Friday 2 September
For further information:
Rebecca Lefort on 020 7877 7548 or RLefort@redcross.org.uk
A bidding war between two ex Big Brother housemates helped an auction of some of the most show’s most outrageous props raise more than £5,500 for the British Red Cross.
The Red Cross gave fans the chance to bid on a part of Big Brother history, with items up for sale including the mischievous talking parrot Davina McCaw, and Tree of Temptation chest.
But the most popular prop on offer was Bob Righter, the spooky fortune teller which was bought for £4,700 after a last-minute bidding frenzy involving “nasty” Nick Bateman and “mole” Mario Mugan, both of whom spent time with Bob in the house.
Mario, who is better known as the Mole and finished third in the 2010 series of Big Brother, eventually won the bidding battle.
He said "I am thrilled to have got my hands on Bob Righter, especially as I beat Nick Bateman in a bidding battle at the very last minute. As it got towards the end of the auction the price was just getting higher and higher – I couldn't quite believe it. But no-one was going to out-bid me!
"Bob Righter brings back loads of great memories of my time in the house, as I was standing next to him when he first came to life.
"I am so pleased that as well as buying an iconic piece of Big Brother history, all the money is going to the British Red Cross to support people affected by disasters around the world."
Nick Bateman, who became known as an “evil genius” after appearing on the first ever series of Big Brother, added: "I am glad that the Big Brother competitiveness on this occasion helped the Red Cross. I kept pushing the price up as after all it is for a great cause. Well done Mario!"
Nick, who appeared alongside Bob Righter in Ultimate Big Brother, tweeted after losing: “hate been outbid, really wanted Bob Righter @BritishRedCross, well done to the final bidder, grrrrrrrr! £4.7k” and told Mario on the site: “I know i was bidding agaisnt you! I will get my revenge!!! Muuuuaaaaah!”
The goodies were all donated by Channel 4, and all the £5,614 raised through the online auction will now go to the British Red Cross Disaster Fund, which allows the organisation to respond immediately when emergencies strike.
Brian Dowling, the host of this year’s Big Brother on Channel 5, who appeared alongside many of the fundraising props in Ultimate Big Brother 2010, said when the sale began: “I loved my time as a Big Brother housemate, and I am loving that I can continue to be part of this great show as its presenter.
“These are fabulous iconic props that bring back a lot of memories for me! They are bizarre, colourful and lots of fun - just like Big Brother.
“It is great they are raising money for the British Red Cross!”
Barry Armstrong, the British Red Cross Disaster Response Manager, said: “We are very grateful to Channel 4 for donating these unique props to the British Red Cross.
“The money we have raised will help us respond quickly and effectively to disasters like the current famine in East Africa. Already this year the Disaster Fund has enabled us to provide millions of pounds of aid in the immediate aftermath of humanitarian crises.”
The sold on eBay were:
Bob Righter (sale price £4,700) – The freaky fortune teller scared housemates by breaking out of his box in Big Brother 11, and by making unusual predictions. He also returned in Ultimate Big Brother.
Davina McCaw (sale price £520) – The truth-speaking animatronic parrot caused chaos amongst the housemates in Big Brother 11 and Ultimate Big Brother by spreading gossip.
The Tree of Temptation (sale price £318) –The talking tree became famous for harassing celebrity housemates in Celebrity Big Brother seven before returning as a rude chest of drawers in Big Brother 11 and Ultimate Big Brother, where it continued to set bizarre tasks and belittle housemates.
Salt and pepper outfits (sale price £76) – The embarrassing fancy dress costumes were worn by La Toya Jackson and Tommy Sheridan while taking part in Celebrity Big Brother in a popular ice-skating task in 2009.
For more information on the sale and pictures of the items please visit: www.redcross.org.uk/BigBrother
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: www.redcross.org.uk
You can also follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/britishredcross
Notes to editors
For more information or photos please contact: Rebecca Lefort on 020 7877 7548 or RLefort@redcross.org.uk
The eBay auction began at midday on Tuesday, August 23, and ended at midday on Friday, September 2.
The Tree of Temptation’s Facebook page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tree-of-Temptation/262749774457 For a reminder of what made it famous see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQYVQdl3omI
For a reminder of the mischief caused by Davina McCaw visit: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/big_brother/3057791/Davina-McCaw-sparks-row.html
To see what Bob Righter got up to visit: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/149460/Big-Brother-11-Bob-Righter-s-out-of-the-box
And to remember the salt and pepper outfits visit: http://www.iceact.co.uk/productions/celebrity-big-brother-2009.html
British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on