Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Celebrity Big Brother pulls in 5.8m viewers


Watch highlights from the opening programme of celebrity Big Brother.

The opening show of the last series of Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother drew Sunday evening's biggest TV audience, with 5.8m viewers.

It beat last year's launch show, which attracted an audience of 5.6m.

The reality TV programme also beat BBC One's Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh, which aired at the same time and was watched by 5.4m viewers.

Vinnie Jones is favourite to win the last series of Celebrity Big Brother, according to bookmaker Ladbrokes.

The footballer-turned-actor, one of 11 celebrities to enter the Big Brother house on Sunday night, has been made 5/2 favourite to win the show.

Others housemates include actor Stephen Baldwin, actress Stephanie Beacham and former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.

Vinnie Jones

The music world is represented by rap star Lady Sovereign, singers Sisqo and Dane Bowers and Swedish DJ Basshunter.

Cage fighter Alex Reid, glamour model Nicola T and Ekaterina Ivanova - the ex-girlfriend of Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood - complete the line-up.

Reid and Bowers, former member of boyband Another Level, are linked by their association with glamour model Katie Price, also known as Jordan.

Dire consequences

Minutes after arriving in the house, the celebrities were handed their first task.

It was revealed that a Mini had been parked in the garden and the contestants were invited to see how many of their number could squeeze inside.

The celebrities were warned that anyone who was not inside the car within five minutes would face dire consequences.

But the task was successfully completed with time to spare.

Big Brother staircase

Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams called former Wimbledon footballer Jones "the perfect Big Brother star".

"He's got attitude, personality and is likely to shake the house to its foundations," he added.

The bookmaker gave Bowers, Baldwin and Basshunter - real name Jonas Erik Altberg - 7/1 odds.

The celebrity series will be followed in the summer by the 11th, and final, instalment of the main Big Brother show.

A portion of proceeds from viewers' votes this year will be donated to the Comic Relief charity, benefactor of the first Celebrity Big Brother series.

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