It has been a week and two days since the start of the UK Big Brother's fifth series. In this series, Channel 4 and Endemol are touting that "Big Brother is getting EVIL": to reflect this, the house has been redesigned, with such evil things as spas and an undoubtedly pure evil treatment room. They've also provided some truly evil free alcohol in a frequently replenished fridge, and evil comfy chairs in the shape of coconut halves. Set George Orwell to "washing machine".

Much protest has been leveled at Big Brother from many quarters. Every year, the housemates have got increasingly dull, and more gimmicks are introduced to try and keep people interested. This year, however, the production team have added lots more gimmickry and have introduced housemates to match. The HMs this year are very much a mixed bunch, with about a third of them being gay, lesbian or bisexual and the rest being a truly odd set of people.

As with previous Big Brother's, there is a live feed available on Channel 4s other channel, E4: however, the sound on this is frequently cut, for reasons which Channel 4 list as swearing (prohibited by the regulator Ofcom except in a short band between 9pm and 5am), privacy concerns towards the families of housemates, and slander towards people with lots of clout and a team of lawyers. There is also the internet feed, but this is part of Real's SuperPass package and costs £11.99 a month, as well as your soul for installing the POS RealPlayer 10.

The Housemates
Ahmen, 44 - Ahmed is an asylum seeker from Somalia, who came here during the John Major years and is now a successful businessman. His odds of winning hover around 50/1, and the fact remains that the only chance he has of being outright winner will come as soon as a suicide bomber kills all the other housemates.

Daniel, 30 - Gay hairdresser who is also a DJ. Fairly popular and current favourite to win, with odds 4/1 at the time of writing. Recent goings on: licked Nutella off the arse of Jason.

Emma, 21 - Joint third favourite to win, with odds of 6/1. Superficially similar to porcine BB3 contestant Jade, but is fairly intelligent, whereas Jade was just a dumbarse. Recently had a rant at ex-housemate Kitten (see below).

Jason, 31 - Odds of winning: 6/1, fourth favourite. He came in looking like Jackass's "Party Boy". I'll say no more.

Kitten, 25 - Lesbian anarcho-communist who broke 8 of Big Brother's 9 rules on 34 seperate occasions (the only one she didn't break was the one pertaining to physical violence). Basically the female equivalent of Rik from The Young Ones, she painted "fuck off" on the mirrors and tried to lead rebellions against Big Brother. The sort of person for whom the term "gobshite" was intended. She was kicked out a week into the series, finger raised in the air screaming "This is for the Queen and the Aristocrats". The only thing she did right was giving the finger to The Sun on her way out, and indeed leaving at all (she initially refused, but only left after it was announced that prize money would decrease by £1000 for every second she stayed).

Marco, 21 - Gay, sounds like he's on helium. Keeps out of the way, mostly, and doesn't do much. Odds of 8/1 to win.

Michelle, 23 - Announced in her audition tape that she loves sex and porn, and barely a week into the series tried to shag Stuart, and probably will try it on with Victor as well. Odds 16/1 to win, but there could be a consolation prize, in that there's a current offer of £50,000 from The Sun for the first person to fuck in the house. General consensus: slapper.

Nadia, 25 - Portuguese transsexual, who used to be a bloke called Carlos. Second least likely to win, after Ahmed, with odds of 25/1. Hasn't yet told the other housemates about her operation, but some appear to be close to twigging.

Shell, 22 - Imagine Home Star Runner's Marzipan character. Now make her into a real person. Hey presto, Shell. Aside from having an odd name, wants to be a sculptor. Keeps quiet and out of the way, odds are 5/1 to win.

Stuart, 20 - Was almost shagged by Michelle, but refused to do so because of the cameras. Boasted about how smart he was on his audition tape, then proceeded to get several general knowledge questions wrong in a task. Odds of 6/1.

Vanessa, 27 - I honestly don't know much about this housemate, but apparently she's 8/1 to win.

Victor, 23 - Typical Londoner, who fancies Michelle and is responsible for such brilliant quotes as (on Kitten) "the cat needs to be put down...the vet's in service". Half funny, half annoying. Odds of 16/1 to win.

Housemates in order of odds
Daniel
Shell
Emma
Jason
Stuart
Marco
Vanessa
Michelle
Victor
Nadia
Ahmed
Kitten
Sources:
Official site: http://www.channel4.com/bigbrother
Odds from Paddy Power bookmakers
News and information from simply the best site for it, Digital Spy at http://bigbrother.digitalspy.co.uk
E4 live feed and Channel 4 shows.