Will anyone at all lift a phone and make a premium-rate call to “save” Winston McKenzie? Follow our live blog, where STEVEN DOWNES is looking forward to having to watch Celebrity Big Brother for one last time
The moment of truth for “The Chump from the Dump” has arrived.
One of three housemates nominated for eviction in tonight’s live show, Winston McKenzie, the perpetual political loser could, for once, actually win an election. Or maybe not.
In classic Winston style, the wannabe politician, a former leading UKIP member, now standing for the English Democrats in the London Mayoral elections in May, has managed to make an already bad situation worse.
His dirty old man act, as shown on the Channel 5 programme on Thursday, with him pawing at one woman housemate and leching at another, so discomforted Nancy Dell’Olio, one of the other 15 in the house, that she’s asked to change beds with other housemates to try to avoid McKenzie’s constant gaze.
“He’s a nice person, Winston, it’s just that I feel uncomfortable with him staring at me, and I was particularly nervous about the situation about the bed,” Dell’Olio said when in the confessional of the diary room.
McKenzie even got a summons to the diary room himself, where he was reminded of the rules. He got a warning about his behaviour towards the women in the house and was told “to respect people’s privacy and personal space and to avoid any behaviour which could be seen as sexist or lascivious”. You could tell from McKenzie’s reaction that he had little idea what his warning meant.
“I’m shocked,” was his first offering. According to McKenzie, it was Dell’Olio’s fault for getting dressed close to him… And he came out of the diary room punching.
By the start of tonight’s broadcast, the crowd outside the house were baying, “Get Winston Out!”. Calls for McKenzie’s eviction, aired by his local MP, Croydon North’s Steve Reed OBE, have even been backed up with its own hashtag on social media. McKenzie’s champagne-guzzling life as a low-rent TV celebrity is surely coming to an end.
But then, the audience was told that they are “in for a shock”, as “Big Brother stirs it up”. Will the producers offer McKenzie some sort of ill-deserved life line?
9.44pm: Voting is closed. Just before the programme shows the big reveal to the housemates – in a recording from Thursday night – in which McKenzie is outed as having said that he had compared adoption by same sex couples as “child abuse”. McKenzie justified himself by blaming the press. Like you do.
The rest of the housemates were clearly shocked by McKenzie’s admission and his odd justification.
“I don’t hate nobody,” he said. “I’m not homophobic.”“With every fibre of my being, I can’t understand you,” said John Partridge, the actor and an openly gay housemate, as he explained that, as a result of the task, McKenzie would not be getting his suitcase back.
Angie Bowie was clearly furious. “I’m not tolerating that crap,” she said. “If he comes within 10 feet of me, it’s over. My fucking eyes nearly popped out of my head. And I knew it was him.
“It’s not like anyone else in there would say such a stupid thing… What was he all the time? A little mincing, fucking stereotypical straight asshole hiding behind that it’s a Christian belief.
“You can suck my big one,” she yelled, Banshee-like.
9.55pm: Emma Willis, the show’s presenter, announces to the house that the contestant with the most votes is… Kristina Rihanoff, the Strictly Come Dancing performer. Or now ex-performer (this is Non-Celebrity Big Brother, after all). Rihanoff’s announcement about her pregnancy yesterday was clearly well-timed…
It means, though, that McKenzie has now lost yet another vote.
And Willis reveals the “twist”. At half-past 10, they will return to the show, when McKenzie and Dell’Olio, the third nominee, will face a vote-off with the other 14 housemates. Mano e mano, as a boxer might say.
10.34pm: And we’re back.
Why the twist? Could the producers have a soft spot for Croydon’s least successful politician? Might they want to prolong the embarrassment?
In all probability, we reckon, it’s to provoke discontent and disharmony in the house once whoever gets their marching orders goes. After all, can you imagine Angie Bowie’s reaction towards anyone who might want McKenzie to stay?
10.42pm: And the result from the Borehamwood jury is in.
McKenzie really has, for once, got an overwhelming majority. The confrontation, as one after another, the housemates rejected McKenzie and his homophobic views, was clearly a very humbling experience for the one-time failed boxer. He could not roll with these punches. As he walked away, he looked devastated.
Only a tattooed Irish model, Jeremy McConnell, voted in favour of McKenzie staying. Good luck with Ms Bowie, fella.
“I don’t respect you and that disgusted me too,” Partridge said in delivering his verdict.
10.50pm: McKenzie takes to the chair for his post-eviction interview, and is far more coherent than he has been for many a year when on the election trail. His usual bluster has been stripped away, his “act”, the Winston “Man of the People” BS has been put to one side.
What was it like having all but one of the housemates vote for you to leave tonight? “People are entitled to their opinions,” said McKenzie, speaking with the experience of a man who has stood in elections for six different political parties, and as an independent, and never won once.
“I’m being portrayed as a people hater. I’ve read it. And there are people who are gay and have fought for their rights and they’ve gained them. So I have nothing against them.”
McKenzie’s “child abuse” comment was raised with him by Willis. “I’m a Christian,” was his initial excuse.
“I expressed my feelings at the time. It doesn’t mean to say that I am one to tell someone who wants to adopt a child and look after them and bring them up in a loving family that they can’t,” McKenzie said.
This represents something of a turn round for McKenzie.But he was not really going to go back on what he calls “my heart-felt feelings”, and what most of society regards as his ignorance.
In the three years since he likened same-sex adoption to child abuse, when he was contesting the Croydon North by-election on behalf of UKIP (and not a General Election, as McKenzie said tonight), he has had other party officials apologise for him, and had horse manure dumped on his doorstep by gay protesters angered by his comments. But he has never once apologised, nor back-tracked as he appeared to begin to do after his chastening experience before the Celebrity Big Brother shaming squad.
He was soon back to his normal manner, trying to blame others, though. The press, he said, had put him under pressure “and portrayed it as spiteful as they wanna portray it”.Or they just reported what he said.
His appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, remember, was going to be McKenzie’s big chance to get his latest campaign, this time for his seventh party, the English Democrats, under way before millions of people.
The only thing McKenzie achieved, though, was increased notoriety as someone with bigoted views. This time, on his way out, there was no English Democrats pin badge in his lapel as there had been on his way in. Significant? Only time will tell. It’s been at least three months since he last changed his political party, so he may be due for another switch some time soon.
“I’m not going to change my mind,” he said, punching the air to stress his point, “or the way I am or my thoughts just to please other people.” He does think same-sex adoption is tantamount to child abuse.
He was pressed on the matter. “Would you like me to sit here and lie? I have made my statement.”
Indeed he has.
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