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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 17:50 GMT
Dee bashes 'tired' Big Brother
Jack Dee
Dee: TV bosses are "out of ideas"
Last year's Celebrity Big Brother winner Jack Dee has lashed out at the Channel 4 show - on the day the network launches a new series of the programme.

Dee won the first series of the show in March 2001, which was then screened on BBC One and Channel 4 in aid of Comic Relief.

Now Channel 4 is bringing it back for another 10-day run - and while the comedian says he has no regrets about taking part in last year's show, he said the format had now run out of steam.


It smacks of a tired format from a TV channel that's run out of ideas

Jack Dee
The celebrity version of the reality TV phenomenon returns on Wednesday, with Channel 4 keeping the names of the six contestants a secret.

He said: "I had no idea at the time that it was going to be such a massive thing.

'Curl up and die'

"I entered into it not having even watched the first series, rather stupidly, and assumed I'd just be able to read books and I'd be chucked out after two days and it would be fine.

"Now I just wish the whole phenomenon would curl up and die. It smacks of a tired format from a TV channel that's run out of ideas."

Last year's series attracted up to 12 million viewers, with three million votes cast for the deadpan performer. It raised 500,000 for Comic Relief.

Model and TV presenter Melinda Messenger
Melinda Messenger is tipped to appear
Dee said he was so annoyed with saturation coverage of the series he insisted on heading to Siberia to film a forthcoming BBC One special during the third series of the regular Big Brother programme, which went out this summer, so he would avoid it all.

He said he would watch the first programme of Celebrity Big Brother "out of curiosity, just to see who's let themselves in for it".

"But beyond that, I don't think so," he said.

Messenger favourite

Former glamour model and TV presenter Melinda Messenger is ranked as favourite by bookmaker William Hill to take part in the series.

She is one of six participants named by a newspaper, alongside quiz show host Les Dennis, dance artist Goldie, comedian Sue Perkins, former Take That member Mark Owen and ex-breakfast TV host Anne Diamond.

But Channel 4 is refusing to confirm details in advance of the show, which starts at 2100 GMT.

Davina McCall
Davina McCall returns to host the show
Their identities will first be revealed at 2030 GMT on Channel 4's pay-TV station E4, as the six contestants are filmed being locked inside the Big Brother house in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

The public will vote on who they want to be evicted from the house, and the winner will be crowned on 29 November.

As with the regular version of the show, viewers will be able to watch it live around the clock on E4, as well as on the show's website - for a subscription fee.

Highlights will be screened nightly on Channel 4.

None of the contestants will be paid for taking part, and the show will raise money for the Centrepoint homeless charity, the National Missing Persons Helpline, the Rethink mental illness charity and the Samaritans.

See also:

17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
08 Sep 02 | Entertainment
28 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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