OH BROTHER, THIS AIN’T SISTERHOOD
This year’s Celebrity Big Brother has got a ‘theme’
It’s a new year and even Celebrity Big
Brother is trying a bit of self-improvement. It’s not just a place where an ex-Apprentice contestant auditions for a media career or where desperate politicians attempt to appear like humans, it’s not Jackie Stallone popping in out of nowhere to terrorise Brigitte Nielsen or George Galloway squeezing into a shiny leotard or Pete Burns’s iconic gorilla coat being arrested.
Now it’s about having a discourse with its viewers, igniting highbrow debates rather than sparking Ofcom investigations.Instead of its usual, blatant headline-grabbing tendencies, this year its trolling is thinly concealed under a provocative “message”. The theme of the show for 2018, is “the year of the woman” with an all-female line-up to acknowledge the 100-year anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the UK. Which, to go on past Big Brother behaviour, is a bit like those fast-fashion sites that sell “The Future is Female” slogan T-shirts made by women slaving in sweatshops.
“If I was to actually go in, this would be the year I’d do it,” host Emma Willis bleats to every contestant as if trying to convince herself that this is a worthwhile social exercise rather than the stuff Katie Hopkins’s hate-filled dreams are made of.
Naming the bedrooms after suffragettes or trilling on about “Girl Power” doesn’t erase the air of manipulation, the desire to turn it into a cat fight where the semantics of feminism are ripped open over cheap chardonnay and Kettle Chips. It’s a golden opportunity for Rod Liddle and his crew of bros to chuff “so much for the sisterhood!” in countless redundant think-pieces.
It’s the transparent plot to have notorious conservative Christian Ann Widdecombe bunk alongside outspoken trans newsreader India Willoughby and for glamour girl Jess Impiazzi to endure the judgmental gaze of
Daily Mail journalist Rachel Johnson, sister of Boris. It’s a month-long Twitter argument with ad breaks.
For all its trumpeting about how important this year is, Celebrity Big Brother hasn’t shed its skin, it’s still the Stanford Prison Experiment of reality telly, where you can witness the slow, agonising breakdown of a
Hollyoaks cast member or watch an ex-boybander have an argument about bullying while dressed as a giant egg.
Hopefully it will turn out to be the most uneventful year yet although obviously, a harmonious house akin to Wonder Woman’s island is not what the producers have in mind, eagerly awaiting the addition of a man to the group (ex-footballer John Barnes) which will have turned the all-female utopia into some kind of glorified Lynx ad by the time you’re reading this. Welcome to 2018 where sisters are doing it for themselves but all under the unblinking eyes of the Big