Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

10 Things We State About... 

B*Witched are back! *! Well half of them are, anyway, with Keavy and Adele getting together under the not hugely imaginative name of Keavy and Adele to release some top quality pop music. Or set up a Myspace page together, at any rate, which, of course, is the modern equivalent now that we have no need for CD's, hear music entirely through osmosis and can make songs chart merely by thinking reasonably positive things about them for five minutes a day. Anyway, we'll have more to say about their new material later, but for now here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the world's favourite Irish dancing popstrels:-
  1. "C'est La Vie" is gaelic for "Half Price Sale at Denimworld"
  2. Against conventional wisdom, and despite the "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" line, C'est La Vie isn't as rude as people think it is. Rollercoaster, however, with its "Come and slip inside us, we'll give you such a thrill", would make even Justin Timberlake blush and think twice about singing it.
  3. Having said that, the "I'm the wolf today" line is a reference to Sinead's fondness for the Furry scene.
  4. Keavy and Adele are related to Shane Lynch, from out of Boyzone Celebrity Big Brother Coronation Street sitting on his arse watching Loose Women. The family surname was originally Murphy, but it was changed for simplicity's sake as people were forever seeing their brother in the street and shouting "There's Shane. Lynch!".
  5. Not only does Keavy look and fight like her dad, she also puts up shelves, reads car manuals for fun and pees standing up, just like her dad. And she shaves every other day.
  6. Like Michael Flatley, B*Witched owe a large part of their success to the popularity of Irish dancing. Unlike Michael Flatley, B*Witched don't make your hands uncontrollably form into fists every time they come on the telly.
  7. Don't Blame it on the Weatherman was written in defence of Michael Fish after he incorrectly predicted that Britain would miss being struck by a hurricaine. "It's so unfair", said Adele, petulantly. "He was just interpreting the data in front of him. Meteorology is an inexact science and he's doing a difficult job under a lot of pressure.". She then added "To be sure", before going home to play with her pet leprachaun and get slaughtered on Guinness.
  8. Unlike the popular TV series, when the girls in B*Witched twitch their noses it doesn't mean magical events are about to happen. Unless you consider the expulsion of mucus, snot and other unpleasantness to be magical.
  9. Lyndsay Aramou has been in a relationship with Lee Brennan, from 911, for absolutely ages. As of yet, however, they've not had any kids, which is a shame as the world is waiting for a race of pop midgets and there really is no better couple than them from which this new master race could spring.
  10. We loved B*Witched. We really, really did.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 25/26 

Day 25 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and H, not particularly bothered by the departure of Jo, is starting off the day by climbing into a duvet cother, at the behest of Jack and Danielle, the top is tied up and they then drag him around the garden against his will before attacking him with shoes and pillows. Apparently this turn of events made perfect sense to the housemates but we have absolutely no idea whatsoever what it was all about. After letting H thrash about in the garden like something from Silent Hill for a while, he was eventually let free. "Say something", cried Dirk, simultaneously naming his favourite James song while asking after H's health, "Are you alright?". "I'm dead", replied H, instantly proving himself to be a liar. "What time is it, Ian", asked Jermaine, who for some reason felt that a man who has just spent an indeterminate period of time trapped in some laundry is the best person to show chronal awareness. "Time for Danielle to die", was his considered response, which we think equates to 10, 10.30-ish.

Through H, Jack has learnt that gay people are normal. Surely the fact that this is now the twenty first century and we no longer live in the dark ages should have led Jack to that conclusion by now.

H took Danielle to one side to have a chat with her about Jade. "You're someone who's really lovely", he lied, "but whn toy see someone with a big personality you follow. You were a different person when Jade was in the house.", which isn't true. She's just hiding the more unpleasant side of her character a bit better now. Although not that much better as she went on to say "It was partly Shilpa's fault". "When you get out of here everyone's gonna love you", said H, mispronouncing 'loathe' quite, quite badly.

For their task the housemates had to act out a number of scenes from their time in the Big Brother house, including the chicken argument. H played shilpa and put on an exagerated Indian accent. This may not really have helped matters. Earlier he was also wearing a large pair of fake breasts for no discernable reason to do with the task, but he seemed comfortable with them. Jermaine had the job of playing H as they re-enacted Donny's escape. He was unable to remember his lines which, given that it only amounted to "Donny's gone", may count against him when it comes to this year's Oscar ceremony.

And, with some final thoughts on what might be in store out in the real world for them - "We'll get to see what madness has been going on around us", enthused H, unwisely - the housemates went to bed for the final time, eager to wake up for the final time, looking forward to the evening when it will be, ummm, the final time.

Day 26 in the Celebrity Big Brother and the housemates may or may not have gotten up to anything exciting, Channel 4 didn't bother showing it so we will never know. Instead they leapt straight to announcing the placings and interviewing the respective housemates and our H was 4th, something which he seemed remarkably overjoyed about. He left the house grinning like a man posessed, jumping up and down with glee and waving enthusiastically at the crowd like Wavey Davey from Vic Reeves' Big Night Out. And this from a man who came fourth! If he'd actually won the contest it's likely he would just have exploded into pure joy and sparkles which, while impressive, would likely have made for quite a dull interview with Davina. Although as it was, it wasn't exactly earth shattering. Davina pointed out how nice it was to do an interview with someone who hadn't been booed on their exit. He too was told about the impact the race row has had on the world and he looked rather shocked. "I didn't agree with what Jade said", he pointed out, but given that most people, other than pondlife and members of the BNP, wouldn't, this was hardly worth saying. Davina pushed him on why he didn't step in to try and stop it, but all H could muster was "I've lived a sheltered life and I've not had to deal with compliment. I didn't feel comfortable and equipped to deal with the situation whatsoever". Although frankly, if you're in a situation and the only person who can help you out is a member of Steps then, frankly, you're already in bad place and nothing can really save you, unless the situation is playing Dance Dance Revolution.

The interview briefly moved on to a lighter side, with H admitting to liking the tasks and Davina asking him if he was disappointed there were no hunks in the house - "There's always Dirk", was H's response, which must have pissed off Jack who presumably was put into the house in a desperate attempt to increase the male totty in there - and congratulating him on his own buffness. And finally she rounded off the interview by saying "You went in there as H and came out as Ian". Umm, yes, and that's exactly why we've been referring to him as Ian for the last month. Uh huh.

Anyway, Shilpa won - which means we're now officially not a racist country. Hooray - and the whole thing has finally come to an end. When we started doing this feature we certainly didn't expect to be trying to come up with a 'hilarious' angle on racism, but then, we're not the only ones who didn't get what they expected from the Big Brother experience. Jo, Jade and Danielle, for example, probably expected to still have careers at the end of it. Things will now return to normal here at TiaPL, although this does mean we're going to have to come up with some original ideas, rather than just watch telly every night. Oh dear.


Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 24 

Day 24 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and H is once again feeling confused about things. "I feel like I've got one foot outside the door and one foot in", he told Jermaine, hijacking a conversation Jermaine was trying to have about missing his wife, which is one way of putting your foot in it. "I really wanna stay and I really wanna go", he continued, showing a previously unknown love for The Clash, although obviously not that great a love for them given his complete misquote of the actual lyrics. Yes, we know that's tortured, but give us a break! We've been doing these updates for twenty four days now and we're beginning to run short of material and inspiration a tad. Thank God it's nearly over. "I've never done anything like this before and I never will again", he concluded. We can only concur.

While H jogged in the garden, the housemates were awoken to the sound of the exectution bell, tolling for whoever would be evicted that evening. "Wonder why they're playing that?", queried Jo, ever so slightly missing the point. She may have the flow, but clues seem to be completely out of her grasp.

The complicated task of getting his cereal down from a slightly high shelf was a bit too much for H so Dirk, to the sound of the A Team theme being sung by the rest of the housemates got it for him, by the highly skilled and dangerous method of stretching a bit. To celebrate this impressive feat, Dirk fried up a bit of salmon skin, much to the disgust of Jo and Danielle, who immediatly left to try and get away from the smell, but they should really try and get used to being around unpleasant smelling things, after all, a foul stench is going to be following them around for the rest of their careers.

H pondered upon the fact that "It's really strange being gay in this industry", which surprises us, as we thought it was pretty much de rigeur. It's harder, he reckons, for people like him who wanted to keep it quiet. Quiet?! If his time in Steps was H trying to keep his sexuality under wraps we can only imagine what he would have been like if he'd been out and proud during those early singles.

