C4 Big Brother doc: The Reality Star that Changed Britain


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Not sure if this is out there yet via the usual sources but last night C4, the original Big Brother UK broadcaster, began a three-part documentary called Jade Goody: The Reality Star that Changed Britain.

A quick reminder that Jade was a housemate in BB3 back in 2002, one who very much divided the viewers. She was vilified in the press, but innocent enough really (she was stupid rather than mean) and finished 4th. She then went on to become a major breakout star of the show, getting her own reality shows and becoming famous enough to be invited to do Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. And then it all went wrong - she was involved in the infamous race row with Shilpa Shetty, which became so serious there was no crowd at her eviction (and the show got 50,000 complaints about it). It then took a tragic turn as she went on to the Indian version of BB (to prove she wasn't racist, and I think Shilpa was hosting it) and whilst there she found out she had cancer, and tragically she died a couple of years later.

Now I was going to give this a miss as I was never a fan of Jade and more specifically the type of "celebrity" she came to represent, but by all accounts the first episode was a major nostalgia fest, with contributions from original host Davina McCall and Little Brother host Dermot O'Leary, plus various Big Brother and C4 execs, and it being as much about the show as about Jade. I'll watch it on catch up at some point, but the show has given fans hope that perhaps C4 isn't quite done with Big Brother yet and would be open to it returning. Already it is noticeable people are overlooking the C5 era when reminising about the show - for true fans Big Brother ended when it ended on C4 back in 2010.
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Can't recommend the first two episodes of this highly enough for any BBUK fans from the classic C4 era. Although framed around Jade it really is all about the show and how it created a star out of an ordinary working class girl - then how it all went wrong when she returned into Celeb BB. It's a brilliantly made documentary with really insightful contributions from Davina, Dermot and the big executive producers of the early years - and the second episode concentrating on the race row not only reminds us how big a national and international story that became in Britain, but reveals much more about the motivations behind the twist of Jade returning, the casting of that season and the big Masters and Servants twist which kind of lit the touchpaper to the rows that followed.


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It's funny because I was thinking about CBB and Leo Sayer breaking out of the house, not even realising it was the same CBB that Jade was on, and thinking I must look for that because that was so good, and then you brought up this show went and I downloaded that, completely saving me the trouble. #bizarrecoincidences #spooky