Thursday, January 04, 2007

Big Brother - who's in the running?

I’m not surprised celebrity Big Brother drew an audience of more than seven million last night. The entertainment value of what has become the ultimate in fly-on-the-wall viewing is only strengthened by the sight of so-called celebs meeting for the first time and wondering who everyone else is.

Aside from Carole Malone, a tabloid columnist who recognised everyone, as you’d expect, and the pleasingly savvy Leo Sayer, what a joy it was to see the footballer’s wife and a low-rent rock singer oblivious to the presence of one of the leading film directors of his generation.

One of my most enduring memories of the last London marathon was watching from a Docklands pavement as notables past without note, eclipsed by the huge reception given to BB winner Jade Goody.

Until recently, I would join the trail of joggers along the Thames path from Canary Wharf and often found myself overtaking (she was slow, I wasn’t fast) a certain 70s comedy star only I appeared to recognise.

That was Cleo Rocos. Cleo who? to anyone I spoke to after the third or fourth meeting. I guess she’ll jog with a minder after this.

When Max Hastings was editor of the Telegraph, he banned use of the word celebrity, asking us “what does it mean?” I thought at the time we were losing a valuable generic.

Now, I’m more inclined to agree.

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