Hit & Run: The egos have landed

'The ego," wrote Sigmund Freud, "is not a master in its own house." When scribbling these thoughts, could the father of psychoanalysis possibly have been predicting events in the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother?

After a self-imposed break, following Jade Goody's ill-judged comments, conflating a certain curry-house side-order with the name of a certain Bollywood star, "CBB" has returned to our screens with the usual heady mix of fruity presenters and bygone stars.

This year, Big Brother has cut straight to the chase of what makes the programme tick. In order to secure their first nominee for eviction, the producers entrusted Terry Christian's guppy-fish eyes to seek out which of his housemates has the biggest ego. In a house which roofs a bunch of such noted self-regarders, that would appear quite a task.

Take firebrand former socialist MP Tommy Sheridan, that well-honed self-publicist, who with all the spirit of a young William Wallace single-handedly took on the might of News of the World in the libel courts and won.

Joining Sheridan in the house is the rapper Coolio, whose contemporaries in the American music industry have taken diva-like demands to a new level. Who can forget the time when Jennifer Lopez reportedly arrived at one London hotel with suitcases in tow, demanding her suite be decked out with white lilies, white linen, and white curtains? Or Mariah Carey, who once insisted she be carried around on the set of her video after (the horror!) snapping of one of her stilettos.

There is also La Toya Jackson, whose brother Michael once insisted a room be specially built above a music studio to house his pet monkey, Bubbles. Whichever way you cut it, it seems that Terry Christian was as insightful as Freud himself when he replied: "We all have big egos – and low self-esteem. That's why we're in the business."

But does it have to be this way in Celeb land? Must ego and celebrity always skip merrily hand-in-hand through life's halls of fame?

We are told one of the biggest icons of the 20th century, Paul Newman eschewed such demands, preferring the quiet life with his wife, Joanne Woodward, and giving vast swathes of his fortune to charitable causes. Nor is there ever much fanfare in London at the arrival of George Clooney, Hollywood's leading leading man who, by all accounts, is perfectly capable of removing the brown M&Ms from the bowl himself.

No, egotism isn't rampant at the top. But on the "pay me £20,000 and I'll do it" level of fame, it's a different story. The joy of Celebrity Big Brother is its ability to strip away the surface, to relieve those who enter of the baggage they failed to leave at the door. So far, Terry Christian – like the rest of us – has little evidence on which to base his judgement of whose ego is the greatest. He named Ulrika Jonsson. Was he right? Stay tuned to find out. There's plenty of time yet to get beneath the contestants' skins. Vanessa Feltz came a cropper in 2001, when she unnervingly began scrawling random words on the dining table in a maniacal rage, followed the year after by Les Dennis, who sought solace from his crumbling marriage to Amanda Holden by privately conversing with the Big Brother House chickens. George Galloway was even reduced to behaving like a pet cat. Let the unmasking begin. Henry Deedes

Bored at work? Pull the left lever...

You get to your desk (assuming your pass still opens the door) to find a security guard waiting to escort you from the building lest you stash your flatscreen monitor alongside the kids' drawings and dusty bottle of bubbly – relics of better times. But then, in a parting act of defiance, you pull "eject" and shout "screw you!" as you rocket into the ether. Alas, the final insult: the firing mechanism has been removed from this B-52 bomber ejector seat office chair, made by US-based MotoArt (yours for $7,500). So, even if you wanted to escape, there'll be no parachute, golden or otherwise. Simon Usborne

Face to face with fraud

On Facebook, you can't believe everything you read. Take Fidel Castro's page, for instance. The picture looks about right, but this "Fidel" seems to be living in Croatia. As for "George W Bush" – well, if it's that George W Bush, then something strange has happened to the picture. And how many people called Hugo Chavez can there be?

Now, one world leader has decided to take a stand. Guyana's president Bharrat Jagdeo has asked his country's police to track down those behind a bogus Facebook page that bears his name. And here's the strange thing: it's not even a profile page, just an unofficial fansite. And what's more, this "fraudster" has attracted almost 200 supporters on Jagdeo's behalf. The real Jagdeo has issued a terse statement saying that he is not, and never has been, a member of this, or any other social networking site.

So what's his beef with Facebook? Is he missing the point? On Facebook, at least, a little light-hearted identity fraud can be a good thing. One of the hundreds of Tony Blairs on Facebook has a profile picture showing a young, snarling, wannabe politician caught with his eyes closed. Under "activities" is listed "war games", and under "favourite music" the work of Ugly Rumours, the band he fronted at university. Blair joins hundreds of bogus David Beckhams and Elvis Presleys, and dozens of people impersonating the Queen – whose religious views one wag describes simply as "I own the Church of England".

Besides, Jagdeo's impersonator was doing the opposite of ridiculing him – he was creating a fan page. Barack Obama's official Facebook fansite has 3,661,442 supporters. It hasn't done him any harm. Rob Sharp

Having your own hair is so over

Wigs are the latest crunch-busting trend. Sales of hair-pieces spiked over the festive season in Selfridges and Harrods. Could those who resent shelling out for highlights or extensions have changed their styling strategies? Why not go for a look that will never grow out, or need the roots dyed? Or buy several and change them like shoes. Forget joke-shop mullets, there are ranges by Raquel Welch and Jessica Simpson. During the Great Depression, women sold their hair: this time round, are we investing in other people's? Harriet Walker

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices