Thursday, 26 July 2007


There was a lovely moment on UK Big Brother the other night where one of the housemates, Ziggy, was briefly reunited with his dog, which he had not seen for more than 8 weeks. The dog - a shar pei that resembled its owner in no small way - was a bit nervous at first, but was soon licking him and couldn't have been more enthusiastic if it had suddenly learned to speak and shouted, "It's you! I've missed you so much!" This got me wondering whether the scenario would have been quite the same if I'd been in the Big Brother house and was treated to a reunion with one of my six cats. I see it panning out a little like this:

Narrator: "Deeeay 60. 9.31 pm. Charley is in the bedroom, gurning at the mirror in an unflattering manner. Chanelle is in the living room, throwing one of her tantrums that you can't hold against her because they have all the openness and lack of conceit of a tantrum from a four year-old. Tom is in the living room, wondering how he can go another day without reading a book, eating a fizzy sweet or watching Big Brother."

Big Brother: "Could Tom come to the diary room, please?"

Me (arriving in diary room): "Hi Big Brother. How's it going? Could you please tell Charley to stop saying 'I'm not being funny' and going on about the virtues of 'saying something to someone's face'?"

BIg Brother: "Tom. As a special reward for passing this week's Dressing Up In Silly Clothes And Leaping On Sofas Like A Moron task, you are to take part in a special Big Brother show called One Man And His Cat."

Me: "No. What are you saying here, Big Brother? No. It can't be."

BB: "Tom, please could you make your way to the garden."

Me (spotting Delawney on the lawn, cleaning his arse next to a Crufts-style assault course): "No! Delawney! Is that really you? I can't take it!"

Charley: "That cat thinks it's fucking Posh Spice, but it ain't as good looking as me."

Me (approaching Delawney): "Delawney. It's me."

Delawney begins to clean bottom more thoroughly.

Me (doing my special whistle): "Come on Delawney. Don't be like that. Just because I haven't given you any wafer thin ham for two months, it doesn't mean you have to ignore me. Don't show me up. This is national television!"

Delawney's cleaning now moves on to his claws, between which he seems to have got something unusually adhesive trapped. He still has not turned around in my direction.

The Big Brother editing team cut to Amanda in the bathroom, who is straightening her hair for the thirteenth time that day.

The Big Brother editing team cut back to Delawney, who continues to focus on his claws and is now making snuffling noises, whilst turned away from me. The last shot of the night shows me looking on, a single tear rolling down my cheek, as Delawney settles down to sleep on the Big Brother sofa.

Dynamite television, I think you'll agree! And possibly yet more evidence that this series of Big Brother and the current nonsummer is making me spend too much time indoors. (You know you've got problems when you start trying to work out which one of your cats would be which BB contestant in a hypothetical Cat Big Brother situation*.)

* Janet would definitely be Brian, by the way: