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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 13:18 GMT
Meet the Big Brother housemates

It is the show that saw George Galloway pretending to be a cat and made one un-known girl from Essex become a household name.

The fifth series of Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother is back with more twists and turns promised along the way.

The 11 housemates will be hoping viewers keep them in the house for as long as possible, with the series set to be the longest in its history.

DIRK BENEDICT

Dirk Benedict
Actor Dirk Benedict is best known for playing Face in the iconic 1980s action series The A-Team.

He also starred in Battlestar Galactica. He arrived in a replica A-Team van smoking a cigar.

In 1981 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and claims he cured himself without surgery by eating a macrobiotic diet.

On entering the house, the 61-year-old said: "I have no idea why I am here. What am I doing?"

JERMAINE JACKSON

Jermaine Jackson
Singer Jermaine Jackson, the elder brother of Michael was co-lead singer of the Jackson 5.

The 52-year-old, who began a solo career in the 1970s, has been married three times. One of his former wives was the ex-wife of his brother Randy.

The star, who has an album out this year, is a strict vegan and admits to having a problem with touching germs.

He revealed Michael was in Las Vegas but would be watching the show online.

DANIELLE LLOYD

Danielle Lloyd
Glamour model Danielle Lloyd was crowned Miss Great Britain last year, but was later stripped of the title.

It was over claims she had been dating footballer Teddy Sheringham, one of the contest's judges, and for posing topless for Playboy.

The 23-year-old admits shopping is one of her favourite pastimes.

"Teddy probably thinks it's a good idea to get rid of me for a few weeks - stop me going to the shops and spending the money," she said.

JO O'MEARA

Jo O'Meara
Former pop star Jo O'Meara is best known as a member of S Club 7, a group which started out in a TV series and mainly appealed to a younger audience.

Following huge hits, including S Club Party and Don't Stop Moving, the band split in 2003.

In 2005, the 27-year-old returned to singing briefly but her solo album failed to reach chart success.

Before entering the house she said: "I am absolutely terrified, I can't tell you how scared I am."

CAROLE MALONE

Carole Malone
Journalist Carole Malone is famous for her outspoken views which she writes about in her weekly newspaper column.

In the past she has called Celebrity Big Brother contestants "a bunch of morons", but took part in her first reality TV show last year as part of weight-loss show Celebrity Fit Club.

Malone, 47, is the first tabloid columnist to enter the Big Brother house as a celebrity housemate.

"Every journalist in the country wants to know more about Big Brother, so this is an absolute story for me," she said.

CLEO ROCOS

Cleo Rocos
Actress Cleo Rocos is best known for her work with Kenny Everett on his legendary radio and television shows.

She became Miss Whiplash in his BBC One show in the early 1980s and more recently she appeared in the Channel 4 series Bo in the USA, a spin-off of Bo Selecta!

The 44-year-old, who was once kidnapped in Buenos Aires, is currently writing her own comedy series.

She thinks she will be the "most neurotically private person" in the Big Brother house.

KEN RUSSELL

Ken Russell
Film director Ken Russell is the oldest contestant to ever enter the Big Brother house.

The 79-year-old earned himself a reputation for making controversial films such as Women in Love and The Devils.

The highpoint of his career was having three films showing in the West End at the same time.

He wowed the Big Brother crowd by singing to them before host Davina McCall helped him into the house.

LEO SAYER

Leo Sayer
Pop singer Leo Sayer, famous for his curly hair, made a name for himself in the 1970s with several hits such as When I Need You.

He had 10 UK top 10 singles between 1973 and 1982.

The singer, who now lives in Australia, recently hit the top spot again with a remixed version of Thunder In My Heart, produced by DJ Meck.

The 58-year-old described the Big Brother house as "fun and challenging, like being trapped in a lift".

SHILPA SHETTY

Shilpa Shetty
Shilpa Shetty is an award-winning Bollywood actress in her native country of India.

She began acting as a teenager and was offered her first lead part in a film at the age of 17.

The 31-year-old, who says she has recently been described as an "Indian Angelina Jolie", has a black belt in karate.

When asked why she was taking part in Big Brother she said: "To clear out the misconceptions of Indian people."

DONNY TOURETTE

Donny Tourette

Donny Tourette is best known for fronting the band The Towers of London. They have supported Guns 'N Roses on tour.

Donny, 22, and his brother Dirk have been playing in bands together since they were in school. They recruited their fellow Tower band members in 2004.

The singer, who admits he has been arrested several times, has been romantically linked to Peaches Geldof.

On Big Brother, he said: "I imagine I'll have a good time when I'm in there."

IAN "H" WATKINS

Ian "H" Watkins

Singer Ian Watkins shot to stardom as a member of the band Steps, in which he was known as H.

When the group split in 2001, the 29-year-old studied musical theatre.

He has since worked in the West End, starring in musicals such Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

On the day he entered the Big Brother House Watkins revealed in a national newspaper that he was gay. He said: "I'm really proud of who I am and I just want everybody to know."


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