And so, the eviction, and with little surprise Jo, along with Cleo got the chop. As she left the housemates were typically upset with Danielle, who has a face entirely made out of silly putty, crying, more for herself than for Jo it has to be said. Alas, the outside world was less forgiving and the chants of "Get Jo out" which led up to her eviction soon turned into boos as she walked down the runway. There was a good hour between the eviction and the interview with Davina, which we had assumed was to allow her to be briefed about the whole racism row, but given her complete inability to come up with anything that even vaguely approached a defence or an apology it seems we were entirely mistaken. Davina was noticeably tougher on Jo than she was on the similarly racist Jade, no doubt because, unlike her, Jo and Davina don't share the same agent. On being shown the news footage about the row, Jo seemed genuinely shocked, but rather than taking the time to try and make amends and build bridges, she immediately went on the defensive. "You've made that look worse than it was" was her first reponse, followed by the "I can't be racist, I've got a cousin that's married an Indian", which is a bit like saying you can't be misogynist because your dad married a woman. The two things don't follow from each other, particularly when you follow it up, as Jo did, by trying to defend your mocking of Shilpa's accent by describing how you make fun of your cousins' accents as well. Her attempt to defend her laughing when Shilpa attempted to get her to help her out during the Jade argument was similarly weak, as she attempted to claim that she always 'gets the giggles' when she's nervous. "It's how I deal with it, I might start laughing now". "I wouldn't", warned Davina. Jo then attempted to ignore the whole racist aspect of the story by trying to claim it was just over a couple of oxo cubes and nothing else and saying that it wasn't her argument. "You were complicit", said Davina. "I don't know what to say to that", responded Jo, possibly because she was unsure what 'complicit' meant. Of course, she will later go on to top this in an interview with the Sunday Mirror where she will claim that that her "Indians are thin because they can't cook and are sick all the time" comment should be seen as a compliment because everyone wants to be thin, but for now we will leave the last words with the final exchange between Jo and Davina.

Jo: "The game is you go in there and show who you really are."
Davina: "Did you?"
Jo: "Yes I did, I really believe I did."


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 23 

Day 23 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and H reckons he's in Limbo, which we believe is a gay club in Rotherham famed for it's over abundance of mirrors. He's also of the view, espoused in the diary room, that either Dirk or Cleo will be leaving in the next evictions, Dirk because he's "tried to degrade every section [of society] possible", i.e. he's been a bit sarcastic, and Cleo because she's clearly a lunatic who needs to recieve professional help at the earliest opportunity, or "a lovely lady who deals with her insecurities by turning into these characters", as he chose to put it.

H, while happy to predict who else would be sent to the gallows, didn't seem to even give the possibility that he might be going much thought, unlike Jo, on the other hand, who's very apprehensive about the whole thing, but feels ready to leave if that's the way the cards land. "I've been myself from day one", she proclaimed, "I can't believe I'm still here. I only packed enough clothes for one week.", which may explain why she's spent the vast majority of her time in that manky dressing gown.

Still, whether he stays or goes, H already has plans for when he does leave, inviting himself along to India to go and meet Shilpa. But it's not a one sided invitation, as he's quick to return the favour and suggested that Shilpa might like to compare the glamour of the Bollywood industry to that of, ummm, Wales. "You must come and meet my friends", he enthused, like someone with a puppy to show off, "They'll love you!". "And I love you too", replied Shilpa. Awww! But noticeably she didn't actually agree to any of these plans.

For their daily task, Big Brother too it's inspiration from the A Team and sent a crack celebrity unit - and this must surely be the first time celebrities have ever been associated with crack - to retrieve some items, locked in the lounge, by using various short floppy objects which Big Brother had supplied to them. H proved himself to be something of an expert at turning short floppy objects into something longer, harder and more robust and swiftly gathered up, amongst other, a takeaway, some vegetables, beer and champagne for the group. He also got excited as Shilpa and Jermaine retrieved a portrait of some of the housemates taken during the Master and Servants task. "Jackiey looks nice in that picture", he cooed, despite the fact that it was clearly a picture of Jackiey, a woman who has never been described as looking nice in her entire life. "Almost passable as a human being" would probably have been a more accurate description.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 22 

Day 22 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and it's been snowing! Naturally all the housemates were quite excited about this. Well, all except Miss Happy Knickers herself, Jo, who wouldn't be happy even if she fell into a barrel filled with sunbeams. "It's not snow, just ice", dismissed our grumpy girl, "It's a load of shit. You all talk shit", she continued, warming to her theme. "It's so rare to see you in such a good mood", laughed Shilpa, which served only to make Jo even less happy, something which had seemed hitherto impossible. "Where's the snow, where should I look to see it falling?", she grumped on in a sarcastic manner. "It's stopped falling", said Shilpa. "You warmed the day up when you woke up", suggested H. Jo took these opinions on board and promptly went off on her own to have a smoke and moan inwardly to herself.

Her sarcasm continued on throughout the day. Well, it's the only possible reason for her later saying "I think Jack could win this". Rather than laughing her out of the house, Cleo agreed with her: "He's a genuinely good guy". This would be Jack, the same man who's uttered roughly a dozen words during his time in the house, with virtually all of them being swear words directed towards Shilpa. Why, he's like Ghandi himself, isn't he?

H isn't afraid to use his time in the house to gather knowledge and ask some of the stars in the house some of the big questions which have taxed us all while he has the chance. "Jermaine", he asked, his eyes alight with the chance to settle one of the more vexing questions in pop, "Was Billie Jean written about the tennis player?". To his eternal credit, Jermaine didn't laugh in his face, but politely explained that it was about an obsessed fan. "Wow!", said Ian, enlightened, "All the lyrics make sense now!". Presumably the lack of references to nets, balls, racquets, umpires or, indeed, anything tennis related whatsoever had always confused him. This chat led Jermaine and Dirk on to a conversation about their obsessed fans, though H had little to contribute to this debate, perhaps feeling that his tales of people having complete sets of Steps dolls and knowing all the dance routines would pale in comparison to Jermaine's tales of naked girls in the driveway and Dirk's of death threats and stalkers.

The housemates' task for the afternoon was to each lick their way through a massive ice cube in a bid to free a reward token that would, if they all succeeded, reward them with a party that evening. Naturally Little Miss Sunshine Jo was eager to get involved in this particular piece of jollity: I don't think it's funny one bit. I've got the shits", she chortled like a sour faced old maid. Once the task began in earnest, Jo's moaning continued, this time about being too short for the task, although being short and the paycheck that would sort that problem out was no doubt something that encouraged her to take part in the show in the first place, but you'd have thought that having the opportunity to suck on something hard would have given her a bit of pleasure. Anyway, the housemates essentially cheated in the task, using their fingers, but got given the party anyway.

The results of yesterday's nominations were announced and, joining Shilpa, Cleo and Dirk are our very own H and Jo. H took the news in much the same way he takes every piece of news, good or bad, with a bit of excited ooh-ing, while Jo screamed out "Yes!" and appeared to be very chuffed by the news. "I feel like i've just won the lottery!" she exclaimed, so it's good to see that something can lift her out of her Eeyore-like fug. Danielle, realising that everyone was looking at the nominated housemates and not her, decided to have a bit of a cry, the self-centred minx.

H and Jack had a fight with an ice sculpture. For the most part the ice sculpture held its own, requiring scalding and an attack with a barbell before it broke down. Literally. But H took that as his queue to break down as well, going into the bedroom, taking a picture of his friends and family out to the lounge with him, where he sat on his own, looked at it, and had a little cry. Awww!


Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 21 

Day 21 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and, having realised that there's no-one in the house who's on an intellectual par with even his ex-Steps bandmates, H has begun turning towards the cameras - who, of course turn towards him. Well, they have to, it's their job - for some conversational stimulation. Today he was speaking to 'Bob', who has had a feather from the showgirl task stuck onto his 'head' at a jaunty angle. "You're now a showgirl!", said H. Bob seemed somewhat non-plussed at this and continued to look at things in a disinterested manner.

Still, making friends with the cameras is all well and good, but it's not going to be much when it comes to the nominations as they don't get a vote but the rest of the housemates do and, despite having avoided getting a single nomination so far during his time in the house, H is no longer as popular as he used to be, garnering a whole two nominations from his fellow celebrities. First to try and get rid of him was Cleo who took exception to his conversing with the cameras, saying it made her nervous, but if the choice was between talking to Cleo or an inanimate object, then the inanimate object would surely win every time. The racist Danielle also picked Ian, citing his hyperactive air, over-excitablity and general happy-go-lucky exterior as a reason for giving him the boot. Obviously hanging out with Jo has made her see happiness as a bad thing.

H himself chose Cleo because of the whole Dirk incident where Tiara, one of Cleo's friends - i.e. Cleo in a bad wig putting on a rubbish accent - came into the house and, unsurprisingly, pissed off Dirk. We support H in this choice, and can only hope that she leaves this house only to enter another one where they have padded walls, special jackets that do up the back and trained specialists who know how to deal with people who see figments of their imagination as their 'friends'. His second nomination, however, was even more shocking as he pulls a knife - probably plastic - from behind his back and stabs his fellow pop star and veteran of the Saturday morning kid's show circuit, Jo O'Meara! Still, he has a point, as he chose her due to her refusal to get involved and back Shilpa up during the racism incident, preferring instad to giggle and laugh about it. And H is quite right to take this particular moral high horse, as he himself was quick to leap to Shilpa's defence and point out to the three Witches of Essex that what they were doing was reprehensible and... Oh wait, he didn't.

