Reality Bites: Harry Styles and Caroline Flack might be over, but I’m glad CBB’s survived

Stuart Baggs laments Denise Welch's CBB win and lambasts the Americans for sending us rubbish reality TV contestants

From Seal and Heidi Klum to Harry Styles and Caroline Flack, it’s been a week of high-profile endings. While regrettably this didn’t extend to the demise of Piers Morgan by some form of public humiliation, it does at least mean that Kazza Flack can now finally put those Harry Styles rumours to bed… perhaps with a bedtime story and a glass of milk. 


From one young relationship to another, this week also saw the finale of Celebrity Big Brother, just two series old on Channel 5. However, at nine years of age in total, has the format become tired? Should it have stayed in the grave Channel 4 dug for it? Well, in a word, no. 

This series has been the best ever, excusing the obvious low point of Denise Welch exposing herself to the nation. We’ve had unprecedented levels of bitching and backstabbing, the essential ingredients of good reality TV. 

It also largely, for once, contained a genuine mix of real celebrities. However, in the same way Cadbury insists on including coffee chocolates in EVERY box of Milk Tray (why, Cadbury, why?), the producers of Big Brother insisted on including the equally bland Gareth Thomas. 

Gareth added nothing over the series, clinging onto third place by mopping up votes from those unable to appreciate anyone with an ounce of personality. Like the bread at an all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut buffet, he was surely just wasteful filler distracting from the almost limitless heavy main course. 

This left us with Frankie Cocozza v Denise Welch in the final. As regular readers will know, I’ve been a fan of Frankie from the off. He hasn’t yet become as self-absorbed as the majority of celebrities I meet (you know who you are), yet is still cheeky enough to try it on with not one but two Playboy Playmates! 

I was therefore gutted to learn that Denise had been crowned winner of Celebrity Big Brother 2012, leaving Frankie a lowly second. I have no doubt, however, that Frankie is not letting this setback prevent him from touring London’s nightclubs in search of unsuspecting females. 

Over, then, to Dancing on Ice, which this week featured a twist. As with strawberry vodka, sometimes a twist can be a good thing. Unfortunately, as Natalie Cassidy’s foray into exercise videos proved, it can also be an unwise addition to any programme and/or career. Luckily though, this week’s surprise skate-off between Jennifer Ellison and Sébastien Foucan didn’t leave a sour taste in my mouth. 

We’re a nation of sceptics, I know – and it’s often easy to assume everything on TV is faked. Having worked in the reality TV arena on both sides of the camera, I can assure you that it’s almost all real! It’s nice, therefore, to see the celebrities genuinely nervous at the prospect of being voted off a live TV show.

This week’s victim was American child star Corey Feldman, whose elimination was anything but a surprise. Corey having lost the skate-off against Charlene Tilton, the judges quite rightly took the gloves off when dressing him down for his shakily performed routine.

Although Charlene remains in the running, as yet, no American has managed to win a British reality TV show. However, perhaps if they want to change their fortunes, they should choose their next exports more wisely than they did when they sent Corey, Michael Madsen and the Shannon Twins?

Until next week,


The Brand