Sunday Mirror columnist and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Carole Malone has accused Channel 4 of “deliberately misleading the audience” in a way which is “backfiring” on them now amid accusations of racism against housemate Shilpa Shetty.
Malone — who was the first journalist to go on Big Brother — spoke to Press Gazette after being evicted on Friday and said that the experience of being in the celebrity spotlight would not change the way she writes.
She said: “It’s quite disconcerting to have people saying stuff about you. I kind of understand people getting cross with me now — I have a better understanding of their anger. I don’t think it’s going to change the way I write about people. It’s making me think twice, but I’m not going to start writing nice things about everybody. It wouldn’t be any fun, it’d be boring.”
Malone said she found the experience of being on the receiving end of a press conference particularly odd.
“What I realise is they can catch you off guard — it’s what they all try to do. The paper that did the worst of them was the Daily Mirror,” she said.
On coming face to face with Jade Goody, who has previously been slated in Malone’s column, Malone said: “I don’t think Jade reads anything that anyone writes about her. She said to me: ‘Have you written bad things about me then?’ and I said: ‘Yes, I have’ and she said: ‘You know, Carol, the problem comes when people stop writing about you.’ She’s very media savvy — she knows that, whether it’s good or bad, the fact that people are taking notice of you is a good thing.”
Malone thinks that Goody might not feel the same when she reads this week’s press reports, in which housemates are accused of racism against Bollywood star Shetty.
But she added: “I think it’s jealousy and pack mentality. I don’t think it’s racism and I feel very strongly about that. I know they edit. What you’ve got to remember is what you’re seeing in one hour is 18 hours of the stuff. When you see Shilpa crying, she’s not crying for 18 hours of the day, she cries momentarily and then it’s over and everyone behaves normally for the rest of the day. What you’re seeing is Channel 4 manipulating the audience, and in many ways it’s backfiring on them now. When I was in there and Jo was taking the mick out of Shilpa’s accent, Jo also took the mick out of my accent and the mick out of Cleo’s and called her a posh cow.”