It wasn't only H that wants to be shot of Jo, Dirk too named her, as she smokes - unlike Dirk, of course, who is only rarely seen smoking a cigar, roughly 23 hours out of every 24 - and is highly illiterate, but likes to talk, which is not exactly a good combination, unless you're seeking a career hosting one of the Quiz TV channels, the lovely Alex Kramer excepted, of course. Jermaine also chose Jo, again for the smoking, as he's a vocalist and breathing in stale cigarette fumes doesn't exactly do your voice much good, unless you have plans for a future career as a Rod Stewart or Bonnie Tyler impersonator. Ben from the X Factor take note.

Jo decided that the two housemates she'd most like to see the back of were Dirk, because he's a bit grumpy - umm, hello! Have you looked in the mirror recently? Well, yeah, of course you have, the house is full of them. We would make a "pot calling the kettle black" comment here, but given the whole furore that she's been a part of we're not sure that'd be entirely wise - and Shilpa, because she's a racist she's not as close to Shilpa as she is to the other housemates and finds her a bit controlling. And one thing Jo doesn't like is being controlled. Or so she was told to say by her manager before she went into the house.

With nominations out of the way H and Jack began clearing up and H, rather optimistically, asked Jo and Danielle if they felt like helping out. Danielle refused as "I've gotta rest so I can fit into my bikini, it's hard work being beautiful". The latter may explain why Danielle has yet to achieve that goal.

TO keep the housemates amused in the evening, Big Brother prepared a quiz for them where they would each answer questions about one of the other housemates in an attempt to win a prize of their choice, up to the value of £10, for them. H chose a £10 pound donation to charity for his prize, so we can now all rest easy, safe in the knowledge that cancer will now be defeated and, if there's any change, we can eradicate poverty as well. Jo, slightly less altruistically, chose some hair dye, and Dirk was in the hotseat to win it for her. He was not hugely successful, unable to guess what she thought would be her most annoying habit - plucking her eyelashes - how many tatoos she has on her bottom - two, one saying left, and the other saying right - and which song some lines from Bring it All Back came from, though to be fair, Jo struggled with the last one as well. He lost the prize for Jo, although given that H was suggesting that she'd have to kiss him if he did win, perhaps this was the best option for her.

Disappointed, Jo went to bed, and along with Danielle she was counting down the days until the whole thing was over. We know how you feel Jo, we know how you feel.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 20 

Day 20 - Twenty! - in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the housemates are beginning to feel the strain of having been living in each other's pockets for nigh on three weeks. Still, don't worry though, as here comes the little ray of sunshine that is Jo O'Meara to cheer everyone up. "I'm feeling really anxious, something's not right today. It could be anything something out there, even", she moaned, while biting her nails and looking as miserable as a kitten soaked in petrol. Fortunately, though, H was on hand to provide a bit of perspective and rationality on the whole affair, after all, there's people out there in far more stressful and upsetting situations than you lot, isn't there H? "Nobody else is ever going to understand what we've had to deal with". Oh...

Jo later expanded on her theme of celebration and happiness in the Diary Room. "I'm scared of the 'outside world'", she began, much like an agorophobic who is terrified of being picked up by a bird and taken back to their nest, "It feels like it's been forever". Someone really needs to give Jo a calendar when she gets out of the house. Or at least a watch so she can understand the passing of time. Maybe not one with a big hand and a little hand, though. While she was in there, moaning for Britain, the other housemates took the opportunity to discuss her current mood. Rather than just pointing out she's a mardy old mare, H suggested that she feels lost after her comeback single flopped. Shilpa agreed, suggesting that she has no ambition and needs a goal, though we imagine that having a football pitch set up in her garden would prove to be an unwanted distraction. "She's more excited about her puppies than her career", was Jermaine's view, but then, in many ways her puppies are her career now. A bit like Danielle, really.

H questioned Jermaine on whether he looked back on some of the photoshoots he'd done in the Jackson 5 and cringed. Jermaine laughed in the affirmitive, though we imagine that when H looks back on some of his past photoshoots he doesn't so much cringe, more collapses in on himself in an implosion of embarrassment.

Dirk, who is looking for all the world like a man who wants to fire his agent, is not a popular man with our Jo, mainly because a) he won't lend her his lighter and b) didn't respond to her early morning pleasantries with anything more than a comment on the weather. While to you or I this might just come under the umbrella of 'Being a bit grumpy', Jo launched into a tirade of abuse, thoug hnot while he was in the actual room: "I'm going to end up going mad at him. Fucking rude. He's such an ignormant man, he's got an attitude problem. He's a miserable, bitter, twisted old man who still thinks he's 25. Well he aint, he's 60". Jo didn't so much get out of bed on the wrong side this morning as fall out of it into a pit filled with juicers which sucked out all the joy from her. If she carries on like this then she really will end up looking like a young Pat Butcher. Well, youngish.

She exhibited more joie de vivre when the shopping task was announced, a chance for the group to dress up as showgirls and perform a dance routine to the Scissor Sisters's I Don't Feel Like Dancing, but the old Joanna didn't want to play. Particularly after she saw the outfits being worn in the demonstration video, consisting, as they did, of bra, thong and feathers. "I won't be wearing that", she immediatly complained, despite the fact that there had been no indication whatsoever that that's what they would be wearing and, indeed, wasn't, "I will not be getting body out one bit", before declaring herself happy to live on a pound a day in her typically optimistic way.

The others were more enthusiastic, with H being quick to try and learn the routine and lead the others in the group, even though he doesn't consider himself to be a natural leader. Danielle was also keen to learn: "One, two... One two... but I don't know what comes after that" she began. "Three", replied H kindly, "Now let's get started on this dance routine.

Despite the procrastination, the house did manage to complete the task successfully, although they should perhaps have been docked points for Jo not suiting her headdress at all and for sitting cross-legged in her dress in a distinctly unladylike fashion. Perhaps her next reality show can be From Ladette to Lady. They were rewarded not only with an increased shopping budget, but with ice-cream and alcohol, a not exactly obvious combination. As the housemates got more and more hammered, they began to quiz Shilpa on why she doesn't drink. "I wanna see you drunk!", said Jo. "I don't like it and I don't want to make a fool of myself", was Shilpa's response. "But that's what it's for!", cried Jo happily, as she offered up a toast to Bacchus, Threshers, JD Wetherspoons and the holding cells of Romford Police Station.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 19 

Day 19 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and, not entirely unsurprisingly, Big Brother felt in need of some cheering up. To this end the housemates' task for the day was to try and make Big Brother laugh. Naturally the housemates all immediately took to this task with glee and excitement and none more so than 'Smiler' Jo. "I'm rubbish at things like this", she chortled, "It's making me ill. I don't think this is funny at all.". Still, she later proved she had a grasp of the basic fundamentals of comedy as she decided on the tactic she felt would be most likely to make Big Brother fall about in paroxysms of laughter: "Ah, I'll stick a wig on". And she did.

Equally unhappy and fatalistic about the task was Danielle, who was first to try and entertain BB, but when she went into the Diary Room and declared "I'm not a racist", gales of laughter rocketed around the house as wild hilarity ensued. Well, no. What she actually did was put on a wig and glasses and 'pretend' to be a not very attractive girl who wanted to be a model and go out with a footballer. As this appeared to be nothing more than a reading of her bio it was unsurprising that BB remained in stony silence throughout.

Jo, for all her complaining, did, in fact, manage to succeed in her task, although spending the first couple of minutes moaning about her inability to be funny didn't really stand her in good stead. Fortunately she decided to half heartedly tell a joke - "Two camels are in the desert and one turns to the other and says 'Why have you got the hump?'" - which appealed to Big Brother's sense of humour, Big Brother apparently being 12. Still it got a laugh so Jo was able to leave the diary room with her head held high. It must have been the wig.

H was next and he, rather than simply describing some of the outfits he wore in his Steps days, chose to perform in the character of Cecil Sidebottom, "A 30 year old well hung virgin who works as a Rick Astley impersonator" and proved, if nothing else, that H is something of a connoisseur of the 'comedy vicar' school of humour. Still, his rendition of Never Gonna Give You Up tickled BB's funny bone and he too got a laugh.

"He doesn't strike me as a stand up comedian, but I bet he'll be really funny", said H of Jermaine and he was! Jermaine sat in the diary room for five minutes performing a song called Shake It which consisted of him shaking his maracas for most of the time before pausing, saying "Break... Shake it", and then shaking his maracas for the rest of the time. Comedy gold, and we mean that most sincerely. Although given some of the stuff we've written over the years, our opinion on what counts as comedy gold may not be worth listening too.

