Going, going, gone: Greer takes reality check and walks out on 'Big Brother'

She famously waxed lyrical on the "voyeurs" foolish enough to get drawn into the squalid world of reality television.

She famously waxed lyrical on the "voyeurs" foolish enough to get drawn into the squalid world of reality television.

The fact that Germaine Greer went on to take centre stage in a reality television show failed to temper the critical tone of her comments. But it appears that Greer, the feminist writer, critic and academic, has learnt the hard way that there may have been some truth in her original musings.

Yesterday, her diatribe against reality television came back to haunt her as she walked out of the Celebrity Big Brother house after enduring only six days in residence. And despite admitting to feeling embarrassed, annoyed and "an extent of humiliation", she wasted no time in launching a harsh critique of the "shambles" of a show.

Comparing its techniques to the regime of a fascist prison, she condemned the show's apparent encouragement of "bullying" housemates.

Eyebrows were raised when Greer appeared alongside staple reality television characters such as Caprice Bourret, the model, Brigitte Nielsen, the actress, the boy band member Kenzie, and the horseracing pundit, John McCririck.

Yesterday, Greer was in no doubt that the whole charade was little more than a "mistake" that was likely to haunt her long after the end of the show. Announcing her decision to leave, she said: "I was a little naïve. I didn't realise agendas. Caprice is here to raise awareness of her lingerie. Brigitte is a professional reality TV person. Kenzie wants to raise the profile of his band. John probably needs the money."

She added: "I had no idea who would be in here and it's wrong for me to present myself in the same context as they are. I'm 65 and you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I don't need the money badly enough, the rainforest will be fine - I'll save it in other ways."

There was no denying that Greer had apparently been fully versed in the codes of behaviour of reality television. Three years ago, she wrote: "Watching Big Brother is about as dignified as looking through the keyhole in your teenage child's bedroom door. To do so occasionally would be shameful; to get hooked on it is downright depraved."

The involvement of the author of The Female Eunuch , a former Professor of English at Warwick University, launched a flood of criticism from other feminists and critics. But she was strongly backed by Janet Street-Porter, a columnist with The Independent , who recently appeared on another reality TV show: I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and who said Greer was striking another blow for feisty middle-aged women.

Despite her reputation as a serious academic, Greer has always had a more outrageous side. In the past she has posed naked and written extensively about sex; she warned the programme beforehand that she preferred not to wear any underwear and tried to persuade all the contestants to stage a naked protest.

Her decision to leave came after six days of unremarkable conversations among housemates with the occasional indignant outburst at the self-styled chauvinist McCririck.

While her arrival and departure were in keeping with her unpredictable persona, it was clear that she had reached the limit of her tolerance levels.

Speaking later in an interview with the spin-off show Big Brother's Little Brother , she said: "I feel a bit upset about it, I would rather have stuck it out and got evicted in due course," she said. "The thing that's important to me is that I manage to keep my sanity."

But it emerged last night that Greer had left a positive mark on the most unexpected of housemates. McCririck, who originally clashed with Greer, said he had "never changed my mind about someone so much. She's been fantastic, absolutely incredible".

A PROFESSOR'S MUSINGS

* "I am 65 years old and supposed to be a pensioner. I've got to strike a blow for the old ladies."

* "It's going to be so hard for me to remember that I'm supposed to have my bits covered."

* "There's a revolution going on. I will give you Big Brother's balls for breakfast."

* "Why don't we take off our clothes and sit here naked?"

* To Caprice: "Is there anyone you don't think is lovely?"

* On John McCririck: "He is constantly clamouring for attention, and that, in a grown man, is sad."

* "Every now and then you hear a car horn outside and you realise there are people out there getting on with their lives, making love."

* Defending Caprice to McCririck: "For f***s sake John, leave the woman alone. You know sweet f**k all about her."

* On McCririck's underpants: "They've got a funny knit-thing happening ... If you had to have not-sexy underpants, you'd choose these."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm - London

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea