Tuesday, August 2

#3: Where are they now? We catch up with seven of the former Big Blogger housemates.

For Grocerjack, Big Blogger was an ordeal that he is trying to forget. "It was awful!" he says. "All the noise, the constant activity, the blatant showing-off... I knew by Day Three that I had made a terrible mistake. Now, all I ask is to be left alone, away from the public eye, so that I can resume a normal life." But life has not always been easy for the reclusive shopkeeper. "I keep getting stopped in the street, by people who recognise me from the show. They all seem to want something from me - like I'm public property. Why can't they just leave me be? I'm even thinking of leaving the country for a few weeks, until the fuss dies down. So you can put that camera down right now, do you hear? Now, out of my shop!"

"Not lying. "Evict me!" Who can forget that immortal moment when Peter stood up to the might of Big Blogger, sacrificing his place in the house as he did so? Certainly not the thousands of people who voted it their favourite moment ever, in Channel 4's recent Top 100 Reality Blogging Moments Of All Time. ("It was, like, he's not! And then he did! Mental!" - Vernon Kay.) And for Peter, the phone has hardly stopped ringing since, as the media offers have come pouring in. "Such a giddy whirl," he smiles. "You couldn't make it up!" At the time of writing, rumours that Peter will be replacing Natasha Kaplinksy on BBC1's breakfast show could neither be confirmed nor denied.

It's the "must-have" gadget that has been flying off the shelves this summer: Clair's revolutionary (and totally organic) cat/toast cocktail shaker has taken the country by storm, with reports of scuffles breaking out at department stores as desperate punters squabble over the rapidly dwindling stock. A shrewd businesswoman, who looks set to become blogging's first ever millionaire, Clair now admits that her sole reason for entering the Big Blogger house was to promote her invention. "Winning was never my intention", she explains. "Getting the product to market while the recognition factor was still high, in order to maximise the return on my initial outlay, was always paramount."

Another former housemate who has successfully capitalised on his experience is the ever-controversial Dr Rob, whose self-help manual Wibble And Win! is now into its third print run in as many weeks. With his groundbreaking "Wibbling Workshop" support groups springing up in every major city, demand for the Doctor has been high - despite the growing groundswell of opposition to the movement. ("A duplicitous charlatan" - Germaine Greer. "Total crap!" - Julie Burchill.) When approached for a "soundbite" quote to accompany this piece, Dr Rob insisted that all of his remarks should be printed in full; regrettably, for reasons of space, we have been forced to excise his contribution.

For the past few weeks, it has been impossible to open a newspaper or periodical without encountering yet another opinion piece by Vicus Scurra, slamming the whole "reality blogging" phenomenon. ("Erudition shunned: why a learned gentleman had no place amidst the caterwauling vulgarity of the Big Blogger house." - Daily Telegraph. "This witless bedlam must cease!" - The Spectator. "I have seen Armageddon, and it has a comments box." - The Catholic Herald.) Speculation as to the income generated by these pieces has been rife, but reports have been emerging that Scurra will be seeking fees "in the region of five figures" on the after-dinner lecture circuit.

Despite the success enjoyed by so many of the housemates, Lady Luck has not smiled upon all of them. The case of The Girl has been particularly distressing, with the abrupt cancellation of various lucrative "glamour" modelling contracts (including the front covers of FHM, Maxim, Nuts and Zoo) in the wake of some shocking revelations from members of her family. ("STILL A VIRGIN! BB'S SAUCY GIRL RAPPED BY OWN MUM." - The Mirror. "A DEVOUT CHURCHGOER WHO IS SAVING HERSELF FOR HER WEDDING NIGHT" - Daily Mail. "KILLJOY GIRL KEEPS TITS UNDER WRAPS!" - The Star.)

But perhaps the saddest story of all belongs to Zoe, the former Golden Girl of European blogging, who has been so badly traumatised by her shock eviction from the house that she has started a desperate "Vigil For Justice" outside the offices of the production company, sleeping rough at night and living off donations from sympathetic readers of her weblog. "I know where you all LIVE!", she snarls, before taking another hefty glug from her third bottle of Piat D'Or. "And I'm coming to get you, each and every one... yer BASHTARDS!"

And what fate awaits Vitriolica this year's eventual winner, whoever it might be? Riches or ruination? Immortality or ignominy? Easy Street or Desolation Row? Crowning glory or poisoned chalice? Time alone will tell.


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