Jack, understanding comedy staples even better than Jo, chose to wear a thong and a bra in his bid to drive Big Brother to the point of hilarity. Do you see! He's a man! And he's wearing women's clothes! And he's a man! Genius. His performance caused Big Brother to vomit.

Anyway, overall they passed their test, but still Jo wasn't cheered up, complaining to Danielle and Shilpa - they're all pals again now, funny that - of a feeling of anxiety and general dread about what's going on out there, presumably in relation to the racism row. "We're playing the potato game", she surmised, whatever that might be. We literally have no idea what she's talking about, unless she means a game where you have a row of objects and have to decide whether you're looking at a potato or, in fact, a rock. We imagine the enjoyment would pall pretty quickly. Danielle, who has to be the centre of attention otherwise she'll scream and scream and scream until she's sick, chipped in with her twopennorth, reasoning it'll be worse for her because of her boyfriend. "Imagine how well known Teddy is!", she squealed, not giving a toss about the fact that the vast majority of the population would stand more chance of picking Teddy Ruxpin out of a police line up than Teddy Sherringham.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 18 

Day 18 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and we saw fighting, bitching, territorial battles and some playfullness which suddenly got very out of hand. But enough about what happened on Meerkat Manor, on Big Brother Jade's shadow still hangs heavy over the house, with H starting off his day by discussing Jade's relationship with the press with Jermaine. It's an infatuation, he declared, although fatal attraction might be a more appropriate phrase. Unfortunately he never got a chance to expound upon this point as Big Brother chose that moment to wake up the housemates with a blast of James Brown's Sex Machine which immediatly caused H to get up, get on up, although his moves were less like a sex machine and more like a cement mixer.

Apparently Dirk has not had a shower for four days, a fact which he reckons makes him irresistable to women thanks to the powers of pheromones, which would possibly be true, if it wasn't for the fact that they'd be overpowered by the unpleasant stench coming from the armpit area. Jo was similarly doubtful of his claims: "A man who hasn't washed for three or four days would not excite me one bit!", which is true. As we've all learnt from this series, Jo prefers clean, gentlemanly, well groomed and hygenic young men. Who want to give her a good pounding.

Later Dirk warmed to his theme and stated that he couldn't marry a girl who ate meat something Jo, a girl who is heartily fond of eating meat - you're the one turning that into an innuendo, not us - found hard to imagine. "What sorta women is going to live on rice and beans?", she asked, aghast, "You'd just lie in bed farting all the time". We'd have thought celebrities would be used to a world filled with hot air.

Dirk's slightly grumpy attitude has been causing ructions within the group, and he's now deliberately cultivating irritation amongst the housemates in a bid to get himself voted out sooner rather than later, and who can blame him? He's already been in a house with Danielle for two and a half weeks, something which would normally be termed a cruel and unusual punishment and is currently under consideration for use in Guantanemo Bay. To this end, he's started smoking his cigars inside the house, much to the annoyance of the other housemates (although they don't seem to be too fussed about Jo's interior inhalation). H took it upon himself to try and deal with this by asking him if he'd mind smoking outside, or perhaps allowing a bit of fresh air into the room, but Dirk refused. He wouldn't even open up the door, he never made H feel like he was special, he wasn't really what he was looking for. Uh-oh. Hey! Hey! A-Wah-a-ah-ah-ah-woah. Sorry. Anyway, Dirk said not to worry as "it's only a week, you can live with Hitler for a week". Surely Jade was in the house for longer than that?

Jo steals toilet rolls from restaurants. We don't know what's more depressing, the fact she steals the toilet rolls or the fact she considers the cafe at her local bingo hall to be a restaurant.

"Do chickens have sex", asked Jo of H, which took us by surprise as we'd have thought she would have been an expert on cocks. Either way it led on to the revelation that eggs cannot be broken if squeezed from the top and bottom which, bizarre as it sounds, is true! Although if you are going to try this we recommend doing so above a sink as eggs do sometimes have tiny hairline fractures which will cause the egg to break if squeezed like that. Big Brother has already caused enough mess over the past week, it doesn't want to be responsible for any more.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 17 

Day 17 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the housemates awake to the sound of Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson. Big Brother is making A Point here. Either that or it's a subtle reference to American Werewolf in London, which seems rather unlikely. If only because the nastiness and unpleasantness within the house hasn't waxed and waned according to the phase of the moon.

Still, it's eviction day today and, presumably out of a desire to allow things to blow over and avoid another day being censured in parliament, Big Brother waited until this morning to inform Jade and Shilpa that they were facing the public vote, though neither of them seemed particularly upset or surprised about this. As always H was quick to look on the bright side: "Whoever goes out will be happy because they'll be in their own beds" and given that Jade has spent most of this week making her bed, it's about time she had to lie in it. Jo and Danielle were quick to reassure Jade, although Jack, her boyfriend, did and said nothing. Naturally. Danielle asked Jo if she was OK about the whole thing. "Yeah, just a bit gutted", she responded, "Just trying to work out.. y'know", she continued as she tried to work out who in the house would have voted for Jade. As great mysteries go, it is one that is unlikely to trouble any of the great detectives. Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and the bald bloke from Murder One would have it solved within seconds. Even Inspector Clouseau could probably give it a good shot.

Later the three members of the Coven lay in bed together, discussing the situation. "If it is you", said Jo to Jade, reassuringly, "you'll have your boys waiting". Assuming, of course, that they haven't been taken into care due to Jade being an unfit mother. And we're not just talking about the whole racism/bullying/generally being a horrible and abysmal person thing here, but generally buggering off for a holiday and leaving your kids behind is the sort of thing that's frowned upon in normal society. As is talking about shagging your boyfriend in the showers on national television, something which Jade proceeded to discuss with the girls after they asked her whether Jack would be OK if she left. Of course he'll be fine. Anything else would requrie actually demonstrating some sort of emotion. Jo once again proved herself to be a decorous, ladylike and polite young woman, responding to Jade's revelation with "Of course, if it was me I'd be in there all the time. I'd make me own lock". Though given that Jo has been blaming the quality of the cooking for giving her "the shits", it seems she's managing to do that without the need for a boyfriend.

As the news media has nothing better to talk about, helicopters were flying over the Big Brother house, much to the excitement and bemusement of the housemates. "Why a helicopter?!", exclaimed H. "You know why", responded Cleo, subtlely. "Well at least we know there's no major problems in the world", was Dirk's repsonse, "No problems in Darfur, Iraq's been sorted out, etc". Jade, Jo and Danielle, who apparently live in the bedroom, also discussed it, with Jade correctly reasoning that the press interest revolved around her. Jo denied this, "I think there's some sort of big story, but I don't think it's Jade". Yes Jo, it's definitely got nothing to do with the whole racism issue rearing its ugly head. It's probably more about the discovery, thanks to Cleo, that Stan Laurel and Clint Eastwood aren't related in any way, shape or form. That's the real story.

H and Dirk had a chat about the homo-erotic subtext to the A-Team. We don't want to know exactly what they used to slip into Mr T's milk to make him more amenable to going onto planes.

The housemate's task for today was to make beautiful music together, as opposed to the dischord and lack of harmony which has pervaded the house in recent days. To this end they had to form the Big Brother Human Philharmonic Orchestra and 'sing' The William Tell Overture. H was the conductor but we have no idea what instrument Jo was attempting to represent, but apparently it was in the string section, though given that if we had to choose, we'd have said it looked more like she was playing the triangle, this seems unlikely. H being H, he chose to rememeber the piece of music he had to conduct through the medium of dance. "Fucking hell!", he opined at the end of the performance, very unconductorly.

They passed their task, so Big Brother gave them some wine and food, leading to Jo asking Jermaine if he'd ever been drunk. He replied in the negative, causing Jo to go on a passionate, heartfelt speech about the joys of alcohol, one which would immediately turn even the most staunch tee-totaller into a raging lush. "It's great being in the gutter with vomit in your hair", she orated, Churchill like, "I like getting wasted. It makes me happy!". Jermaine did not appear to be convinced.

And so, the eviction. And H was in the toilet when the disembodied voice of Davina appeared to give the news we'd all been waiting for, even if Jade being sent out to face the music was not exactly what could be called a shock result, although given the interview she gave Davina it seemed like there'd been a mistake and they'd actually evicted Vicky Pollard by mistake. And given that she'd clearly been given more time than the show implied to be briefed about the situation, you think she'd have been able to come up with a slightly better defence than one which essentially amounts to "I said some racist things but I'm not a racist, honest!". Still, there's a certain pleasing symmetry to it all, though. Jade started her career on Big Brother and now she's spectacularly finished it there as well.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 16 

Day 16 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and damage limitation is the name of the game a Channel 4 attempts to prove to the eyes of the watching world that they're in control of the situation, that Jade isn't really a racist, just a bit mean, and that while Jade and Shilpa aren't about to be friends any time soon, they're not about to end up at each others throats either. They didn't quite go so far as to have Ebony and Ivory played instead of the normal theme music, but we're pretty sure someone suggested it.

