reality tv

A deportation and a rejection: Everything we know about the cast of Big Brother VIP.

Big Brother VIP is already the most controversial reality show of the year, and we don't even have an air date yet.

The celebrity Big Brother series has stirred up drama and many headlines, owing to the uh, interesting, group of 'celebrities' involved.

One got the axe before even making it out of quarantine, and other casting decisions have drawn criticism for their proximity to... Donald Trump and constant attacks on family members, who also happen to be Meghan Markle. Yeah, really.

Watch: The Big Brother VIP teaser trailer. Post continues below video.


Video via Channel 7.

Here's everything we know about the upcoming series.

When will it begin?

Not sure, tbh. Filming is currently underway in Sydney (though we're not sure how the city's current lockdown is impacting all of this) and Channel 7 say it's coming "soon".

The set was being constructed especially for the show, and continued being built during Sydney's lockdown construction ban, after producers were granted special permission, the Daily Mail reported.

What's the format going to be like?

Again, not sure, although it's likely to be similar to previous seasons of Channel 7's revived Big Brother. Unlike the OG, the newer seasons are filmed in advance.

Big Brother VIP is the second celebrity-themed Big Brother format to air in Australia, after the first season in 2002.

It will be hosted by Sonia Kruger.

Who is in the Big Brother VIP cast?

Channel 7 officially announced the cast on August 8, although there weren't any major surprises because most of the celebs had already been leaked.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bernard Curry - actor.

If actor Bernard Curry is a familiar face, it's because he's commonplace on Australian television. He's achieved what I've just decided to dub the Australian soap double, appearing as Luke Handley in Neighbours and as Hugo Austin in Home and Away

He also hosted the first four seasons of Beauty and the Geek Australia from 2009 until 2012, and currently stars as Jake Stewart in Wentworth

ADVERTISEMENT

Caitlyn Jenner - Olympian, reality star and political candidate.

Channel 7 list Caitlyn Jenner as an Olympian and political candidate. These are both correct. But let's not pretend Caitlyn is not best known for her reality TV career and as part of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.

Caitlyn won the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, earning the unofficial label of "world's greatest athlete" and establishing a career in entertainment.

Since 2007, she appeared in Keeping Up with the Kardashians with ex-wife Kris, their daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner and her stepchildren Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian.

Caitlyn publicly came out as a trans woman in April 2015, and from 2015 until 2016 starred in the reality television series I Am Cait, which focused on her transition. 

She is a member of the Republican Party and is currently running for governor of California in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. That takes place on September 14... so we're not sure how her campaign is going if she's ditched the state for the Big Brother house.

Danny Hayes - Big Brother contestant.

ADVERTISEMENT

Surprisingly, Danny Hayes is not the only Big Brother VIP cast member to have ever played the game before (more on that later.)

Danny has only just come off our screens actually, as he appeared in Big Brother 2021.

Copping the role of 'villain' in the series, the Geelong real estate agent had said he'd never do another reality show. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Dayne Beams - former AFL player.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dayne Beams is a former professional AFL player for Collingwood and the Brisbane Lions. 

While living with anxiety and depression, Beams tried art therapy, which he says helped him immensely. He stepped down from footy and founded Health of Mind Art, who supply Aussie manufactured high-end epoxy resin and support mental health charity Love Me Love You.

Ellie Gonsalves - model and actress.

Ellie Gonsalves is a model and actress with an insane 1.2 million followers on Instagram.

Her name went international when she starred in Yellowtail's 2017 Super Bowl commercial, and she had her big acting break in 2019 when she starred in Fighting with My Family alongside Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey and Florence Pugh.

Imogen Anthony - model and designer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Imogen Anthony is a model and fashion designer whose name is probably most recognisable as Kyle Sandilands' ex.

They dated for eight years before splitting in 2019.

Jessika Power - MAFS star.

Ah, Jessika Power. Jess with a k is one of the most controversial contestants to ever grace Married At First Sight, which is an incredible feat. 

ADVERTISEMENT

She has turned her notoriety into a successful influencer career.

Josh Carroll - model and content creator.

Josh Carroll is a model and content creator, who has absolutely perfected the 'mouth slightly open' pose (seriously, scroll his IG. You won't be able to unsee it.)

He has close to half a million followers on Instagram.

Luke Toki - Survivor legend.

ADVERTISEMENT

Luke Toki is an Australian Survivor legend. 

He became a fan fave as a contestant on the series in 2017, and returned to the franchise for Australian Survivor: Champions v Contenders in 2019.

Matt Cooper - former NRL player.

Former footy player Matt Cooper played for the St. George Illawarra Dragons, NSW Blues and the Kangaroos over his rugby league career.

He retired in 2013 and has since become a regular face on 'celebrity' versions of reality TV: he did the 2014 season of Dancing With The Stars and the Celebrity Apprentice Australia in 2015.

Omarosa - former Trump political aide and author.

ADVERTISEMENT

Omarosa Manigault Newman became widely known as a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's reality show The Apprentice, and later on The Celebrity Apprentice.

In January 2017, she became assistant to the President and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison during the Trump administration. She was fired in December that same year.

In August 2018 she published her book, Unhinged, detailing her time at the White House and disavowing (now former) President Trump. She's also released tapes, including one secretly recorded inside the Situation Room, described as "one of the worst White House security breaches ever". Yikes.

She's also the only other contestant besides Danny Hayes to have BB experience: she placed fifth on the first season of Celebrity Big Brother US in 2018, and you can see why she's back for another crack: Omarosa is reportedly being paid $450,000 to star on the show.

Thomas Markle Jr - Meghan Markle's brother.

Image: Getty.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yep. Thomas Markle Jr, who is Meghan Markle's older half-brother, is a VIP. 

He hasn't seen his little sister for a decade, but has made somewhat of a media career out of repeatedly sledging her publically.

He's perfectly on brand in the Big Brother VIP trailer too, calling Meghan "shallow" and claiming he told Prince Harry she would "ruin his life".

He also only has one post on his Instagram account; a six-minute video of him talking about her.

Was anyone else going to appear?

Yes. It turns out Channel Seven held secret talks with Big Brother legend Reggie Bird about going back into the house, but she was ultimately passed over.

Bird won the series in 2003.

Reggie told TV Blackbox things didn't work out because they had "better talent" and were going with other people.

"Everything happens for a reason. I'm not doing it this year, I was overlooked. They contacted me, didn't want me... if they do an all-stars my time will shine."

There was also the headline drama surrounding far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins.

What happened with Katie Hopkins?

Hopkins, who has described herself as the "biggest b*tch in Britain" had been slated to appear in the series. 

Hopkins makes a living by making people angry. In her home country, she is routinely labelled a "racist", a "bigot" and a "troll" for her views on a range of matters, from immigration to obesity.

In July, the controversial media personality arrived in Sydney, posting on social media from her mandatory 14-days of hotel quarantine before entering the Big Brother house.

Image: Instagram.

ADVERTISEMENT

She never made it that far, however, as within hours of landing in the country, she was boasting about how she was breaching quarantine.

In a 28-minute since-deleted video, originally posted to Instagram, Hopkins mocked Australia's quarantine rules, appearing unable to control her laughter.  

Hopkins went on to share how she is intentionally trying to break the rules.

More than 30,000 Australians signed a petition to send Hopkins home, which led to her Big Brother contract being torn up.

Home Affairs then revoked her visa, and she was deported back to Britain.

Big Brother VIP will air later this year.

Feature image: Channel 7/Getty.

Want a cheeky $50? Tell us what you think
MMSurvey