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Celebrity Big Brother (5) Is Back!

Well, it will be on the 3rd of January 2006, when another bunch of (inevitably) z-list celebrities agree to have their life run by the all-seeing entity for a while.

This short-format version of Big Brother started-out as a spin-off of Comic Relief, with mischievous comedian Jack Dee pretending to tunnel-out and Vanessa Feltz going nuts and becoming the first person to tell Big Bro to 'eff off!

There were rather less memorable moments during the second series though, when the most controversial character (Goldie) got voted-out first, Les Dennis' marriage seemed to fall apart before our eyes, and the series was eventually won by all-round nice bloke, Mark Owen.

But things pepped-up for the third instalment, where mouthy feminist Germaine Greer quit early-on, confirmed slob John McCririck ate his own bogies and was unbelievably chauvinistic, sexist and bigoted, and the series was won (for some reason) by Happy Mondays maraca-man, Bez.

The most memorable bit, however, was the surprise arrival of Jackie ("Yeah, Jackie!") Stallone. Along with fellow contestants Kenzie and Jeremy Edwards, we absolutely killed ourselves laughing when the ancient celebrity Mum walked into a wall in the middle of the night. Oof!

And who could forget the most recent Celebrity BB, which saw fallen TV star Michael Barrymore mumbling his way through, Pete Burns displaying dress sense as shocking as his huge lips, and non-celeb housemate Chantelle Houghton managing to dupe the real celebs and 'pull' Preston in the process.

But the image most etched in our minds is that of controversial MP George Galloway donning a skin-tight red leotard, running in slow motion and playing the part of Rula Lenska's pet cat. Like you do.

"Would you like me to be the cat?" Arrgh, we're still receiving counselling almost a year on!

The new series will last for at least 3 weeks again; the previous four series have lasted for 8, 10, 18 and 23 days respectively. And although it will doubtless receive a major overhaul for Big Brother 8 next summer, Elstree’s most famous house has been moderately re-designed for CBB5.

But what fans really want to know is: which celebrities have been crazy enough to sign-up? Well, many names have been bandied-about so far, including Rolf Harris, Ruby Wax, David Hasselhoff, Sarah Harding, Paul Michael Glaser and, somewhat bizarrely, Stephen Hawking.

Not that we think a disabled person couldn't or shouldn't be on the show, it's just that we imagine an expert in cosmology and quantum gravity such as Professor Hawking has better things to do!

Those who've almost certainly signed-up for Celebrity Big Brother 5 in 2007 are Dirk Benedict, aka 'Face' from The A-Team, and Wacko Jacko's biggest fan (not!) Muhammad Abdul Aziz, otherwise known as his brother Jermaine Jackson.

Whoever it turns out to be, there are rumours that the producers might try and implement some kind of 'Brits versus Yanks' theme, but we'll just have to wait until the New Year to find out. They're certainly planning some big surprises this time around, or so they say.

Celebrity Big Brother 5 launches on Wednesday the 3rd of January 2007 at 8pm on Channel 4. Don’t forget to pop back and enjoy our coverage of the show, and maybe participate in our fun Discussion Forum?

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