in their names, as if more proof were needed. (The initials of the first names of the five allSTARS* members spell out the word 'STARS', so perhaps they were more like ABBA, the band that the A*Teens themselves were always covering in their early days. Yeah, right.)

Here's the allSTARS* number 12 hit version of 'Is There Something I Should Know?', coupled with 'Things That Go Bump In The Night', freshly plucked (and dusted down) from my CD shelves, where it lives between All Saints and Marc Almond. That's the free banner/poster that came with it, showing Thaila in all her glory. Like ZiggyZak, she appears to have changed her name since her pop days, as the single's booklet has her name as 'Thalia'. Same letters, different order. In this case though, I think it's just a record company cock-up.

Inexplicably, the programme's official website, StarStreetOnline, has now fallen into disuse. We can still see one of the band on our TVs almost every day though, as Ashley Taylor Dawson was in Hollyoaks before Star Street as the smarmy Darren Osborne, then went back to it and is still there now.

Thaila has done quite a bit of acting work, as we can see from her showreel, which has a really good joke right at the end:

That snack ad, where she's mouthing through the glass, is very familiar too, but I would never have recognised her from it. I suspect heterosexual men might find her a bit more memorable than I do. Am I right? I don't recognise her from The IT Crowd either, even though I watched two or three episodes of it and thought it was quite good.

We know from Balls of Steel that Thaila is one fearless, gutsy woman who can think on her feet, and she'll need to be, as there is surely a chance of her being recognised by a housemate or two. In addition, housemate Brian was following BB Oz before going into the house and has already said that he doesn't recognise her from it. Let's hope that, as well as faking an accent for a week and feigning jetlag today, she has her backstory sorted out, to explain why she entered the Aussie house late. Here's a typical Bunny Boiler scene:

The BB8 housemates will apparently be told that PaulinePoo will be living in a guest room next door during her visit (which may arouse more suspicion with people like Gerry and ZiggyZak), but she'll actually be popping into Dermot's BBLB studio every day, to give us an insider's view of the house. It should be excellent, if they can hold it together.

It's also rumoured that only PaulinePoo will nominate for eviction, so surely the script will run like this:

She nominates Charley plus someone else. We vote for Charley to be the fake evictee. Charley is evicted and probably abuses people before she leaves. Drama all round as she mouths off about everyone to Davina while the housemates all watch on the plasma screen. Charley is then thrown back in. Fireworks. Oh god, it's a really crap idea, isn't it? It means Charley's with us for at least two more weeks. Bugger.

Fake Week will supposedly end with the housemates being asked if they think PaulinePoo is a fake or not. Do they still think Laura the Sloth has been sent to Australia as a swap?

In the meantime, Carole has been asking Big Brother for Vegemite and Aussie biscuits to make PaulinePoo feel at home. Do they have Vegemite in Swindon? Tee hee. This week should be fun. It needs to be, as this series is really flagging, with the constant Charley rows and the Chiggy non-love story being focussed on all the time. I can't wait for this change. Bring it on.

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He does like Charley charlie after all

After leaving the Big Brother house in the middle of the week when his grandma died, Jonathan's week goes from bad to worse in today's News Of The World. Leaving aside the usual NOTW hyperbole, there's obviously a real story in there. Why does anyone who goes into the Big Brother house think that these stories won't be raked up? The answer is surely that they don't. Anyone as intelligent as Jonathan knows exactly what will happen, which leads me to the conclusion that this is self-induced, as he implies. He hopes this is a first step towards therapy and recovery.

I'm missing Jonathan's wit in the BB house, especially the way he was able to insult the horrid Charley directly to her face, but she was too thick to realise. There were some excellent moments between them. He'll be missed, but it's obviously for the best that he left, for him and his family. I hope he manages to sort his life out soon.

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Live Earth day

It’s 07/07/07 and exactly two years since the London bombings. Al Gore is celebrating the anniversary with a series of concerts around the world. He is clearly a sick, dangerous terrorist.

It’s also French day in London. My sister is en Londres, watching the Tour de France invade, Richard Gasquet is in a Wimbledon semi-final and some French woman I hadn’t heard of until this week is in the women’s final. (Personally, I always find men’s semis more of an attraction.) Before the French get too carried away though, let’s just remind ourselves that it was two years yesterday that London beat Paris to the Olympics. Ha.

None of these events can compete with the main attraction of the day here though; my local carnival, going ahead despite the best efforts of the idiot bureaucrats in Birmingham City Council who decided only two weeks ago to price the carnival procession off the streets. My neighbourhood is very angry about this and so am I. (Full, ridiculous story here.)