Of course, with all the furore, hatred, and general disharmony in the house it took H, something of an expert in disharmony, to get right to the nub of the matter, as he and Cleo took the bull by the horns, called a spade a spade and, ummm, had a conversation about the weather. Which was a bit rubbish. "I love going to the seaside in this weather", he later informed the group, clearly being a man who can look at a lump of coal and see a diamond. "Jo! Your arse is looking great", he continued, proving our point.

Jack, H and Dirk also took some time out to discuss turkeys. "Yeah", said H, "By the time we released I Know Him So Well we were just going through the motions. It wasn't fair to the fans really". Well, no, he didn't, they were chatting about real turkeys who apparently flock, if turkeys do such a thing, to Dirk's home in America. The conversation veered off into a discussion as to where Norfolk is, something which remained a mystery to all of our housemates, who had Norfolk-ing clue were it was.

Jo and Dirk sat next to each other for a bit. They seemed to enjoy this.

Shilpa and H, demonstrating that different cultures and nationalities can bond with each other and being put in the same house doesn't necessarily have to result in the sort of slanging match normally seen outside low rent nightclubs in the commuter belt, shared both a scarf and some music, as H tried to persuade her to teach him a Bollywood song, while he taught her a traditional Welsh tune. Of course, given that the song he decided to teach her was one of patriotism, nationalistic pride and general 'fuck the rest of the world' sentiments, it was perhaps not the best choice, but the thought was there at least.

And finally, Jo attempted to send Jack to spy on Jade's apology to Shilpa, although Jack wasn't keen, grumpily telling anyone who would listen that he was very disappointed in his girlfriend. He's not the only one. Of course, we say 'apology', but it would have carried a bit more weight had it not been for the fact that it only came after Big Brother twice brought up the racism issue with Jade and if it had come from a position of regret and upset at the hurt she may have caused Shilpa rather than from the fear and realisation that her entire career is about to get flushed down the toilet like the unpleasant turd it's always been. But she trying, we suppose. Very trying.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 15 

Day 15 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the one good thing that has come out of the whole sorry affair is that Carphone Warehouse have dropped their sponsorship of the show so we no longer have to endure those annoying 'Mowbli' stings before and after every ad break. See, racism can be a force for good. And the growing international condemnation of the show is at least providing some credence to Jade's claim to be the 25th most influential person in the world. Whoda thought!

Still, things seem to be settling down a bit in the house now, although Jade did decide to call Shilpa "Shilpa Poppadom" during a conversation with Danielle. Big Brother did, at least, take her to task on this one in the Diary Room, but she denied being a racist. But of course she would. Very few people would, on being accused of such an abhorrent thing, put their hands up and say "Yup, I am. Got me bang to rights there". And besides, in Jade's case she'd be more likely to respond by saying "But I'm nothing like Paula Radcliffe, Linford Christie or any of those other runners".

H and Jermaine took advantage of their early rising to discuss the situation. H is upset that Jo and Danielle are getting involved, but tries to see things from Jade's point of view: "Jade has her set of beliefs and she's acting on them. In her mind she's right." Surely it's the fact that she's right, far right, that's causing all the problems. Later H clarified his neutral position in the diary room, pointing out that he likes the girls, and he likes Shilpa as well, but doesn't like the way she's being treated. Unfortunately though, the housemates are only allowed to bring a small number of luxuries into the house and so, to make room for a complete set of Steps dolls, H had to leave his backbone behind and so is not going to get involved. Mind you, later he told the housemates of his one and only time fighting. As it consisted of him closing his eyes, sticking out his arms and spinning around in a circle, it's perhaps best he doesn't attempt to defend Shilpa's honour.

It was nominations day today, and Jo did quite well in only receiving one nomination. It came from Jermaine as she's "a follower of Jade. She's not the same person I met when I came in, she's smarter than that". Although whether anyone who sees Jade as a leader can truely be called smart is open to debate. Jo herself picked Shilpa - "I just don't think that she's genuine" - and Dirk - "He's very Jeckyl and Hyde". Well, he was the Faceman, wasn't he. H chose Danielle - "The way she's acting towards Shilpa is unacceptable" and Jade - "The way she treats Shilpa is abysmal". H has presumably recently read a Thesaurus. In the end though, there's no real surprise as both Jade and Shilpa face the public vote and, unless the unthinkable happens, in which case we're going to give up on society and live in a cave, Jade will be walking out of those famous doors. And quite right too, she's the ugly face of Britain. Oh, and apparently she's a bit of a racist as well. Arf.

Jo and Danielle finished off their day by having a chat about Shilpa and, without the potent combination of ignorance and hatred that is Jade, managed to be both civil and pleasant about her. "She's a good person", said Danielle, without crossing her fingers. Jo agreed, reasoning that it's just the situation, combined with the lack of space, that's causing all the stress and that her, Jade and Danielle have all bonded because they "come from the same sort of area, go to the same sort of places", go to the same Klan meetings. No, that's unfair. We should be applauding them for their self-awareness, even if Danielle did promptly spoil it all by declaring "We've not been spiteful bitches or anything". If Danielle doesn't think they've been spiteful, we dread to think what she'd be like when she's genuinely trying to put the boot in.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 14 

Day 14 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the Coven are continuing their bullying of Shilpa by demanding to know what age she lost her virginity, a conversation she was clearly uncomfortable with, and frankly, we're not surprised. The sight of Jade's face bearing down upon you, her features hideously twisted into an agressive scowl, would make any conversation uncomfortable. It did allow us to learn that Jo lost her's at the age of 17, while H waited until he was 18, although he did seem to be very vauge and unsure about it, almost as if he was making it up. Don't worry, H, you just need to find the right guy. Jo also took exception to Shilpa's use of the phrase "making love", to describe the act of, ummm, love making. "A good old pounding", aparently is the phrase she'd prefer. You can take the girl out of Essex... but sometimes you have to wonder whether it's worth the effort.

But, despite H quite sweetly worrying that Jack might have been evicted after he answered Big Brother's call for a housemate to go to the diary room - and would anyone really notice if he had gone - the episode centred on a massive argument between Shilpa and Jade, watched by her harem of harpies, Jo and Danielle. It began after Shilpa asked the Coven whether they'd used up the last of the stock cubes and suddenly swelled, in much the same way a dehydrated island would expand when plonked in the middle of the ocean, into an all out shoutfest from Jade while Shilpa looked on bemused and uncomprehending while Jo and Danielle giggled into their pillows. Jade overacted for the cameras, constantly repeating the phrases she thought were particularly witty over and over again - a quick sample of the Oscar Wilde style territory we're covering here "Your head is so far up your own arse you can smell your own shit" (There may have been a few 'fucks' in there as well). The Readers Digest Book of Quotable Quotes is unlikely to be revising it's most recent edition - and generally helped remind the Great British public of exactly why we all hated her in the first place. Shilpa dealt with it with grace and dignity, before finally giving up and snapping "This is your claim to fame", something which really upset Jade. Mainly because it's true. H later congratulated her on this comment. And quite right too.

While Jo and Danielle were clever enough, in a relative sense, to avoid joining in the argument, they were quick to congratulate Jade afterwards. "Gotta say, that made my day", said Jo, while Danielle waded in with "I think she should fuck off home, she can't even speak properly", which we believe was the gist of the BNP's manifesto during last year's council elections.

The girls have also come to the conclusion that Shilpa is a mole, even Danielle, who's not entirely sure what a mole is. We're not convinced, but we can think of three girls in the house who seem to have spent a large part of their lives living underground, pretty much blind to the real world lurking just above the surface.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 13 

Day 13 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the whole racism based furore is moving on to a whole new territory, with protests taking place in India against Shilpa's treatment and the burnings of effigies of the offending housemates. We never thought we'd witness the image of a popstar being burnt, it's just like that time Kevin Rowland got bottled at the Reading Festival. Well, OK, it's a bit more serious than that. It's more like the time Daphne and Celeste got bottled at the Reading Festival.

In a bid to try and move attention away from the offensive and unpleasant views of some of the housemates, Channel 4 are planning on introducing some new celebrities into the house tonight, though obviously they're hoping to keep the ructions to a minimum by picking a trio of stars who are most likely to fit into the group with the minimum of fuss. To this end it's fully expected that joining the current crop of contestants will be Bernard Manning, BNP leader Nick Griffin and The Ghost of Enoch Powell.

Anyway, back to today's events and H was keen to find out what happened in the argument between Jade and Shilpa, asking for the gossip the instant he woke up. His enthusiasm waned, however, the instant Shilpa began answering his question and he quickly buggered off to make a cup of tea instead. Jermaine took more of an interest and suggested that they should take a leaf out of his brother's book and definitely not bugger little boys, no way never. Umm, sorry, no, he actually said they should listen to Man in the Mirror and tried to point out explicity to Shilpa that the problem was racism, something she still seems to be refusing to acknowledge. A bit like Channel 4 themselves, really.

