Mahiki, Oxfam, Germany: the list of places I’m banned from is as depressing as it is diverse. Why, you might ask? Well according to my girlfriend, I’m a liability and cannot be taken anywhere without causing large scale offence.
Imagine a Frankenstein’s-entertainment-monster of Frankie Boyle’s sense of humour with the tact of the Duke of Edinburgh – hello, my name is Stuart Baggs The Brand™.
Unfortunately my unique charms seem to result in a great number of invitations to glitzy press launches and celebrity parties being lost in the post.
Imagine then my surprise at being invited to the launch of Big Brother 2012. An epic 3-month BB Bonanza starting on 5 June.
Now in the interests of full disclosure, I already have a good relationship with the team up at Big Brother (although it still took RadioTimes.com to get me in the house). I’ve appeared (in various guises) on Bit on the Side over the past few series, made a few VTs and even prompted Ofcom complaints for my cutting sense of humour and opinions on American foreign affairs policy.
This however should have served as a warning to the Big Brother team that I simply cannot be trusted to behave myself. Seemingly, they hadn’t got the message.
Upon arrival at Elstree Studios (the home to the Big Brother House and also the BBC’s big money all-singing – and some dancing – entertainment format The Voice), I decided to park in Jessie J’s space as an act of revenge for all that whining every weekend.
Security clearance issued (there’s a first time for everything), I was allowed into the “house” for a tour of what is essentially the most luxurious prison in the world. And double dip recession or not, this year the producers have gone all out. (I hope you appreciated my business-related reference there. Never forget your roots).
Themed like a Las Vegas show bar, the house is complete with 1960’s style wallpaper, backstage area (known to normal folk like us as a bedroom) and from what I could tell… only a single toilet. Is Big Brother planning on new ways of torturing this years housemates? Standing at the back of the toilet queue at 9am sounds as appealing as sharing the last ration pack on a desert island with Vanessa Feltz.
Canapés and nibbles completed, I was expecting to leave the Big Brother house riding a wave of Big Brother-induced euphoria, but also with my clothes and dignity (well, what’s left of it) intact. Alas, Big Brother had different plans.
Cue then a call to the iconic Diary Room where Big Brother had set me and a fellow media type a task – to locate a small token in a pile of white powder… BB really knows how to throw a party!
Succeed and a bottle of champagne was ours for the group to share, fail and I’d prove Lord Sugar (and my editor at RadioTimes.com) right; I am indeed entirely useless.
What followed was an un-broadcastable flour fight, during which I lost track of the actual task and any hopes of the chilled fizz on offer.
I’d often wondered if Big Brother is capable of expressing any emotions, after all BB always seems so calm and collected with the housemates. After ensuring they’ll be hoovering flour from the diary room for many weeks to come, Big Brother got very annoyed with me and asked me to leave the Diary Room immediately. Worried I might get sent to Room 101, for once I did what I was told.
This brings me back to my original point (finally). Banned from nightclubs, fired from The Apprentice and now evicted from the Big Brother house before I even had a chance to be a housemate, perhaps I should stick to my day job. Alas, if only I had one.
Until next time, Stuart Baggs ‘The Banned’