Monday, July 04, 2005

Going Ga-Ga

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if everyone in the Big Brother house started giving birth at the same time? No, me neither. But ITV obviously have, so they've come up with 'Baby House', a new daytime reality show which started this afternoon, and continues daily for the next two weeks.

Four imminent mums-to-be and their partners have been moved into a luxury mansion in Surrey, where in return for being cared for by experts, and generally pampered, they have to agree to endure Fiona Phillips for a fortnight. Personally I'm not sure it's worth it, and it might explain why only four couples turned up when the TV listings promise six, but nevertheless, the fab four who did sign on the dotted line are:

21 year old Kelly, who makes Jordan look classy, and boyfriend Phil, whose baby was due two days ago. Kelly was only too happy to tell us that their child was conceived "on a drunken night at my auntie's wedding in Blackpool". Which is lovely. She didn't say whether she and Phil had actually known each other at the time, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

They were followed in by Helen and Mark, who met in the armed forces, and whose baby is due on 13th July (so if it's a week late, the series will be over), and Christine & Charlie, who entered the house with the words "where's the mini bar?"

Finally we had single mum Kira and baby Alexa, who was born a few days ago, thus ruining the entire programme. Kira, who would have been equally at home on the Trisha show, explained "I found out I was pregnant in October, told my fiance, and he gave me the choice of an abortion or he was gonna go". So either she went for the latter option, or she should sue the abortion clinic.

Asked to comment on her fellow housemates, Kira stated "they've all got very bubbly personalities". Blimey, stuck in a house with people who are described as 'bubbly'. A natural birth would be less painful.

Fortunately though, Fiona Phillips appeared to be doing her best to dampen down their spirits. Having already told a stressed and bloated Kelly "we can't miss your bump", she proved herself to be tact personified, by announcing that "pregnancy is a costly business" and then turning to Kira, who up until that point had been quite happy cradling her newborn in her arms, and adding "especially for you, because you're bringing up your baby on your own". Fortunately the camera cut away quickly, so we only saw a fleeting glimpse of Kira bursting into tears.

Fiona meanwhile, was turning her attention to Amanda, a woman who had given birth without knowing she was pregnant. Amanda told us that her weight did fluctuate, prompting Fiona to jump in with the comment "I thought you were going to say flatulate then" before calling her husband a "wuss" for crying at the birth. Yes, there was no one that woman couldn't upset.

Having worked her way through the residents of the house, Fiona then confidently moved on to the end of show phone-in, where viewers got to question Dr Miriam Stoppard on all aspects of motherhood. The first question tackled was "is it safe to dye your hair during pregnancy?". Dr Miriam's answer was no, but for those who prefer a less medically qualified opinion, there was always Fiona's, which was "I carried on all the way through mine", her blonde highlights clearly meaning more to her than any potential birth defects.

Hairdressing covered, they moved on to the subject of alcohol. It was another definite no-no from the doctor, which didn't seem to please Fiona very much. She summed up the joys of motherhood with the the words "Give up the hair dye, give up the booze... who'd get pregnant eh?". There speaks a woman who's got her priorities right in life.