Jo also seems unable to acknowledge that there's a problem, and spent the morning in bed with the rest of the coven, listening to Jade recount a dream which she definitely did have and hasn't made up at all. It involved Shilpa and her family - which in the 'dream' was extended. There's a surprise - coming into the house and fighting the three of them. In ended when Big Brother called the Coven into the diary room and Shilpa and her family remained unpunished. "It's a bit like what happened before!", exclaimed Jo, referring to the incident where Carole and Cleo got punished for talking about nominations and Shilpa didn't. "Bitch!", exclaimed Danielle, referring to her inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Despite earlier declaring that she wasn't going to do any cooking today, Shilpa, umm, did some cooking today. Or tried to, at any rate. In an attempt to salvage something from the chicken based debacle of yesterday, she attempted to make some chicken soup from the bones. But unfortunately that turned into a bit of a debacle as well, with her coming to the conclusion that it wasn't cooked properly and so needed to be chucked away. Except for some reason, rather than chucking it down the sink, she decided to try and flush it down the toilet, blocking the plumbing and making her an unpopular girl amongst the housemates. Well, slightly more unpopular, that is. "What a stupid thing to do", commented Jo which is, perhaps, a fair point, but given that Shilpa clearly announced her potential toilet blocking intentions to the rest of the group, she did have ample opportunity to suggest a slightly more suitable alternative.

Still, the housemates had their weekly shopping task to try and bring some team spirit, comradeship and bonhomie back into the group, and the theme was a red carpet based obstacle course, with the housemates all sporting unsuitable evening dresses and tuxedos for their attempt. Jo wondered what would happen if a boob popped out, seemingly unaware that this possibility was the main reason why Big Brother had insisted on the girls putting on strappy dresses. Danielle 'accidentally' fell foul of this, but given that she had a sturdy bikini top on underneath we're not quite sure why they were all worrying so much. They failed, and have now been left with a basic shopping budget for a week and some unpleasant mess all over them.

The easiest of these issues to deal with was the gunge, and they all trooped off to have showers, although Big Brother isn't known for it's leniency and they weren't supplied with a lot of hot water for the task. "Hurry up Shilpa", cried Jo and Danielle, as she cleansed herself. "You've gotta be quick! Come on!", they continued. Shilpa had been in the shower for two minutes.

The lack of food is more likely to cause problems, and by God, this is a house that doesn't need any more issues. Cleo was particularly worried about how Jo would cope: "She prefers to function with something in her system". Please, insert your own innuendo. Even if 'insert' may not be the best word to use. But as they've shown, the housemates are quick to band together to deal with any problems that come their way. Ahem. And so it was when they attempted to put together their shopping list, a task which quickly descended into bitchiness, pointless fights and general argumentativeness. So much so that they continued on past their alloted hour and Big Brother called a housemate into the diary room, Shilpa went, and told her that they'd gone overtime and had, as such, failed the task. Shilpa returned to the group and did nothing more than tell them what Big Brother had said, before going to tell the other housemates. As Shilpa left, a sympathetic Jo told the other housemates: "She's too controlling, trying to tell people what to do". But of course, as Channel 4 keep telling us, there is no bullying going on in that house.

But the pressure is getting to Jo, as being away from home for such an amazingly long period of time, also known as a fortnight, triggered a panic attack in her, with much wailing, and hyperventilating and gnashing of teeth coming from her. "She's just really missing home", said Danielle, who later offered a teddybear for comfort. She soon recovered, however, thanks to a combination of time, comfort, and a concoction which Jade and Danielle brewed for her consisting of eye of newt and leg of frog, wing of bat and hair of dog.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 12 

Day 12 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and before we get onto the subject of racism, let's first deal with something that's slightly more likely to lead down the road of hilarity, questions for BB.

With Celebrity Big Brother proving to be not as attractive to advertisers, viewers and people who don't pay much attention to their phonebill, it's clear there's a bit of penny pinching going on, as today's task essentially amounted to "Tell BB something you want them to look up on Wikipedia", as the housemates were all asked to ask Big Brother a probing question that they'd always wanted to know the answer to. As later events in the house proved to be more interesting, if infinitely more depressing, than this task, we never got to find out H's question, but Jo was quick to set her inquisitive mind to the task, pondering all of the great imponderables that have troubled her in the past and initially settling on "What colour underwear did I put on this morning". Soon, however, she realised that such a question was perhaps a tad trivial for the combined minds of the Big Brother production team with Google all fired up and ready to go, and besides, as he happily informed her, Dirk was more than able to give her the answer to that particular question. So, having decided that the pants question was a bit, umm, pants, she then, apropos of nothing, though the fact she got to say the word 'sperm' may have had something to do with it, wondered what the life span of a sperm whale was, but for reasons unknown to us, but likely to involve common sense, dismissed that as well. Finally she settled on "Why are some people born with a higher IQ than others", but with events demonstrating how stupid some people can be, we never got to find out the answer. Mind you, given that all IQ tests really show is a person's ability to do well in IQ tests, it's unlikely that we'd have given much of a shit.

Jo also, inbetween making us hate what humanity has become, asked Jade whether she planned on marrying Jack and stated that she'd personally feel quite embarrassed if she had a big wedding, and we can understand that. Having to give OK their money back after the promised celebrity turn out fails to materalise would be so humiliating.

Right, the racism thing. And who would have though a chicken could cause so much trouble. It's something we've vaguely noticed bubbling under the surface - and we're still talking about the racism here, not bacteria in the undercooked chicken - but we decided to give the housemates involved, apart from Jackiey who is a horrible individual, the benefit of the doubt and assume it was just a general dislike of Shilpa, rather than a racist one. While the former isn't really that understandable - Shilpa to us seems like a lovely girl - it is, at least, not abhorrent, but whether through ignorance, stupidity, or sheer unpleasant bigotry it seems a line has finally been crossed.

It all started with the chicken, and a relatively benign argument about how long it should be cooked for. Shilpa was only planning on roasting it for about 45 minutes but Jade, Danielle and Jo all immediately ganged up on her and, rather aggressively told her it needed to be in for at least two hours, and promptly continued to bang on about it for the entirety of the cooking time in a somewhat unnecessary way, although given the after effects of previous meals cooked by Shilpa, we can perhaps understand their vehemence on the subject: "No wonder I keep getting the shits", said Jo, ladylike as ever.

Leaving Shilpa to divide her time between cooking and fretting, the three girls, henceforth referred to as The Coven, went off to have a chat and discuss Shilpa's apparently unforgivable lack of expertise in poultry cooking times. "Maybe they cook things differently in India", was Jo's enlightened view, "Maybe that's why they're so thin, cause they're ill and being sick all the time, but unpleasant as that view was - not to mention her impersonations of an Shilpa's accent which would likely find herself a guest spot on a Jim Davidson show - it was nothing compared to Danielle who, after a discussion between the pair of them about how they don't like the fact Shilpa tends to finger their food and asking whether Indians or Chinese had a tendency to eat with their fingers - it is, of course, neither. She's thinking of 5ive, who have no manners - told us the reason why she doesn't like Shilpa touching their food: "I dunno where their fingers have been", and with the venom and distaste that she spat out the word "their", the line between unpleasantness and racism was definitively crossed and Bernard Manning was already rubbing his hands with glee, waiting for his chance to supply a few quotes for the tabloids.

H is lurking somewhere between the two camps - No, this is a serious issue, we're not going to make that sorta joke. He's fond of Shilpa - who has allies amongst the older housemates - but is unwilling to criticise his mate Jo. Mind you, Jo also seems to be trying to have her cake and eating it - something she's used to doing from when she had to kill time when her back problems made her unable to join in the rehearsals with her fellow band mates - by smirking and enjoying the bullying which Shilpa faces, but occasionally telling Danielle that she's being a bit mean and offering some comfort to Shilpa, albeit in a very half-hearted, "oh yeah, there are cameras", kinda way. H has been trying to give Shilpa a boost, but doesn't really seem to know how to. "Why am I so hated", asked Shilpa of him, out in Nowhere. "I don't know", was all H could muster as a response, perhaps because the only real answer - "They're racist fuckbags" - sat uncomfortably in his throat.

As he watched them playing table tennis together, Jack suggested that H, who got on famously with Jackiey, has replaced her with Shilpa, something that Jackiey would detest. This is unfortunately true, as Jackiey clearly was racist, deliberately failing to pronounce her name properly and resorting to calling her the Indian like some sort of Marjorie Dawes clone - Which is perhaps why H liked her so, his love of crap comedy being well known to us from this series - but H doesn't have a bad bone in his body, as evidenced by his speech in the diary room where he spoke of his frustration and upset at the situation, comparing it to his own experiences of being bullied, even if he did spoil it slightly by limiting his condemnation of Danielle to "I'm a little disappointed" and resolving to not get involved, despite the fact he could probably make a difference here. As he left the diary room he had to go to the toilet and cry. Frankly, we don't blame him.

