Boy George loses Big Brother battle

Boy George loses Big Brother battle


The former Culture Club singer had been seeking permission to defy the probation service, which had banned him from the Channel 4 reality TV show. However, Justice Bean rejected his claim.

The singer, real name George O’Dowd, was jailed for 15 months in January for handcuffing a Norwegian man to a wall in his east London home. The 48-year-old was released on licence in May, and was initially given strict curfew conditions including wearing an electronic tag, though he no longer does so.
The London probation service refused his request to appear on the final series of celebrity Big Brother, which starts on January 3.

He has reportedly been offered a fee of £200,000 to appear alongside contestants rumoured to include Pamela Anderson and MC Hammer.
O’Dowd’s barrister, Alison Macdonald, told the court on Tuesday the probation service’s decision was based on fears that it “would get another kicking” in the media.
She said the probation service licence was designed to monitor her client’s behaviour, protect the public and rehabilitate rather than punish him. He regretted his actions and had deserved his prison sentence but he now wanted to rebuild his career and reputation, she said.

Richard Clayton QC, representing the London probation service, argued that allowing O’Dowd to use the show to promote himself and earn “a lucrative sum of money” could undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and risk the reputation of the probation service.

Since leaving prison O’Dowd, of Hampstead, north London, was allowed to perform at Brighton Gay Pride in August, to work as a DJ, and to give live performances. He also appeared on the BBC1 show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross in October.
It is not the first controversy to involve celebrity Big Brother, which provoked outrage in 2007 over the alleged racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. The show took a break the following year and in August Channel 4 announced that both the celebrity and original formats of Big Brother were being axed after next year.

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