Celebrity Big Brother by numbers

How many celebrities can you fit in a Mini? How tall is Verne Troyer? Paul Jones answers the big questions...

As the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother draws to a febrile finish on Channel 5 tonight, here are ten vital statistics from its 11 year history…


1… non-celebrity housemate.

The cynical among you might argue that quite often the contestants don’t live up to the title of celebrity, but Chantelle Houghton (pictured, above) is the only official non-celeb to have served as a housemate. Chantelle not only took part (successfully blending in with the genuine articles), she won – a triumph for the little people (non-celebrities, not leprechauns)

2…  sets of identical twins have been housemates since the series began.

We had Jedward in 2011 and Playboy Playmates Kristina and Karissa Shannon in 2012. In fact, thus far, Channel 5 hasn’t produced a series not involving twins. Is this to be a constant feature from now on? Only time will tell – but The Proclaimers are waiting by the phone…

5… celebrity walkers.

Germaine Greer, Leo Sayer, Ken Russell, Donny Tourette and Mutya Buena all quit the house before they could be evicted, citing reasons including bullying (by both housemates and the show’s producers), a lack of clean underwear and, in more than one case, Jade Goody…

7 (or 8*)… housemates gained their celebrity status via another reality show.

Jade Goody was the first, having made her name in series three of BB proper before returning for the ill-fated race-row series of CBB. Between then and 2010 there were no further reality stars involved. But in the two series presided over by Channel 5 (and, arguably, since reality formats have proliferated) six (or seven*) more housemates have begun their celebrity lives on other reality shows.

Amy Childs and Kirk Norcross made their names on The Only Way Is Essex, Jedward* and Frankie Cocozza were spawned by The X Factor, Paddy Doherty rose to fame in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Andrew Stone was in Pineapple Dance Studios.

8… days. The length of the shortest Celebrity Big Brother – series one.

Hardly an ordeal, you’d think, but such was the effect it had on surly comic Jack Dee that by the second day he’d already broken out of the house, and after the show finished he refused to let any footage of himself be broadcast. And he was the winner…

9… series of the show so far.

Seven on Channel 4, two on Channel 5. Richard Desmond’s initial deal with format owners Endemol lasts just two years, so beyond 2013, CBB’s fate is uncertain.

12… Answer to the question: “How many celebrities can you fit in a Mini?”

The entire complement of housemates managed the task during the series seven launch, winning themselves two bottles of champagne in the process.

81… The height in centimetres of the shortest ever CBB housemate.

Verne Troyer – known to many as Dr Evil’s sidekick, Mini-Me, in the Austin Powers films – was also one of the biggest stars of series six.

91… Celebrity Big Brother housemates in total across the nine series.

5,800,000… The highest average viewers per episode for a series of Celebrity Big Brother.

That was for the first in 2001 – it’s been downhill from there…


Celebrity Big Brother: Live Final is tonight at 9pm on Channel 5