Published: Tuesday 5th January 2016 by The News Editor
Gemma Collins was the first star to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house as the latest series kicked off with a cruel twist for the contestants.
The Only Way Is Essex star joined Master of Ceremonies Emma Willis at the live launch of the Channel 5 show and was the first to be welcomed into the house, where everything from the beds to the kitchen to the pool had been locked away in crates.
The 34-year-old might be in for a shock, as Willis revealed the contestants will have to work to get their home comforts.
Collins had already declared herself “not a task type of girl – they’ll bore the s*** out of me”.
She was swiftly joined in the house by John Partridge, who played Christian Clarke in EastEnders.
The pair immediately looked for a drink, but were thwarted by the boxed-up luxuries.
They are the first of 16 celebrities to enter the vaudeville-themed house, which Willis called “essentially a warehouse” at this stage.
The contestants in this year’s CBB are:
:: US model and actress Angie Bowie, who was married to David Bowie until 1980. The 66-year-old famously published an updated version of her autobiography, Backstage Passes: Life On The Wild Side With David Bowie in 2000.
:: Former EastEnders actress Danniella Westbrook, who has played Samantha Mitchell in the soap on and off since 1990. Westbrook battled cocaine addiction and has spoken about her struggle in interviews. Appearing on Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC Two show in October 2015 to discuss domestic violence, she said: “Drugs will end up controlling your life. We all have our addictions one way.”
:: The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma Collins, who only lasted three days in the jungle during 2014’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! Her relationship with fellow Towie star James Argent (“Arg”) made headlines on numerous occasions until they broke up in 2012.
:: Nancy Dell’Olio, who found fame as ex-England football boss Sven-Goran Eriksson’s girlfriend. The 54-year-old competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2011.
:: Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff, who is currently dating rugby player Ben Cohen. She partnered Cohen when he appeared on the show in 2013. In last year’s show she partnered Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell.
:: Former X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney, who made the final of the show in 2012. Appearing on TV last year he admitted to having had over £60,000 worth of plastic surgery after online trolls mocked him about his looks, shattering his self-confidence.
:: Winston McKenzie, a former Ukip spokesman who is now the English Democrats’ candidate for London mayor.
:: Musicals star Darren Day, who is no stranger to reality TV. He appeared in I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! back in 2002.
:: Megan McKenna, who starred in MTV reality show Ex On The Beach. She auditioned as a singer on Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, but was unsuccessful.
:: Ex-Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis, who played Sinead O’Connor until last year. The Merseyside-based actress was sacked from the soap with “immediate effect” after storming off set. She was due to appear in I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! at the end of 2015 but due to a serious nut allergy could not go into the jungle.
:: Former EastEnders actor John Partridge, who starred as Christian Clarke from 2008 until he bowed out from the soap in 2012 – although he popped back in for the 30th anniversary special last year. He is also a big name in musical theatre and played Rum Tum Tugger in the official film production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats.
:: Geordie Shore star Scotty T, real name Scott Timlin. He will hope to emulate the success of his Geordie Shore cast mates Vicky Pattison (winner of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! 2015) and Charlotte Crosby (winner of Celebrity Big Brother 2013).
:: Former Mr Ireland Jeremy McConnell. The heavily-tattooed Irishman is great friends with former Big Brother housemate Marc O’Neill. According to his profile on his management website, he has “slept with all the models in Ireland” and “needs to find a new stomping ground”.
:: Jonathan Cheban, a close friend of Kim Kardashian and a regular on reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The public relations expert is the former CEO of CommandPR and the founder of luxury lifestyle website TheDishh.com.
:: Tiffany Pollard, best known for competing in US game show Flavour Of Love and reality series I Love New York. She has referred to herself as HBIC – Head Bitch In Charge – and also goes by the nickname New York.
:: American TV and stage producer David Gest, who appeared on the 2006 series of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! He was briefly married to Liza Minnelli and had a friendship with Michael Jackson and his brothers.
Ex EastEnders actress Westbrook looked stylish in a tight black suit as she became the third celebrity to enter the house – but her high heels came off before she even went down the house staircase.
“I’m so scared,” she said, as she clutched Willis’ hand.
Asked what the hardest thing in the house would be, she said: “Someone that sold a story on me that’s meant to be my mate.”
It was a thinly veiled reference to future housemate Christopher Maloney, famous for being an X Factor finalist, and a former friend of the actress.
Inside the house, she ran into the arms of her former castmate Partridge and immediately complained about missing her mobile phone.
Westbrook’s fears were realised when former X Factor contestant Maloney became the fourth contestant to walk into the house.
He was greeted with loud boos from the waiting crowds and chants of “Out, out, out.”
But the singer was nonplussed.
“It’s all panto, isn’t it?” he told Willis.
Inside, he gave a quick hug to Westbrook as they searched high and low for a key that might unlock a booze supply somewhere in the house.
Outspoken US reality TV star Pollard was the fifth to enter the house.
Wearing a tight black and white dress, she preened for the crowd before goading them with her words: “You’re going to have to boo me louder.”
“I’m ready to go and set the house in order and show them who the true HBIC is,” she told Willis.
“They let the beautiful people in first,” Pollard exclaimed when she was introduced to the other contestants.
Willis told viewers that the celebrities would soon be about to learn the twist in store for two of them: that they would be facing “a very uncomfortable night away in their very own private box”.
As well as the contents of the house being locked in crates, two contestants will be separated from the group to survive a night in a bare box without any home comforts.
Singer Day said he hoped to shrug off his “love rat” image in the house as he became the sixth celebrity to enter.
He blew a kiss to his wife as he spoke to Willis and told her “my heart is pounding in my head” as he struggled to cope with nerves.
He was followed by Ex on the Beach star McKenna.
In a recorded segment, McKenna explained her various claims to fame which included the reality show and a Twitter feud with singer Ellie Goulding.
“She thinks I’m mad and crazy – don’t know where she got that from,” McKenna said.
Asked how she controls her “inner psycho”, McKenna replied: “I just want to show people my nice side.”
Inside, she moaned to her fellow celebrities: “I was booed, they were booing me.”
Partridge reassured her: “Don’t worry, no one’s going to boo you in here.”
Published: Tuesday 5th January 2016 by The News Editor