Celebrity Big Brother fall out gets the eyeballs

A very public kerfuffle has erupted in the UK during this week over the Celebrity Big Brother reality TV show that’s extended right up the political chain to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Charges of racism and bigotry have been leveled at some of the minor celebrities participating in the show and more than 36,000 viewers have complained to Channel 4 who is broadcasting the show. Thirty-five MPs have signed a motion condemning the programme.

On top of that, long-time show sponsor Carphone Warehouse has cancelled their sponsorship. And, two of the celebrities at the heart of the row have lost product placement and modelling contracts.

All of which means that tonight’s episode to vote out a celebrity or two will undoubtedly be a big TV viewing draw possibly elevating the show right up the ratings.

My cynical view no doubt, but just what Channel 4 needs – ratings.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Garrison

    Ratings for Channel 4 and, let’s not forget, Carphone Warehouse get more customers – a PR wet dream.

    A little bit of double cynicism from me.

  2. neville

    It’s a circus, Garrison. Or a freak show. Not sure which. Meanwhile, millions of folk will be tuning in at 8.30 tonight to see who gets ejected.

    There really is no such thing as bad publicity, it seems.

  3. neville

    I couldn’t help but watch a bit of last night’s show, Garrison. Morbid curiosity. Made me think that evictee Jade Goody is probably going to wind up with a good business deal sooner rather than later.

    A pretty sharp analysis in a BBC report late yesterday on the pulling power of Big Brother includes this quote:

    […] Endemol must be unable to believe their luck. The prime minister, the chancellor and the leader of the opposition – all in one day. You can’t buy that publicity.

    Referring to show producer Endemol.

    Cynical but no doubt practical.

  4. adrian moss

    I am not so sure that ‘all pr – is good pr’ in this case. I wonder if we are seeing the start of a Ratner moment.

    The whole thing is like watching a car smash in slow motion. Compelling but uncomfortable too. I do not normally watch the programme but the PR and comments from my kids (19 and 21) meant I watched it all last night. (Supports idea that all PR is good PR in a way I suppose)

    Amongst the people who normally watch it there is negative feeling about the whole thing. A lot directed at C4 and their actions or lack of them. I think C4 will see a big fall off in audience in the next few days.

    I am also not sure about the pyschological and emotional impact on all the contestants. Quite frankly they all looked totally ‘shell-shocked’. That is bound to effect the dynamics and relationships in the house and who they nominate/don’t nominate and how the public votes in future. Whatever her faults, I hope that Jade is as tough a cookie as she makes out. She will need to be. I hope C4 will be offering counselling and support to everyone who needs it. I would not be suprised to hear that some of the contestants walk out or this series fizzles out in some way.

    Carphone Warehouse is smart to walk far and fast away from this. It is not all over yet.

  5. Garrison

    Adrian, I would normally agree with your assertion that you’re not sure ‘all pr – is good pr’ but I worry that our nation has the attention span of a gnat (they allegedly have short attention spans) and therefore this will all be forgotten when it emerges that Tony Blair contemplated suicide in the recent cash for honours scandal ( he did, didn’t he?)

    My prediction is that we’ll see 2 TV shows (on some obscure channel, maybe even Channel 4). They will both be travelogues. The first will be Jade venturing into Inuit territory (she’s fascinated by ‘eskimos’) to find out all about them. I wonder if the producers of BB will alert to her one of the best films ever made (in my opinion), Atanarjuat ( I wonder what Jade would make of that!)

    Then, I can see Shilpa taking Jade on a tour of India.

    I have to say, I will be pretty shocked if none of these predications materialise, as it will mean that Jade’s ‘people’, who have otherwise proved themselves as being shrewd, aren’t quite ‘on it’, in terms of PR and all that palaver.

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