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Oh look, Big Brother's back
With secret celebs and golden tickets too
Tech Digest Can we get the Big Brother stuff out of the way first, please? At the time of writing, the wily eBayer who’s flogging a BB Golden Ticket out of a KitKat that he hasn't bought yet has seen bids shoot to £1.67. Hey, don’t laugh. You can get two KitKat Chunky three-packs for that.
Meanwhile in Elstree, the BB house has been swept for bugging devices planted by betting syndicates. None were found, of course. Betting Mafiosi are too busy preparing for Celebrity X Factor, which will be watched by about six times as many people as BB.
But never mind the ratings: BB remains an advertising cash cow, so it’s spawned more spin-offs than an amoeba that's been dividing since the birth of Jesus. New this year is Big Brother's Big Brain, for which Dermot O'Leary and his guest psychologists tell us exactly which inmates will sleep with each other, just from looking. Isn’t science marvellous?
More dregs sucked from the cow include BB's Big Mouth, Diary Room Uncut, BB: The Love Stories (shudder) and BB's Top 50 Housemates. Top 50? Soon BB will have more exes than Darren Day. We'll have to build a whole island for them, like Alcatraz. Or maybe the Falklands.
Anyway, Big Brother 7 starts on Thursday 18 May, if you care. And it never, ever ends.
Another irritant about to become ubiquitous on your TV, browser, digital radio (etc ad infinitum) is Digit Al, a cartoon robot voiced by Matt Lucas. Digit Al, whose name was dreamed up after many months' graft by highly-paid branding creatives, will spend the next seven years reminding you to switch to digital telly. Screaming "I got digital in 1999, you patronising cretins" won't make him go away. He even airs on More4, which you can't see unless you've already got digital. Digital Al has cost the taxpayer a mere £200m. Just so you know, you can get 117 million KitKat Chunky three-packs for that.
Postscript: Apologies for such a distressing issue of Geek TV. This’ll cheer you up: the goody bag given to last week’s Bafta nominees included jewellery – from televised tat-shop QVC. So if Billie's ears look a bit mouldy during your next freeze-frame session, you’ll know why.
Five to watch this week:
Saturday: Doctor Who, BBC1, 7pm
This week’s “it’s that bloke” is Roger Lloyd Pack, aka Trigger off Only Fools. You might also recognise the robots with Princess Leia-shaped heads.
Saturday: Time Shift: Machine Men, BBC4, 8.15pm
Beeb Four rounds up history’s greatest real and fictional ‘bots, ‘droids and ‘borgs.
Sunday: 24, Sky One, 9pm
At 10am you’re still prising your eyelids open with a Red Bull ringpull, but CTU chief Henderson has already done a whole kidnap. Incidentally, Kiefer Sutherland told Jonathan Ross last week that the 24 movie will be shot in London.
Monday: Inside Wayne Rooney, Sky One, 9pm
Sciencey look at Sven’s kicking machine as he prepares to . . . oh. Nice idea, though, eh?
Thursday: Bring Back The A-Team, C4, 10.15pm
Hairy comic Justin Lee Collins is on a mission to reassemble the 80s TV heroes. He might have a job getting George Peppard to turn up, since he’s been dead for 12 years. Will his plan come together?