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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 11:59 GMT
History of Celebrity Big Brother
By Kevin Young
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

The fifth series of reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother is being launched on Wednesday by Channel 4 in the UK.

Here are highlights from previous editions, which were won by a comedian, a singer, a dancer and a "nobody".


Big Brother had made its debut on British television in 2000 and the first run of the celebrity edition was organised as part of Comic Relief the following year.

Chris Eubank, Vanessa Feltz, Keith Duffy, Jack Dee, Anthea Turner and Claire Sweeney in 2001
The final of the first Celebrity Big Brother was part of Red Nose Day
Comedian Jack Dee was the winner, despite twice escaping from the house and - on several occasions - pleading with viewers to evict him.

Chat show presenter Vanessa Feltz said she "hardly survived" her time as a contestant, and described the show as "ridiculously intense" and "unnerving".

She was seen writing on a table during a moment of anger.

Former boxer Chris Eubank was the first star to be evicted, while actress Claire Sweeney was the runner-up.

TV host Anthea Turner and ex-Boyzone member Keith Duffy completed the list.


Take That's Mark Owen emerged as the winner of the second series, but once again it was the pressure of being in the house which proved enlightening.

Mark Owen in 2002
Mark Owen said he had "the best time" as a contestant on the show
Comedian Les Dennis appeared to be under great strain as the show went on, and seemed especially upset when the producers brought up the 17-year age gap between him and his wife Amanda Holden, who have now divorced.

Dennis also discussed press intrusion after his wife's affair with actor Neil Morrissey - but won enough public support to come second behind Owen.

Former glamour model Melinda Messinger was third, with musician and actor Goldie leaving the house first.

TV presenters Sue Perkins and Anne Diamond were the other contestants.


Three years passed before the third series of Celebrity Big Brother - and this time, it was hard to work out exactly who was the main star.

Bez in 2005
Bez, real name Mark Berry, said the show "pulled" him out of trouble
Was it the winner, Bez, best known for his manic dancing to songs such as Step On with the Happy Mondays?

Or how about racing presenter John McCririck, with his unrefined views about women, his three-day silence after being denied a fizzy drink, and his regular appearances wearing little else but big, white pants?

Feminist Germaine Greer angrily branded Big Brother a bully after walking out of the show, and said her fellow contestants were mostly taking part for the publicity.

And she condemned the "complete irresponsibility" of including actress Brigitte Nielsen alongside her former mother-in-law, Jackie Stallone, saying this could have jeopardised Nielsen's access to her children.

Model Caprice, actor Jeremy Edwards and DJ Lisa I'Anson also took part, but it was youthful Kenzie, from urban pop act Blazin' Squad, who was runner-up to Bez.


Last year saw a woman who was pretending to be a star becoming more popular than the "real" celebrities.

Chantelle Houghton in 2006
Houghton became a TV host and had her autobiography published
Winner Chantelle Houghton was "planted" on the show and ordered to convince her fellow contestants that she was the singer with fictional group Kandy Floss.

She went on to marry the man who came fourth - Samuel Preston, a professional singer with The Ordinary Boys.

There was controversy over the inclusion of TV star Michael Barrymore, as he was involved in legal proceedings at the time following the death of a man in his swimming pool.

But Barrymore was still second overall, ahead of amusing rapper Andrew "Maggot" Major, from Goldie Lookin' Chain.

Other participants included singer Pete Burns and his extensive plastic surgery, plus former model Faria Alam, famous for an affair with ex-England football coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

And one of the images of the year was MP George Galloway pretending to lick milk from the cupped hands of actress Rula Lenska.

Celebrity Big Brother 5 to launch
03 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
'Fake' celebrity wins Big Brother
28 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Celebrity Big Brother won by Bez
23 Jan 05 |  TV and Radio
Owen wins Celebrity Big Brother
29 Nov 02 |  TV and Radio
Dee big winner of Big Brother
17 Mar 01 |  Entertainment

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