Big Brother 5 is definitely more extreme this year. The walls of the house are covered in dildoes and coloured geometric shapes, making it look like a reject set from Barabarella. The contestants have a harsher regime - a loud bell rings until they all get out of bed every morning, they have to share beds and the toileting facilities offer little privacy. And the characters themselves are spikier. There are at least 6 characters who offer non-normative sexual/gender identities - one lesbian, two bisexual women, two gay men and one male-to-female transsexual. Characters seem to be chosen on the grounds that they will hate each other. Contestant number 1, Marco is a gay man who hates asylum seekers. Contestant number 2, Ahmed, is an asylum seeker who hates gay men and so on.
However, the most controversial character is Kitten - a writhing mass of -isms and chips on her shoulder. She's a radical feminist lesbian vegetarian, anti-globalisation anti-porn activist and that's for starters. As she made her way through the cheering crowds, it was clear she was looking for her girlfriend who was nowhere in sight. Kitten belligerently gave the V sign to everybody and then said she wasn't going in the house. The cheers turned to boos. Kitten looked murderous. Finally the girlfriend was produced and Kitten leapt over a barrier to snog her. With more V signs, she stormed into the house and then greeted everyone warmly, as if nothing had happened. Watching all of this made me frightened, especially for the thicko naked muscle man who had entered the house a few minutes earlier. Within the hour the other housemates were talking about hiding sharp objects. Kitten for Queen!