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EDITIONS
Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 14:14 GMT
Celebrity Big Brother is ratings smash
Les Dennis
Dennis left actress wife Amanda Holden on the outside
Celebrity Big Brother has scored big in the ratings as 7.2 million people tuned in to watch six showbiz personalities enter the Channel 4 house.

Former glamour model Melinda Messenger, TV host Les Dennis and ex-Take That singer Mark Owen were unveiled as contestants for the second series of the show.

They were joined in the house at the start of the reality TV show on Wednesday by former TV presenter Anne Diamond, comic Sue Perkins and musician and actor Goldie.

Goldie
Goldie starred as Angel in EastEnders

The first instalment, hosted by Davina McCall, saw the show's biggest ever opening audience, according to unofficial overnight figures.

It beat BBC One's new David Attenborough wildlife series The Life of Mammals, which attracted an audience of 5.7m viewers.

Who should win? Click here to vote

Celebrity Big Brother beat all other programmes on TV on Wednesday, except for ITV1's Coronation Street (13.1m) and an extra edition of EastEnders on BBC One (9.1m).

The first episode of this summer's original version of the format attracted 5.8m, but was upstaged by Angus Deayton's first ridiculing on Have I Got News For You.

Melinda Messenger
Melinda Messenger will miss her two sons

The six contestants will spend up to 10 days in the house, cut off from the outside world and without luxuries, all in the name of charity.

As in the regular version of the show - featuring members of the public - they will go through a process of nomination and eviction from the house.

They will also have to carry out tasks set by Big Brother and be questioned in the diary room.

Viewers will vote on who they want to be evicted, and the winner will be revealed on 29 November.

Anne Diamond is best known as a presenter of morning TV
Anne Diamond: Ex-morning TV presenter

Goldie, 37, dance music guru-turned-Bond film baddie, was first to enter the house.

Next in was Anne Diamond, 48, best known for her 1980s breakfast TV partnership with Nick Owen.

Bookmaker Coral has her as the favourite to be evicted first from the show on Sunday at 11-8, with Goldie ranked second at 15-8.

She was followed by Melinda Messenger and Sue Perkins, who entered the house together.

Last to enter were Family Fortunes host Les Dennis and Mark Owen, who was greeted by huge cheers from the assembled crowd.

Obscurity

Owen, now 30, was one of the UK's biggest heart-throbs as a member of Take That. When they split in 1996 he established a short solo career.

He has since slipped into relative obscurity but is managing two musicians, recording a second album and has done some TV presenting.

Owen told McCall: "I'm looking forward to the whole experience. There's going to be a few girls in there as well so it's going to be fun."

Mark Owen
Mark Owen was part of one of the biggest boy bands

Terrestrial viewers will see highlights from the day's events each night on Channel 4 until next Friday's winner is chosen by viewers. Coverage will continue through the night, on Channel 4's digital channel E4.

The finale of the first Celebrity Big Brother saw around 12.3 million people tune in to see comedian Jack Dee win.

Previous winner Dee has attacked the show's second series, saying: "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."

 VOTE RESULTS
Who do you want to win Celebrity Big Brother?

Melinda Messenger
 9.21% 

Mark Owen
 65.79% 

Sue Perkins
 10.53% 

Les Dennis
 1.97% 

Goldie
 4.61% 

Anne Diamond
 7.89% 

152 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Click here to return to story

 VOTE RESULTS
Should Big Brother curl up and die, as Jack Dee says?

Yes, I've had enough
 76.93% 

No, I'm still an addict
 23.07% 

14594 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

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