Channel 4 have released pictures of the new Celebrity Big Brother house.

Eleven well-known personalities will enter into the makeshift house for three-and –a-half weeks on Friday for the latest version of the hugely controversial show.

Only two years ago Channel 4 received an enormous number of complaints as well as a severe ticking off from broadcast watchdog Ofcom after airing the alleged race row involving Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty.

Such was the ferocity of the criticism aimed at Channel 4 that it decided not to send any celebrities into the infamous house last year, instead choosing to have them control members of the general public in the adapted Celebrity Hijack.

This year, however, the Channel 4 bosses are seemingly comfortable enough to allow the "stars" back into the Big Brother house once more.

And they appear to have been in a quite generous mood when designing their accommodation, after completely rebuilding the house following Rachel Rice's victory in the summer's Big Brother show.

This time round there are two bedrooms, one of "luxury", with plenty of gold trimming, comfy pillows, a walk-in wardrobe and - crucially for those divas who may enter the house – hair-straighteners, and a far more basic room with five beds and little else.

The biggest change this year is probably the removal of the pool/hot-tub in the garden. Instead the housemates have a giant circular bath in the communal bathroom, where no doubt the show's producers are hoping for a bit of scandal to boost the ratings.

Earlier this week, Channel 4 and Endemol bosses revealed to inthenews.co.uk that the show will see six women and five men enter the Big Brother house, so with five beds in the stripped-back bedroom and six in the luxury version, it will be interesting to see how the celebrities decided to divide themselves.

The show's producers also admitted a number of singletons will be entering the house on Friday, claiming there was always potential for romance on the show.

Rumours circulating this week suggest former TV presenter Ulrika Johnson may be entering the house, as may former Sugababe Mutya Buena, glamour model Lucy Pinder and Verne Troyer – the actor who played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers's films. Quite a spectrum of different characters.

In most aspects of the house the celebrities appear well catered for; the kitchen, for example, is fully stocked, if not slightly garish with its sharp angles and red colouring – although not quite as shocking as the golden figurines in the bathroom.

As always the diary room will be among people's main interests when checking out the new house. This year, the hallowed chair is a deep grey bubble of a seat that looks like an inflated version of something the members of the rock band Kiss may have in their front rooms.

For those celebrities who may worry they won't be able to cope without their personal trainers during the show, the Channel 4 bosses have added a couple of exercise bikes and dumbbells to allow the stars the opportunity to keep fit and perhaps burn off some aggression or pent up anger.

The exercise area's proximity to the dining table may irritate a few though - trying to eat while people are sweating and panting a metre away may prove quite taxing.

Apart from the removal of the pool, the main features in the garden this year are the designating smoking area – a giant ash tray with disturbing dolls' heads behind – and obviously the jail.

The show's bosses claim they will have no problems putting any celebrity that breaks the rules in the jail, no matter how cold it may be outside. The cage has a connecting toilet and a single "bed" but nothing else in it. Any celebrity that ends up in there will be extremely isolated and no doubt will become very lonely.

Channel 4 have said that this year's show will be all about "fun", making sure the stars in the Big Brother house have a good time while entertaining the viewing public. They insist the show won't be courting any kind of controversy this time round.

This, however, is the show that put Michael Barrymore and Dennis Rodman in the same room, the place where MP George Galloway lost all self respect and pretended to be a cat - in other words, this is the show where something bewildering and shocking almost always happens.


31/12/2008 00:01:00