Celebrity Big Brother's place in the nation's affections died this week, live on national television, following a massive public protest against the bullying of Bollywood superstar Shilpa Shetty by the trio of luminaries that is Jade Goody (reality TV show loser), Danielle Lloyd (second string glamour model and footballer's girlfriend) and Jo O’Meara (dog breeder and former S CLub 7 member).
Born in 2001, Celebrity Big Brother was the fruit of an unholy attempt to meddle with nature by knitting together the lowest forms of reality TV - together with a collection of talentless Z-listers, has-beens and sociopaths ... and Jack Dee - to create a monster capable of milking credulous couch potatoes entertaining the British public.
Over the next seven years, Celebrity Big Brother was to corral a series of increasingly-desperate and publicity-hungry non-entities in its televisual zoo in a horrendous spectacle not seen since the closure of the public gallery of Bedlam. So-called celebrities such as Les Dennis, Germaine Greer, Michael Barrymore and George Galloway eagerly debased themselves on national television in a desperate bid to boost their public appeal. Sadly for anyone with faith in the British public, the plan succeeded.
It was with this year’s crop of intellectual heavyweights and entertainment superstars that the programme reached an all-time low as producers signed up Jade Goody: a woman whose fame is based on the solid foundation of not knowing the location of “East Angular”, national guilt brought on by a campaign of tabloid villification and the failure to win a past series of Big Brother. Faced with the psychological torture of being placed in close proximity to a woman from another country with a posh-sounding accent and a greater chance of stringing two words together without either involving an Anglo-Saxon monosyllable than her own, Ms Goody, along with acolytes Ms Lloyd and Ms O'Meara, was understandably left with no choice but to resort to a campaign of petty-minded and foul mouthed-abuse unworthy of a playground spat.
The ailing programme's demise came with the decision of sponsor Carphone Warehouse to withdraw Channel 4’s vital supply of sponsorship cash after a suggestion that the company change it's name to Freakshow Warehouse failed to win favour.
News of the programme's demise was greeted with enormous sadness by those lined up to take part in the next programme, believed to include Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning and Adolf Hitler. Celebrity Big Brother is survived by Channel 4's premium rate eviction line, Endemol’s enormous bank balance and the worst period in Anglo-Indian relations since the Raj.