Over the years that Richard “Dirty” Desmond owned Channel 5, the amount of genuine celebrity on show for successive series of Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) went from Very Little to Not Unadjacent To Zero, although this, of course, had nothing to do with Dirty Des’ allegedly legendary tightness. But that hasn’t stopped the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate from speculating wildly over prospective line-ups.
And so it came to pass that the Super Soaraway Currant Bun splashed what it claimed to be an exclusive: “Big Bruv Jackpot ... Benefits Street Layabout’s Deal ... £100K CELEBRIDEE”. And, despite the paywall, other papers soon lifted the copy (see how that works, Rupe?) so we now know just how “exclusive” this non-story really is, which is, as so often, not very exclusive at all.
The “celebrity” concerned, Deirdre Kelly aka White Dee, is only a minor sleb through appearing on reality TV show Benefits Street. So she is famous for being Herself Personally Now. And, despite the tabloid assault on her supposedly still claiming benefits while holidaying in Mallorca and appearing on daytime TV, the Mail now concedes that she hasn’t been a claimant since March.
She’s found her own and rather unique way back to work, and the Sun is wrong to call her a “layabout”. So how much is she (allegedly) getting for CBB? “The £100,000, reported in The Sun, is said to be one of the largest offered to a potential guest”. Ho yus? Dacre’s hacks ain’t read the Mirror: “It is also claimed she will be joined by Julie Burchill, reported to have been offered £300,000 to take part”.
Ms Burchill, of course, is actually famous for being a moderately successful journalist and author, unlike another supposedly likely housemate, Lauren Goodger, who is famous for, er, spray tan, reality TV, unfeasibly short dresses, and a boob job, though not necessarily in that order. Helen Flanagan, famous for no longer being on Coronation Street, is another suggestion.
But what neither Sun, Mirror nor Mail is telling its readers is that the idea of Deirdre Kelly doing CBB is not a new one: the Mail told readers back in February “White Dee in the house? Channel 5 bosses ‘desperate to sign Benefit Street star’ for the next series of Celebrity Big Brother”. But the money wasn’t as good: “[she is set] to rake in a fee of £60k if she takes part in the next series of the reality TV show”.
And the Mail doubled down on the speculation a week later: “From Benefits Street to Celebrity Street: White Dee's set to star on Big Brother - and even be an MP”. All that the Sun’s claimed “exclusive” tells us is that the press is as desperate as ever to leverage TV shows – any kind of TV shows – to flog a few more papers, rather than bother to do anything like real journalism.
So expect more of the same until CBB actually starts. Tedious Maximus, or what?