UK Big Brother 7 houseguest has Tourette’s; suicidal contestant walks out

The cast of crazy attention whores assembled by producers in the UK for that country’s sixth version of Big Brother is even more crazy than usual.

One houseguest, Pete Bennett, has Tourette’s syndrome and “swears uncontrollably,” according to the BBC. A rep from the Tourette Association isn’t happy with the 24-year-old’s presence in the house, “[b]ut Channel 4 said Pete’s inclusion could educate people about Tourette’s,” the BBC reports. A Channel 4 spokesperson said, “Pete was chosen solely on the basis of his personality. We feel he will be a great housemate,” and not just because he swears nonstop. “Pete’s approach to his condition is very positive, and one which might help educate and inform others,” she said. “As we do every year, we have ensured that all housemates are robust enough to survive the Big Brother experience.”

One of those other housemates, however, was either less-than-stable or was playing everybody. Shahbaz Chauhdry told his housemates, “I came here to die on this programme” and said he was “a dead man walking.” However, he also “infuriated others with his theatrics, hiding food at night, being insulting and repeatedly crying,” the BBC reported.

Yesterday, he left the house voluntarily, “because he was ‘unhappy’ and finding it hard to integrate with the other contestants.”

Shahbaz walks out of Big Brother and Tourette’s housemate ‘exploited’ [BBC News]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.