There, wasn't that a barrel of laughs, though at least we have an excuse for today's update not being funny. We're now backing H to win instead of our previous favourite Jo. We do hope she's not a racist though. We'll have to burn both of our Jo dolls if she is, and we really don't want to have to do that.



Monday, January 15, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 11 

Day 11 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and, due to Channel 4's decision to go astray from the schedule given in Heat, our bible on most matters, not least those televisual, we have absolutely no idea what happened to the housemates, but we believe it involved H and Jo teaming up to sing Deeper Shade of Blue. Trust us to miss what was clearly the televisual event of the millennium. Grr, etc. If anyone wants to give us a recap, feel free to do so in the comment box below.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 10 

Day 10 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and it's eviction day, a time of heightened tensions, stress, tears and tantrums, and that's just Leo, but before all the drama, Jo has a few things to say about Jermaine: "He brings such a calm to the house. He's got a beautiful smile, all the family do. He's like a michevious little boy". Although to be far, most mischevious little boys tend to actually do, umm, mischevious sorts of things and not just sit around the house, looking vaguely bemused while making sure their flat top haircut is perfectly level. And look! Someone mentioned a Jackson and little boys in the same sentence and we resisted the tempation to make a Michael Jackson reference! Aren't you proud of us? Oh...

Anyway, the main drama of the day was Leo's escape, which consisted of him prising open a wall in the garden after having a hissy fit about possibly having to wash his own underwear, the sort of degredation which only animals, criminals and the entirety of the human population since the dawn of time - or at least since the invention of underpants - normally has to endure. As soon as he escaped the housemates immediatly started talking about Leo - well, without him to do so, someone's got to take on that responsiblity - "I don't know whether to laugh or cry", said Jo, feeling a thunder in her heart.

It wasn't the only drama of the day though, as after Carole's inevitable eviction, Danielle and Jade had a big old argument with Shilpa for reasons which didn't seem to be entirely apparent and kicked off from nowhere, but may well have had a lot to do with the fact that Danielle was quite, quite drunk. Jo and Cleo went into the bathroom with the obviously upset Shilpa to try and calm her down, and later Jo commented to H that Danielle was being really mean to her. Unlike Jo herself, of course, who spent part of the afternoon having a bitch to Jade and Danielle about her, declaring that she "could really have whacked her", describing her as "Whinge, whinge" and taking the piss out of her about her bleaching routine. Although given that it consisted of using it like shaving foam and putting some on her nose, we can only concur.


Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 9 

Day 9 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and it's nomination day! In the scheme of things, this is one of the most important days in the Big Brother week. It's a chance to find out what the housemates really think of each other, a chance to find out who, away from the bluster, the niceties and the peer pressure from the other housemates, who each person really doesn't want to spend any more time with, and a chance for them to give a more honest, truthful and blunt opinion than they may do otherwise. It's only natural, then, that Channel 4 should treat the whole thing with contempt and disdain and only bother showing half of the nominations, leaving us with the knowledge that Jo nominated both Leo and Jack while H plumped for Leo and Dirk but no knowledge of why. To fill in the gaps in our knowledge, we've decided that Jo picked Leo as she has a fear of corkscrews and his hair makes her feel uncomfortable and her dislike for Jack comes from her annoyance that he didn't bring his sister, Jill, into the house with him. H chose Leo because he thinks that You Make Me Feel Like Dancing is "Shit. Really fucking shit", and wanted Dirk to get the boot because he wanted an A-Team van for Christmas one year but was left saddened and disappointed on Christmas morning and so still holds a grudge.

Our suspected reasons may seem a little bit ridiculous, but they're nothing compared to the real reasons given by the housemates. Dirk nominated H because "he's having too much fun, he's too content", which is hardly H's fault. During his time in Steps he was injected daily with enough sugar to turn even a tired and grumpy koala bear into a hyperactive cheerbeast so it's no surprise that he still bounces happily through life like a lobotomised Tigger. Jo didn't escape the dislike of her fellow housemates either, with both Jermaine and Leo opting to put her name forward for the public vote. Jermaine voiced his concerns that she didn't do any of the cooking and cleaning, presumably because Jermaine is labouring under the delusion that it's still the past and that's all girls should be doing, while Leo picked her because as far as he's concerned she's no longer a celebrity and seemed to be getting very irate about the fact she takes the bus and is quite chuffed when she buys cheap clothes. Leo presumably travels everywhere by rickshaw and only buys clothes woven from the finest gold thread. Although given that, as we discover later, Leo is a man too cheap to bring in enough clean pants to last for three weeks in the house, this is a little bit rich. Or poor. Or something.

In the end it was Leo and Dirk who found themselves facing the public vote, along with Carole, whose position there came as a result of her and Cleo having a chat about nominations. As punishment the other housemates had to choose one of the pair to face the public vote. Naturally this was a hard and emotional choice for the housemates, if we'd had our way both of them would have been out the door, but H kept a clear head, took charge and demanded a show of hands. Both Jo and H, along with the majority of the housemates, went for Carole, although Jo made it quite clear that she didn't want to do it, perhaps fearing a hatchet job from the hatchet faced journalist if she found out who picked her.

Despite being in bed, Jo managed to cause an argument without being anywhere near the argumentative types as Jade and Dirk crossed swords over a bottle of whisky which had been given to Dirk, but which Jo was quite keen to get a taste of. Dirk seemed somewhat put out by Jo's request, given via Jade like she's some sort of medium - well, she has lot a bit of weight recently. Arf! - and initially refused, before giving the whole bottle to Jade and having a bit of a sulk. Jade poured half of it into a bottle, then asked Dirk if he wanted the remaining half put in the fridge. Dirk took the returned bottle and calmly poured it into the bin. Whether this was through anger at being expected to give away his whisky, or simply disgust at the thought that someone might want to put whisky in the fridge we may never know.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 8 

Day 8 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the first big revelation of the episode is that Jo, Danielle and Jade all sleep together in the same bed. Jo is clearly taking inspiration from her puppies' sleeping arrangements. Will this be the only big revelation? Keep reading to find out. (Thoug hif you're a bit busy and have better things to do with your life, and we don't, frankly, blame you, then the answer is 'yes').

H started the day by doing some exercise by holding up some weights. This was a bit of a role reversal for him as he's normally the deadweight others are having to hold up.

Having spent the morning improving his physique, H immediatly decided to undo all the good work by gorging himself on chocolates with Jackiey. As he listed the different flavours availiable, he attempted to do an impersonation of Jackiey, which consisted mainly of him putting on a scary deep voice and sounding like the sort of person who you wouldn't want walking down your street, let alone in your house. So, quite a good impression, then.

Jo seems to be having confused feelings about Leo: "I really like him, but every time he comes towards me I walk away". She's presumably confusing "liking him" with "us both being magnets with the same polarity".

H was playing a game of "Who Am I?" with Jade, Jackiey and Jack. Written upon in his forehead, in what looked like shit, was the name Tom Cruise, and we can't think of any reason whatsoever why they might have chosen that name for a gay man.

And so Jackiey came to be evicted, and given that it was a vote to save a housemate, it must be quite galling for her to realise that she is less popular than Jade's boyfriend Jack, a man who has done the sum total of sweet FA since he entered the house. H was quite upset by the news, having grown quite close to Jackiey over the last few days and, like many people, praised her openess. Quite why so many people have a problem telling the difference between being 'open' and being 'obnoxiously rude and unpleasant' is beyond us, but never mind. Jo is made of sterner stuff, even if her back isn't, and pointed out that it's part of the game and that it's just going to get worse. She was still upset though, and both she and H shared the view that they thought Jackiey was going to win the whole thing, an event about as likely as the sun turning out to be powered by a lone Duracell battery, or a conetstant choosing to escape the house by prising open one of the walls with a broom. Ah.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 7 

Day 7 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and the Jo and H based action continues. Well, continues to not actually happen at any rate. Jo's contribution consisted mainly of some minor bitching about Shilpa, but so minor was this bitching that it barely even warrants a 1 on the Elton scale. The Elton scale is the scientific standard of bitching, and a 1 is roughly equivalent to the bitcher tutting as the bitchee walks past, or using your fingers to add 'quote marks' when mentioning a supposed attribute of the bitchee. She also pondered as to what Donny might be getting up to since escaping from the house, we doubt that guest editing a showbiz column, which he has been doing, would have come to mind, mainly because she'd be unlikely to believe that Donny could string a sentence together. Not, of course, that such an inability has hampered Victoria Newton's career in any way, shape or form.

