Bye Bye Big Brother
Big Brother has been in the news over the summer because, apparently, the viewers are now tired of the format and thus we may be seeing the last of it, certainly for a while. I shall shed an almost imperceptibly small tear - as many of you know, between 2003 and 2007, I was "aftercare" for 34 Big Brother contestants of all shapes, sizes and levels of insanity.
Aftercare is a vague term for such a crazy role but essentially it involved three main tasks. The first was to meet the housemates before they entered the House - often on the day they entered the house - to reassure them that we would be there for them when they sooner or later emerged. The second was to liaise with friends and family of the housemates and help them through the inevitable media attention. And the last was to greet the housemate when they were evicted (or won!) and calmly guide them through the transition back to the human world.
Over the course of five years, the aftercare team experienced most eventualities. In the next blog, I shall relate the craziest escapade but for now we shall focus on some random happenings.
Case one. A lovely chap named Spencer who was inexplicably evicted early but who had become something of a media darling during his time in the House. He was delightful, modest and couldn't quite understand why the newspapers wanted to pay him for his "story". Having secured him £37,000 for a day's work, he insisted on buying me a pair of shoes as a reward.
Case two. An equally lovely chap called Gos who was the most unfortunate housemate of all time. A bomb scare on Friday night meant that his eviction in front of cheering crowds had to be postponed until Saturday lunchtime and so he left the house to no ovation whatsoever. It was also too late to arrange any lucrative Sunday newspaper deal. In the end, he and I went and had a cup of tea in a hotel lounge and muse upon his rum luck.
Finally (for today), a housemate who shall remain nameless in case she's still homicidal. Her brief tenure in the House had been peppered with aggressive outbursts so I wasn't looking forward to the aftercare. After the usual midnight press conference and malarkey, we were alone in a car driving towards her post-BB hotel. "I'm glad I'm out, to be honest," she said, "because I need my medication." Medication? I asked. "Yes, the pills that stop me getting angry. I've had to go without for three weeks so I'm fucking furious.........."