BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 16:06 GMT
How the Big Brother row erupted
Shilpa Shetty
Shilpa has been picked on throughout her stay in the house
As the outside world continues to debate the alleged racism in the Big Brother house, the celebrities inside remain blissfully unaware of the attention some of them are receiving.

The treatment of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on the Channel 4 show has led to thousands of complaints being made to the broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom.

The housemates in the spotlight are Jade Goody, famous for appearing in Big Brother 3; Danielle Lloyd, a former Miss Great Britain; and Jo O'Meara, former singer with pop act S Club 7.

Danielle Lloyd
You don't know where those hands have been
Danielle Lloyd talking about Shilpa Shetty
But the first sign of trouble came when Jackiey Budden, Goody's mother, was introduced to the show.

She failed to pronounce Shetty's name properly and began calling her "the Indian" or "Princess".

House conflict

Since then, things have gone from bad to worse for the 31-year-old actress.

Goody, O'Meara, Lloyd and Jack Tweed - Goody's boyfriend - have formed a small group who appear to spend a lot of time complaining about her and mimicking her voice.

Jackiey Budden, Jade Goody and Jack Tweedy
Jackiey, Jade and Jack have made it clear they do not like Shilpa
Other housemates have so far avoided getting involved in the conflict. However, one housemate - former Steps singer Ian "H" Watkins - has recognised there is a problem.

He has been seen crying, and admitted to Big Brother he did not like the behaviour in the house.

"There's a lot of name calling and petty things," he said. "It's clearly school ground behaviour. It's almost like bullying. It's really, really unfair."

Cooking complaint

Following a discussion the group had with Shetty about how long it took to cook a chicken, Goody, O'Meara amd Lloyd decided she had made them all ill.

"No wonder I keep getting the s***s," commented O'Meara.

Others complained that Shetty had touched housemates' food with her hands after she picked up morsels from people's plates.

Lloyd said: "You don't know where those hands have been."

Following another meal, Shetty poured left-over chicken soup down the Big Brother toilet - much to the disgust of the others, who felt chicken bones could cause a blockage.

"Why didn't it just go down the sink?" asked O'Meara. "She grates me so badly when she does things like that. What a stupid thing to do."

Tweed suggested Shetty should pick the bones out with her teeth, receiving the reply: "There's a lot more I want to do with my teeth."

Bad atmosphere

During a separate conversation, while Shetty was applying facial hair bleach, Lloyd asked whether the Bollywood star had stubble.

Later, Goody offered the opinion that skin lightening is common in India, where paler skin is considered desirable.

"She's a dog," said Lloyd.

Jo O'Meara
Jo claims Shilpa's cooking has made her ill
Some fans have claimed Tweed referred to Shetty using a four-letter racial insult, which was bleeped out. However, Channel 4 has denied the word bleeped out was a racist term.

Shetty has been reduced to tears several times by the bad atmosphere.

In one late night conversation she sobbed after Goody told her she did not appear "genuine".

"I feel like I'm losing my dignity," she confided to Watkins on Sunday.

But, on Tuesday's show, the actress was seen telling Big Brother she was happy to have entered the house.

"This has really been like a learning curve for me," she said. "To actually be in the same house with people from a different culture altogether has been really, really hard.

"But it's cool now, once you get to know the mindset, once you get to know where the other person is coming from.

"It's like a rollercoaster ride really."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific