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09-03-01 news
Duffy's Big Brother housemates...

Irish Boyzone star Keith Duffy is set to join Anthea Turner and Vanessa Feltz as the last three contestants for a charity version of Big Brother from tonight. But viewers will not see them in the shower. Organisers of the Comic Relief special said there will be no footage of the six volunteers in the toilet or as they shower each day.

Contestants enter the house tomorrow for the week-long fundraiser, with the first eviction on Saturday. The other three are Claire Sweeney, who plays Brookside's Lindsey Corkhill, comedian Jack Dee and former boxing champion Chris Eubank.

Names of the contestants had been circulating for days, but Channel 4 - which is screening the programme, as well as BBC1 - had refused to comment on the participants until today.

The housemates receive no fees and money raised from the public voting lines will go to Comic Relief, as will the fee which TV company Endemol would have been given for use of the format.

There will be evictions every other day with the final departure taking place during BBC 1's Red Nose Day coverage on March 16.

Jack Dee said of his participation: "I decided to take part in Celebrity Big Brother because Lenny Henry threatened to kill me if I didn't agree. I'm not a coward but that swung it."

Anthea Turner made a joke reference to the furore over her wedding pictures, in which she posed with a chocolate bar, saying she was persuaded to take part by the boss of Comic Relief. She said: "Richard Curtis bribed me with Hobnobs to do it. But I don't think I'll last long without a phone."

The stars will live together in the purpose-built house which gave short-lived fame to "nasty" Nick Bateman and Craig Phillips as they starred in the TV hit last summer.

They will be cut off from the outside world and cameras will watch their every move, even at night. Organisers say cameras in the shower for the first series were a security measure which is not needed this time round. They will also have to complete a series of tasks.

The celebrities will have to nominate two of the group for eviction within hours of stepping into the house tomorrow morning. Viewers will then vote by phone or online at: where written updates will be posted.

Channel 4 will broadcast the first show tomorrow, but both it and BBC1 will screen updates during the week.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes ranked Claire Sweeney as 2-1 favourite today, with Anthea Turner trailing the field at 9/1.

Andy Clifton of Ladbrokes said: "The thought of Chris Eubank, Vanessa Feltz and Jack Dee combining to perform tasks set by Big Brother conjures up all sorts of bizarre images."

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