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Orgy Harrison, the Duchess of Solihull and the truth about Lauren Goodger’s sex tape: Celebrity Big Brother launch night review

The token reality crew saying familiar hellos and trying to remember if they snogged each other at Ollie Locke’s birthday do last Friday at Mahiki. The obligatory confused American sent direct from Hugh Hefner via Heathrow and thrusting her giant boobs in Emma Willis’ face.


The sports star. The one who’s only there because he dates someone famous but has convinced himself that he’d have totally been top of Channel 5’s hit list anyway.

This Celebrity Big Brother series opener ticked its usual boxes.

But then it pencilled in a few new ones.

TV basically gobbled itself up for dinner when George from Gogglebox turned up, and Benefits Street’s White Dee (with a first night task to convince the Americans that she is royalty) was instantly controversial casting.

Should being on benefits be a path to fame? Well of course not, but then neither should making your boobs bigger or pushing Mark Wright in a swimming pool, except that that’s the world that we’ve created and entered into and allowed to exist.

If we all stopped watching Big Brother until they put only scientists and poets in there, that’s what we’d get, but we don’t, so instead we have Lauren Goodger awkwardly telling us she doesn’t have a sex tape, but there is a video of her getting ‘intimate with a boyfriend’, which sounds very much like a sex tape.

After a few more UK stars – a guy from Strictly, Kim Tate from Emmerdale – the American contingent started to arrive. An actor from Will and Grace and then more controversy in the form of Point Break actor Gary Busey who appeared confused (“Orgy Harrison?” he said on meeting Audley) and hard of hearing, after recently having a motorbike accident, sparking debate about whether he should be in the house at all.

Perhaps the most interesting casting of this series though came in the form of boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, who until recently was known as Frank, was clearly nervous and got a lovely response from the crowd. You never know: Big Brother 2014 may end up being crucial for conversations on sex changes and gender identity and that’s something that Channel 5 could be proud of.

Of course, one subject came up again and again on launch night and that was the twice-yearly moan about the housemates not being famous enough. Because there is a percentage of the country that still don’t get that Wills and Kate don’t have a whole load to gain by being electrocuted while dressed head to toe in rubber on Channel 5 and that Posh and Becks don’t have conversations over dinner that start with “You know what I’d like to do? Spend time in an enclosed space with some people from TOWIE.”

If the blurry definition of celebrity matters so much though, then I say let’s just change the rules. They’re getting confused anyway: Helen Wood was better known to us than ‘Frenchy’, and won non-celebrity Big Brother. Sling them all in together, let Stephanie Pratt fall in love with a builder from Oldham and and let’s just get on with the more important bit: enjoying Celebrity Big Brother for the ridiculously hilarious entertainment that Monday night’s launch reminded us it is.

[Lauren Goodger: What exactly HAS she had done to her face?]

[Seriously now, who IS Frenchy Morgan?]

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