We are beyond excited to welcome back the return of Celebrity Big Brother UK this spring, following the success of Big Brother’s return on ITV2 in 2023. Billed as the ultimate social experiment, the show helped create the mould for the reality genre and brought us hundreds of iconic TV moments along the way. As our excitement builds towards the new series, we revisit 10 iconic musicians who entered the house through the years.
1. Mark Owen: Series 2, 2002. Winner
As a much loved member of Take That, it was little surprise that Mark Owen emerged as winner of Series 2, taking 77% of the final vote over runner-up Les Dennis. Fans loved Mark’s humour and wit during the series, and his win helped re-ignite a solo career which included the release of top-5 hit Four Minute Warning in 2003.
2. Pete Burns: Series 4, 2006. 5th place
To us, the Dead or Alive frontman will always be the ultimate Celebrity Big Brother housemate. Sharp, smart and scathing, Burns created unmissable TV with highlights including his robotic performance with George Galloway, meltdown at the removal of his fur coat and vocal prowess when performing hit You Spin Me Round. Such was Burns’ popularity in the show, the 1984 number 1 returned to the top-5 in the UK charts during his time in the house.
3. Jermaine Jackson: Series 5, 2007. Runner-up
In the most controversial series of CBB ever, Jermaine emerged as a kind and clever housemate with compelling stories of his career and family. Amidst the chaotic season, Jackson’s leading of a Jackson 5 inspired group performance created a moment of light relief and humour for viewers, prior to his 2nd place finish to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.
4. Ben Adams: Series 6, 2009. 5th place
In a series full of musical talent, the frontman of noughties boyband A1 entered the house and made it to the final. Now a successful songwriter, Adams was later unmasked as one half of Norwegian act Subwoolfer, who came 10th in Eurovision 2022 with the incredibly catchy Give That Wolf A Banana.
5. La Toya Jackson: Series 6, 2009. 7th place
Following in her brother Jermaine’s footsteps, La Toya entered the house in 2009. With a captivating early rendition of Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Jackson cemented her status as an exciting performer in her own right. A budding admiration from Austin Powers star Verne Troyer was a memorable highlight during Jackson’s stay, which preceded another notable reality TV stint on Celebrity Apprentice USA in 2011.
6. Mutya Buena: Series 6, 2009. Walked
After splitting from Sugababes and achieving solo success with her album Real Girl (as well as notable duets with legendary singers George Michael and Amy Winehouse), Buena entered the CBB house in 2009. Despite being a popular housemate, Buena walked from the house on day 15 but has since found much-deserved success reuniting with Keisha and Siobhan, firstly as MKS and now as Sugababes.
7. Martin Kemp: Series 10, 2012. 3rd place
Spandau Ballet guitarist and Eastenders legend Martin Kemp joined the cast for Series 10 of CBB in 2012. Funny and charming, Kemp unsurprisingly reached the final and finished 3rd behind eventual winner Julian Clary and runner-up Coleen Nolan. Martin remains a popular public figure, with numerous TV appearances including The Masked Singer UK and stints on Celebrity Gogglebox with radio DJ son Roman and wife Shirley.
8. Claire Richards: Series 11, 2013. 4th place
Steps singer Claire Richards entered the house in 2013, forming a close friendship with popular TV presenter Rylan Clark, uniting in a shared dislike of The Hills’ super-couple Heidi and Spencer Pratt. Richards proved to be a popular housemate both inside and outside of the house, eventually placing 4th behind eventual winner Rylan. Since leaving the house, Richards has reunited with her Steps bandmates with huge success of new releases including Scared of the Dark and Heartbreak in This City, as well as a stint on The Masked Singer UK as ‘Knitting’.
9. Samantha Fox: Series 18, 2016. 7th place
Another firm favourite of Culture Fix, we were delighted when Samantha entered the house in 2016, following her far-too-early exit from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2009. The Touch Me (I Want Your Body) singer proved to be a fan favourite, showing her vulnerability as well as a no-nonsense attitude when confronted by other housemates. Fox remains a beloved household name and has since made other reality TV appearances including Come Dine With Me and Celebrity Masterchef in 2023.
10. Sarah Harding: Series 20, 2017. Winner
As one fifth of award-winning girlband Girls Aloud, Harding was one of the most notable CBB signings ever. With showbiz stories of her success in Popstars: The Rivals and time in the band, Harding remained a captivating housemate during her stay. Sensitive, vulnerable and honest, it was no surprise that Sarah emerged as winner of Series 20, over runner-up Amelia Lily. Highlights included a budding romance with The Bachelor star Chad Johnson and a powerful performance of number 1 hit The Promise.