Big Brother has always proved to be a contentious player in the criticism stakes. Whether it be the fact that the once perceived social experiment aspects of the show giving way to the strangely compelling dolt fest that has drawn in viewers over the last few years, or the controversy of whether or not people will actually have sex for the public under the monochrome scrutiny of the camera. Either way, the knee jerk reactions to the shenanigans of the show have never quite took on tones as serious as the alleged behaviour in the show’s current incarnation.

The tabloid sharks have smelt blood and are currently circling the house over the allegations of bullying and racism concerning the housemate Shilpa Shetty. Even in political circles Gordon Brown who began a visit to India this morning condemned the attacks and wished for Britain to be seen as a “country of tolerance”. So far Ofcom and Channel 4 have received almost 10,000 complaints over the incidents and Leicester East Labour MP Keith Vaz has brought the issue to the attention of the commons.

The housemates involved in the alleged incidents are none other than Jade Goody (surprise, surprise), Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara. It was O’Meara’s comment that “Indians were thin because they were always ill as a result of undercooking their food”. The housemates have also been guilty of ridiculing Shilpa’s accent and complained that she had touched other housemates food with her hands. There has already been consequences of these actions for Jade, previously a spokesperson for an anti bullying charity her image has now been removed from their website and it seems that this could finally be the incident that sours her relationship with the British public.

The comments could of course be construed in a number of different ways, although from a viewer’s standpoint (in terms of what the editors have allowed us to see) the evidence of bullying seems relatively clear. Channel 4 are keen to play this off as “girly rivalry” but some of the comments have been made in tones that seem to suggest more than, including a badly phrased comment from Jade’s boyfriend Jack about how she should remove a blockage from the toilet with her teeth (Shilpa had blocked the toilet by pouring some meal remains down it). But then again Jack has hardly offered anything to the house other than stupidity and the ability to wank all over his girlfriend’s leg in the early hours so anything doesn’t come from a mind that formulates the most complex thoughts.

Channel 4 of course are playing it down while doubtless basking in trademark notoriety and possibly elevated viewing figures as the punters flock to rubber neck this particular car crash.

Elsewhere although it took a while Shilpa has found people who are willing to spring to her defence. Cleo Rocos has already made herself something of a fan favourite with her strangely surreal with and her ability to play the peacemaker amidst the house when called for. Even a stone face Jermaine has finally moved out of his Shilpa comfort zone to engage the others on their behaviour, while Ian has cowered away from the conflict and so far been instructed on one occasion for “having his head in the oven”. Once again the rumours are grinding away that more celebrities (cough) will be entering the house, doubtless in a bid to smooth over the cracks and jumpstart a show that is at best firing on two cylinders other than its intended four.

How this will pan out is anyone’s guess. However I think it would take a considerable amount of media spin from a good PR agent to ensure Jade, Daniella and Jo’s careers survive untainted after this.

If you can be bothered, stay tuned.