So, with support and cynicism in equal measure, here is Chig’s Climate Change Chart of Topical Songs for today’s Live Earth concerts (and the artists who have selflessly given no thought at all to how many more albums they might sell next week):

01 Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth – Sparks
02 You Can Call Me Al (Gore) – Paul Simon
03 Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Pet Shop Boys
04 The Earth Dies Screaming – UB40
05 Turn Off The Light – Nelly Furtado
06 The Great Song Of Indifference – Bob Geldof
07 Earth Song – Michael Jackson
08 This World Of Water – New Musik
09 Nothing Ever Happens – Del Amitri
10 Melt With The Sun – Amber ft Sweet Rain
11 Drowned World (Substitute For Love) - Madonna
12 Change The World – Eric Clapton
13 What Difference Does It Make? – The Smiths
14 Mad World – Tears For Fears
15 Change – Tears For Fears
16 Planet Earth – Duran Duran
17 The Power – Snap!
18 We All Stand Together – Paul McCartney & The Frog Chorus
19 Windpower – Thomas Dolby
20 Any Other World – Mika
21 Melt – Melanie C
22 Ice In The Sun – Status Quo
23 Sunburn – Muse
24 We Are The World – USA For Africa
25 Save Me – Queen
26 Burn Baby Burn – Ash
27 Mother Earth - Crass
28 Burning Up – Tony de Vit
29 This Is The World Calling – Bob Geldof
30 Hot Hot Hot - Arrow
31 I Melt With You – Modern English
32 Think Locally, Fuck Globally – Gogol Bordello
33 Power Out – The Arcade Fire
34 Cars – Gary Numan
35 Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – Tubeway Army
36 Electricity – suede
37 Electricity – Elton John
38 Electricity – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
39 Electricity – Spiritualized
40 Electric – Lisa Scott-Lee
41 The Tide Is High - Blondie
42 Four Seasons In One Day - Crowded House
43 Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year) - Elton John
44 Everyone's Gone To The Moon - Jonathan King
45 The New Pollution - Beck
46 Weather With You - Crowded House
47 We've Got The Whole World In Our Hands - Nottingham Forest FC with Paper Lace
48 Sun Hits The Sky - Supergrass
49 Window In The Skies - U2
50 Electrical Storm - U2

Please feel free to suggest some more.

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Chiggy lives on

...but did you see ZiggyZak's face when he realised that he'd have to spend at least another week with Chanelle? Priceless. The tabloids will get to use the name they stole from me for the Chanelle/Ziggy coupling for another seven days, at least. 68% voted to evict Laura, with 32% for Chanelle. Laura spent 52.6% of her time in the house in bed. Did she really think she could go any further by not doing anything?

The twist at the end was pure genius. It's fake week, with a fake contestant, supposedly from BB Australia, entering on Sunday. She's really an English actress. I was completely fooled, as was the Aussie comedian on BBBM tonight. There will be a fake eviction next week, as the housemates get to watch the eviction interview and the poor evictee is immediately put back in. Brilliant.


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Big Brother quotes of the day

1) "I'm not gonna get booed." - Laura.

Well no, at least not until the moment you leave the house, you smug, lazy, bitchy stirrer.

2) Dermot: "Midlife crisis, or not?"
Jonathan: "It’s my third."

Dermot questions the sadly departed Jonathan on BBLB, on his motivation for joining the madness in the first place.

3) "I wouldn’t imagine anyone over 34 would want to watch Big Brother."
Davina McCall, Question Time, BBC One.

Davina, I feel alienated.

So, who's going tomorrow? The bookies reckon that Laura is a dead cert for eviction, at 1-33. I hope they're right. Despite Chanelle's pathetic whinging at times, and her blatant attempts to act out the role of last year's Nicki in the diary room, she's basically a decent person. The voting public has already made the wrong decision once this year, by voting out Seany, and there's been a habit of splitting up couples in the past via the eviction vote, so Chanelle may not be as safe as the bookies say.

I don't think I've ever changed my opinion of a BB contestant as much as I have over Laura. On opening night, based on first impressions, she was my winner. She seemed good fun, with the right attitude. But the mask has slipped. She fanned the flames of the racism row, prior to Emily being thrown out, because she couldn't resist dropping unsubtle hints to the others about it, and the way she lectures the housemates from under her duvet and looks miserable most of the time is now really boring me. She has no time to even listen to other people's opinions (just like the detestable Charley) and has a really nasty streak to her as well. She even had the cheek to announce, when it was revealed that she was up for eviction, that she would walk if she were up for eviction. (She was lying, of course.) It was as if she genuinely believes that the housemates shouldn't be able to contemplate nominating her. The arrogance! Let's get her out.

Glyn was a great ambassador for Wales last year. Laura is in danger of undoing all his good work.

What do you think?

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Travelling light years


Was it Mohammed Al-Fayed who insisted on Duran Duran appearing at today's Concert For Diana? We're only three songs in, but Simon le Bon has already sung, "There's murder by the roadside".


UPDATE: As Popbitch pointed out this week, the above lyric was matched later in its inappropriateness by Take That opening with 'Shine' and the lines, "You, you're such a big star to me. You're everything I wanna be, but you're stuck in a hole." I didn't spot this at the time. I was too bewildered by 'ickle Marky Owen bounding down the steps shouting, "Happy Birthday Diana" and wondering who exactly he thought he was addressing.

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