H's contribution, on the other hand, we could well have done without. It consisted of him doing Jackiey's make-up - the look he was aiming for was Biker Chick, Jade reckoned it made her look more like a transexual, while we felt it made her look like a transexual biker who's just crashed their bicycle - and encouraging her to wear a see-through swimsuit with bits of fluff to cover up the bits which needed to be covered - although in terms of public decency, there's probably not enough fluff in the world. Our eyes still burn and we feel we may never be the same again. Shudder.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 6 

Day 6 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and writing this daily update would be a hell of a lot easier if Jo and H actually bothered, y'know, doing something. Though who can blame Channel 4 for not concentrating on our favourite popstars when the spectacle of watching Leo Sayer briefly going mad, swearing, telling the housemates he wants to have a wank, offering to show his dick to the BB cameras, demanding to see his contract, convinced as he was that the producers of the show could not treat him in this way, before a return to sanity as he sheepishly returns to the rest of the group, having re-read his contract, admitting that, in actual fact, they can treat him in that way, and much worse besides, proves to be a lot more entertaining.

Still, Jo and H weren't without their moments, even if the meat of their performance mainly centred around, umm, meat, with H looking on as Jo and Cleo used a sausage making machine, with all the hilarity and innuendo that affords. And by 'all the hilarity' we mean not that much, not unless you're Barbara Windsor, Sid James, or any one else from the comedy corpse that is the Carry on movies. H, however, could barely contain himself, and his sides were splitting almost as much as those of the poorly crafted sausages which were coming out of the machine. Mind you, he's already proven himself to have somewhat less than impressive standards when it comes to comedy, having already 'entertained' Jermaine with even worse than the original versions of the Bo Selecta impersonation of Michael Jackson. Jermaine had to endure a similar form of polite embarrassment later today when Jackiey, egged on by H, moonwalked - i.e. she walked backwards - and did similarly poor quality Bo Selecta rip-offs. Outwardly Jermaine smiled, while inwardly he prayed to any God who might be listening for the earth to open up and swallow him, or for preference, Jackiey, up.

jo omeara


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 5 

Day 5 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and, like some sort of farmyard set bible, the temptations of eggs and cheese were causing all sorts of problems for our housemates. There wasn't, however, an actual snake, although Leo could make a pretty good Medusa if he managed to turn himself green. Watching Jade Goody undress would probably be a good start.

Anyway, it was the eggs, or lack thereof, that caused Jade's mum Jackiey - and never trust anyone who can't spell their own name correctly - to throw a bit of a strop, although Jackiey strikes us as the sort of person who throws a strop on a pretty much hourly basis, even if the only thing she has to throw a strop about is the fact that she has nothing to throw a strop about. This morning it was the fact that, because she hadn't said she'd wanted any breakfast, the housemates, still taking part in the servants task, not unreasonably assumed that she didn't want any breakfast and so chucked away the rest of the eggs benedict which had been lovingly prepared - well, prepared, anyway - for them. It was at this point which Jackiey, who had already chowed down on a croissant, decided to get needlessly upset because she might feel a little bit peckish later on. Fortunately H was on hand to save the day, offering her a banana before making her some toast and marmalade, rather than telling her to grow up and have a sense of perspective like anyone else would have done. Good old H.

The problem with the cheese was nothing to do with H - or Leo, for that matter, who might as well be a steaming lump of gorgonzola - but was instead a problem with Ken's greediness. As part of the task, members of the Goody family, which includes Ken as he's been adopted by them - and if you think that's a bad situation, wait until he finds out that it's legally binding - aren't allowed to do anything for themselves and have to get one of the other housemates, the servants to do it instead. Ken couldn't be arsed with this, so made himself some cheese and crackers and caused a big old hoo-hah between himself and Jade, who was worried about them failing the task. It ended with Ken calling the servants 'slaves', banging on the table and spitting cracker crumbs everywhere while Jade went outside for a cry. Jo, who had been doing the dishes and pretending not to listen, went outside with her to offer a few words of comfort, albeit in the form of some half arsed platitudes about it only being a game. She later tried to explain the situation to Cleo: "Ken was very nasty to us". "Cartoon nasty?", asked Cleo. "No, real nasty", said Jo, whose popstar lifestyle has obviously sheltered her from real-life unpleasantness if she genuinely believes that an 80 year old man pretending to be cross is real nastiness. The whole affair caused Ken to quit the show and H looked very upset at the news. Awww.

The potential Donny/Jo romance may well have come grinding to a halt, stopped only by the fact that he escaped from the Big Brother house - oh, and didn't actually want anything to do with her - but love ain't gonna wait for Jo, as coming up on the horizon is a new suitor, none other than Jackiey who is, of course, a somewhat rubbish lesbian - and it would be hugely offensive to describe her as a one armed muff bandit so we won't - and has been complimenting Jo on her looks and her beauty spot. "Do you fancy a bit of the Jax?", asked H of Jo. "No, she doesn't do it for me", was her somewhat curt reply. H wasn't going to let her lack of enthusiasm stop his matchmaking fun. "Would you like a bit of the Jo", asked H. "Yeah!" replied Jackiey, practically drooling at the thought. Later, back in the servant quarters, Jo discussed this turn of events with her other housemates, telling them that she was "unnerved" by the attention and to be honest it doesn't matter what sort of attention Jackiey shows you. Sexual or otherwise, it's going to be unnerving.

Finally Jo told us how S Club got together. Her version, frankly, was a bit dull and bore no relation whatsoever to the real story, as told in the Miami, LA and Hollywood 7 documentaries.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 4 

Day 4 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and H and Jo spent today largely doing the sum total of bugger all. According to our copious - and badly written - notes, their contribution consisted entirely of the following:-


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 3 

Day 3 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and Jo, Carole and Danielle are Nowhere, discussing Jermaine's shyness, never once considering that the reason he might be a bit quiet and reserved around them is simply the fact that he doesn't want to speak to them, and who could blame him given that Jo's solution to bring him out of his shell is "just to talk random crap". As an example of this, Jo decided to enlighten the girls about her disorientation when she woke up: "I got up this mornign and thought 'I must text...'" before realising the obvious flaw in the plan; it's very rude to text someone first thing in the morning. Oh, and she's cut off from the outside world, obviously.

Conversation then turned towards Danielle's relationship with her boyfriend, who apparently plays games for a living, and their age difference, a somewhat impressive 17 years, and the fact that he's got a son not much younger than Danielle herself. Rather than seeing this as a somewhat weird situation, the girls immediately declared this to be a good thing, with Jo opining that it works because "Women grow up quicker than guys", which is true up to a point, but by the time you reach your twenties things should surely have evened out, and besides, Danielle doesn't exactly appear to have the maturity of a forty year old. Or a four year old, for that matter.

After two days in the house, H has had a revelation. "Janet is Jermaine's sister!", he excitedly exclaimed. At this rate we fully expect him to end his time in the house by realising that Dirk has met Mr T, that he himself used to work with Lisa Scott-Lee, and that Carol Malone really has no business being there.

Further evidence came to light regarding our belief that Jo and Donny are going to end up rutting like rabbits as the final culmination and, indeed, consumation of the greatest love story ever told, as Donny went into the diary room and poured out his heart about his feelings for the Ex-Clubber: "I'm not getting to know H and Jo", he said, his voice cracking witth emotion and love, "Partly through choice - I find them annoying as a pair", he continued, as cupids danced and angels sang. "I'm on a different level", he concluded, which is certainly true, though not perhaps in the way he thinks.

"Is it reall called a punani?", asked H of Shilpa, having presumably confused Ali G with the real world.

This year's twist - and we hope it's not the first of many, last year's BB had so many twists that it ended up looking like a paperclip in the hands of a bored office worker - is that Jade Goody and her family are entering the house and the majority of the housemates are going to have to work as their servants for a short period of time, living in some squalid, unpleasant quarters - by which they mean the floors were a bit dirty - next door to the main house. Jo and H were amongst those unlucky enough to take on this role, but this didn't dampen their spirits and Jo seemed overjoyed by the disgusting conditions that will be her home for the next few days. "Oh wow!" she exclaimed as she surveyed the room, clapping her hands and squealing with delight. Jo, it is probably worth pointing out here, comes from Essex.

It's a matter of opinion as to whether H has already been involved with a criminal record, but he can no longer take the moral high ground as he was an accessory to Donny's jailbreak from the Big Brother house. Admittedly a somewhat bemused accessory, as all he did was give Donny a leg up when he demanded it, but an accessory none the less. Donny's reasons for leaving the house were succinct and to the point: "I'm not fucking waiting hand on foot for some moron and her family", and it's hard to argue the point, even if he could perhaps have toned down the language a little bit. When H informed the others of Donny's daring escape - and he could, frankly, just have used the fire exit, rather than going through the hassle of climbing up on the roof, though presumably using doors just isn't rock'n'roll enough for him - they all seemed quite sceptical, with Jo saying she thought it was a wind up and Danielle reckoning that he was just hiding under one of the beds. And why not, after all, Donny is clearly the sort of happy-go-lucky scamp that love's nothing more than playing a prank on his other housemates. Well, he's a joke, anyway.