Bye bye big bro

It’s only a game show. True say, but I’ve bloody loved Big Bro. I could wibble on for hours about the highs and lows, but instead, take a trip with me down memory lane and let’s explore the best and worst fashion this incredible series has coughed up…

In series 1 no one knew what to expect – and we certainly didn’t expect Melanie Hill’s centrally-parted corkscrew do. Or shaven-headed Nichola’s nudity. Shudder.

Although she was the first evictee, Sada (you must say this name in BB1 winner and DIY champion Craig’s accent) had some cracking turn of the century bo-ho chic going on. Just a shame about those annoying yoga poses in the garden…

Imho, series 2 was the bestest. I threw my first Big Brother party and when lovely Brian won it, I popped my champagne cork and went on a mad rampage in the communal garden. I think I actually dived into a bush with glee.

Fashion-wise, series 2 wasn’t vintage. Bless Helen Adams, with her blinking – she was hardly a couture icon. And Narinder. Oh, Narinder. She looked so lovely in traditional Indian dress but couldn’t keep her bits and boobs to herself. Once she got out of the house all hell was let loose in terms of fashion. Or lack of it. Sorry, Narinder (left – crrrringe). You were Big Bro fashion road kill.

In series 3, winner Kate Lawler was another one who couldn’t keep her
charms to herself once she left the house. She caused a surge in the popularity of ladette fashion, Wonderbras and crop tops. I don’t want to scare you, but I have to force you to revisit that hideous outfit she wore to exit the house as BB champion….see right and squint if you can’t bear to see the full horror (and what was Davina thinking??)

Then there was the delish Alex Sibley. Good beard. And he wore a shirt (and unbuttoned one) very well.

But series 3 really belonged to the late Jade Goody. Jade was one of those rare breeds of fashion chameleon who could look amazing or absolutely dreadful from one month to the next.

But good old Jade always put her character into her outfit choices, whether she was lounging around on that gold diary room chair in motif PJs (who mentioned PJ??) or rocking up a storm on her exit night in the pink, satin monstrosity that kept falling down and wouldn’t have worked on anyone else in the entire world. I chose the pic to the left because I too own that gold Topshop dress – proof that she can’t have been a complete fashion disaster.

In spite of her many flaws, Jade really was the face of Big Brother and it will be weird not to see her there at the finale.

Series 4…I think I slept through. Did anyone wear anything interesting? No. Didn’t think so.

Series 5 was fashionably fantastic. From Kitten’s unfathomable sailor outfit (!) to Nadia and Michelle’s low cut (or no cut) bust-offs, the clothes (and the straighteners) came to the fore. As did the prospect of magazine deals, which ultimately sounded the death knell for the show.

But while she was in the house – and when she came out – Nadia totally proved that you don’t have to be born a woman to become a pretty fashionable one. I was sad to hear that her Ultimate BB appearance went so awry and that she’s been having such massive problems since – hope she finds her mojo soon enough and is back to her best bust-tastic self (above right).

For me series 6 was dominated not by Makosi’s phantom pregnancy, but by stalker Craig’s green Converse. Remember them? I bought me a pair and am still rocking them today. I think watching Craig pursue Anthony in them every night had some kind of hypnotic effect on me.

Besides Craig’s footwear, there were Orlaith’s fruitful attempts to attract FHM and Kinga’s bottle (ewwwww!).

But there’s no other contender for the fashion crown – Kemal was the greatest. Like a pint-sized Mika (have they been seen in the same room at the same time?) his eccentric, Bollywood-worthy fashion choices were inspired. He rocked a bhindi like no one else. I will always remember him by his entrance (above left) and eviction (above right) outfits. Genius.

Series 7 was another good year. Who is she? Etc. The girls battled hard for the fashion crown – Grace with her neck scarf and Nikki with her ill-advised bunny girl outfit.

But for me, a boy trumped the ladies again. I loved Pete’s alternative look – but then I’m partial to a punky-indie boy. Finger-less gloves, eye make up and shouting ‘wankers’ will get me every time.

Any series with a ‘Posh lookalike’ is unlikely to grab me unless afore mentioned clone can actually dress herself. Sadly, in series 8, Chanelle let the nation down – and went down on Ziggy (or something) instead.

Still there was Samanda’s girly-twirly-extravaganza to feast your eyes upon. And if that didn’t make you blind, remember Tracey (left) with her pink hair and piercings. All she’s missing is a dog on a string but I’m sure she’s rectified that now. Not a good BB year for fashion.

Series 9 was another dreadful one. Rex? Darnell? Rachel? Zzzzzzz.

No one watched series 10. Except me. I loved it because it was like cult viewing again. Less water-cooler conversation, more under the desk dirty pleasure.

There was Norin who had a sexy way about her, some decent dresses, and a bewitching effect on all the men in the house. Then there was Marcus, the Wolverine lookalike. Does it get any better? Well, actually yes, Siavash, who looked boss in a suit, had the loveliest long hair and did strange things with his beard. Brilliant.

Bestest of all was creepy Kris (right), who was an utter knob, but looked amazing. Even better than Alex Sibley (although it’s a close call).

Kris was like a made to order hunk for the Fashion Detective, from his curly hair and his neat beard to his draped neck jumper and skinny jeans. Cor. And boy, did he look good in a suit and t-shirt….

And so we come to the final BB. Fashion-wise, series 11 wasn’t setting the world on fire, although I respect Josie’s choices in the maxi dress and trilby hat department.

As for Ultimate BB, well Makosi needs that hair sorting out (not to mention the comedy breasts), Nikki and Chantelle are getting slightly better at putting clothes on in an acceptable manner, but could give it a bit more work, and Vanessa Feltz wants to re-think her Pat Butcher earrings after Nikki got stuck to one during a tender chat (read: intensive interview).

In the end, there’s only one ultimate winner for me – that’ll be Brian. He always looks good, with safe but sturdy fashion choices, and he is still so lovely all these years later. Plus, I want his military jacket. Let’s hope I’m popping my cork for him again tonight.

Ta-ta Big Bro. I’ll miss you.

Brian: good jacket

Written by Johanna Payton