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Sunday, 24 November, 2002, 16:32 GMT
Big Brother's unusual suspects
Celebrity Big Brother contestants (from top left) Mark Owen, Anne Diamond, Goldie, Sue Perkins, Les Dennis and Melinda Messenger.
Are these stars in the ascendant, or will they do a Feltz?
Love it or loathe it, Celebrity Big Brother is back.

So you have two options - you can either go and find yourself a desert island with no means of communication for the next week, or you can sit back and watch it.

BBC News Online looks at this year's contestants.

Probably best known as one half of comedy duo Mel and Sue, Sue Perkins says she went into the house "so that people might finally realise which one's Mel and which one's Sue".

The 33-year-old, from London, met her comedy pal - Mel Giedroyc - at university.

Sue Perkins
Sue has taken Connect 4 and 100 cigarettes into the house

Jennifer Saunders spotted the pair when they were virtual unknowns and asked them to write for, and appear in, her series French and Saunders.

In 1998, they presented the Channel 4 series Light Lunch and Late Lunch.

They finally hung up their aprons after 250 episodes.

Sue now appears regularly on both TV and radio and is godmother to Mel's baby, which was born earlier this year.

She says she will miss her dog most while in the house.

Her perfect housemate, she says, would be Jim Davidson.

Melinda Messenger first hit the headlines in 1997 when posters of a double-glazing campaign she was fronting in her home town started disappearing from their sites, bound for young boys' bedrooms.

After a career as a glamour model, Messenger turned to television presenting.

Melinda Messenger
Melinda is no more healthy. She's packed 3 bags of sweets

She lives in Swindon with husband Wayne and their two children.

She says she will be glad to get away from potty training for a week - but says she will miss her children.

She claims to have no unappealing habits and says her nightmare Big Brother housemate would be Leslie Grantham.

Messenger took one bottle of wine, three packets of sweets and some Jaffa cakes into the house.

Mark Owen earned himself a position on many girls' bedroom walls as a member of the most successful boy band of the nineties - Take That.

The group sold more than 15 million records worldwide and notched up a record breaking eight UK number one singles.
Mark Owen
Mark is taking the rather more spiritual approach, packing a bronze Buddah

When Take That split in 1996, Owen released his self-penned debut solo album Green Man, which sold a million copies worldwide.

He is now managing two new male solo artists.

Owen is a huge football fan and says he will miss his weekly match with Kirkby Lonsdale FC while in the house.

Vegetarian Owen, who is 30, says his obsessive cleaning is his most annoying habit.

He will miss the security of normal life back home in the Lake District most of all - as well as his new puppy.

But at least he has a bottle of wine, a bronze Buddah and 100 cigarettes to comfort him.

Anne Diamond made her name as the face of ITV's now-closed breakfast service TV-am.

She has worked for many charities during her 21-year career but is probably best known for the Back to Sleep campaign, which was created as the result of her own personal tragedy with cot death.

Anne Diamond
Anne would like to share the house with Pierce Brosnan

Diamond, 48, writes a topical news column for Woman's Own and presents her own series on ITV.

She says her worst habit is her untidyness and that her perfect housemate would be Pierce Brosnan.

Diamond, who lives in Oxfordshire, says her children think her involvement in Celebrity Big Brother is "cool".

Her mother, she says, is mortified "because she's on a cruise and is going to miss the show" and her sisters think she's "mad".

Goldie - real name Clifford Price - is married to fashion designer Sonjia Ashby.

Born in Wolverhampton, Goldie was raised in various children's homes from the age of three to 18.

Goldie says he will miss his Ferrari

An internationally successful DJ, producer and actor, he has spent approximately 100,000 having 14 gold tooth implants.

Goldie, 37, says he will miss his wife, daughter and Ferrari most during his time in the house.

His nightmare housemate would, he says, be Phil Mitchell and his most annoying habit is not listening.

Goldie has taken vitamins, cod liver oil, face masks, chocolate, crisps and four wigs into the house.

Comedian Les Dennis lives in London with his wife, actress Amanda Holden.

He has worked as a stand-up comic, an impressionist and an actor but is probably best known in his role as quiz show master on Family Fortunes.

Les Dennis
Les is not known for his DIY skills

In July this year, he fought Bob Mortimer in a celebrity boxing match for Sport Relief, losing on points after three rounds.

According to Dennis he cooks a great pasta, but is "the worst DIY man in the world".

Dennis, 49, says his ideal housemate would be John Lennon and his most annoying habit is snoring.

The most difficult thing about being in the house for him will be "not talking to my wife and son".

He says he will miss TV too.

Dennis took in some extra virgin olive oil, Belgian chocolates and a bottle of HP sauce.

See also:

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