I thought I could keep people together in a common cause, and I failed.
Following his eviction from the Big Brother house, with 64.7 % of the public vote, George Galloway MP was interviewed by Davina McCall on Channel 4. Here is the transcript of that interview.
Davina: well before we start I have to say, that you have been one of our best housemates, if not the best ever house mate, that we have ever had on Celebrity Big Brother. And letís just get that clear to start off with. So thanks for that.
Davina: Ok, here we go. You are a politician, youíve just lost an election. That has got to hurt.
Galloway: Yeah, I donít normally lose elections. And I was unanimously chosen by the housemates twice to represent them in public.
Davina: You are intelligent.
Galloway: That is what I am clinging on to.
Davina: Cling on to it. Now George, now listen. Why did you think you were evicted?
Galloway: Ahh. I donít know. That depends on who is watching the show, maybe people wanted me back out and on the road which is what I am normally doing, around the country in front of audiences of 5 hundred people, as opposed to 5 million people.
Davina: But letís just remember why you are out, because it all kind of started about the rule breaking.
Galloway: Oh yes.
Davina; Basically because you broke the rules, again, Big Brother decided to punish you, and that led to you not being able to nominate. How did you feel about that.?
Galloway: Very bad, because I thought it was a bit of a set up, because people were breaking the rules all over the place, and especially that night, about the events of the night before., when Preston and I were taken into the studio and everyone heard what was said, which was obviously a shock to people.
Davina: But that was for the same reason Ö that was obviously again for the nomination thing. Now the reason that Big Brother holds that rule particularly as an important one Ö
Galloway: Yes, yes
Davina: Ö is because you can sway other peopleís nominations.
Davina: It was seen as trying to sway Rulaís nomination. It wasnít the fact that you had said it , it was Ö
Galloway: I have no problem with Big Brother punishing me, but of course Big Brother washed his hands of the crime and asked the housemates to decide.
Davina: It was democraticÖ
Galloway: Well yeah, and they decided to take my rights away, and later admitted it was because they thought I might vote against them.
Davina: But wouldnít you have done the same to them?
Galloway: I wouldnít.
Davina: Come on!
Galloway: I wouldnít, because that is a bit like George Bush in Florida taking peoplesí votes away because he knew they were going to vote against him. I donít agree with that.
Davina: I hear your point. But it wouldnít have made any difference actually if you had been allowed to vote, because you were given four nominations, and even if you had voted you would still have been nominated, as would the others. But anyway letís have a quick look at the nominations
Cut to the recordings of the diary room
Chantelle: I think he is shifty, he is pretty crafty, and what more do you want on top of that?
Preston: I have lost a lot of respect for him, and I want to nominate him for that reason.
Traci: I must have either completely offended him, where he would , ha ha, where he would do or say anything to get me out the house, yet he wonít say anything to me about it, or he wants to take me on a romantic rendezvous and have his way with me. I canít tell.
Maggot: I think it is about time that he went back and represented the people who elected him as an MP.
Back to the studio.
Davina: what did you make of that? Any surprises?
Galloway: Yeah, yeah. There was a lot of bitterness builds up in a house like that. It is like a pressure cooker, and I am sure that lots of people said similar things about everybody.
Davina: But who are you upset about?
Galloway: Maggot probably, because he was a more centrist figure, not quite with one clique, and not quite with another.
Davina: Well he is quite clever in a way, because he sort of floats from group to groups, and he never really offends anyone. He doesnít stick his neck out.
Galloway: Yeah, but if you stay in the middle of the road long enough you normally get Ö
Davina: Örun over
Galloway: Traffic coming both ways.
Davina: I want to talk about the impact you have made by going into the Big Brother house. What do you think will be your defining moment?
Galloway: Oh, Richard and Judy definitely, the house was actually almost starving, definitely malnourished, and I won them £140 worth of food.
Davina: You see, within the house that probably was your defining moment.
Galloway: That was my finest hour, yes.
Davina: But for us, strangely, Ö it wasnít. have a look at this.
Cut to clips of Galloway pretending to be a cat with Rula Lenska.
Galloway: Would you like me to be the cat?
Lenska: Yes please
Slurping noises from Galloway
Lenska: Yes pussy cat, good pussy cat.
Lenska: You have some cream on your whiskers:
Back to studio.
Galloway: My purr was quite good.
Davina: You purr was superb, but I got the feeling you have done this before.
Davina: He has done it before! Letís be fair, letís be fair. That was a task.
Davina: Big Brother had asked you to do this.
Galloway: I tried that actually. Not least because I was so bored I was delighted to get a task, but I decided if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well, so I threw myself into all the tasks.
Davina: You did. Can I just do something a sec. You have cream on your whiskers.
Davina wipes Gallowayís moustache.
Davina: Now you have caused a complete furore by staying in the house. Can we just have a look at some of the headlines? There are just a few of the headlines as well, that have been in the papers. Did you think it would cause such a furore, I mean they just go on and on donít they?
Several newspaper headlines are shown to Galloway
Davina: I see you biting your lip nervously there.
Galloway (sounding really shocked): Oh dear.
Davina: Did you expect that much attention.
Galloway: I didnít. But I knew that my political opponents would attack me for it, because Ö
Davina (with feeling) They have.
Galloway: But we will have to see whether there is any balance out there in the country, and Iíll tell you that Iíll be back on the road again next week.
Davina: Iíll bet you will, Iíll bet you will as well. And you know what; Iíve got some very sad news. You didnít make it into Cat World. All those broadsheets and not one picture in Cat World ,or anything. But there is a mate of yours waiting from the outside who has missed you a lot, and canít wait to see you. And here is his message
Galloway: Tony Blair?
Cut to Jeremy Paxman in Newsnight Studio
Paxman: A lot has happened while you have been incarcerated, Mr Galloway. There are several things we would like to ask you about, the Big Brother people say we mustnít mention what they are, until you have been debriefed. But whenever you are ready, so are we, with or without your leotard. In the meantime, do you really think it was a good idea to go into the Big Brother House?
Galloway: Well I do because Ö
Looks to Davina for approval.
Davina: yeah go on ..
Galloway: Yeah, I do ... because I think we are a different sort of political force, we want to talk directly to people. We want to show them that there are more important people to talk to than parliamentarians. That the public out there, behind their curtains, and in their living rooms, have to be reached, and they have to be reached in the best way that we can. And, this was worth a try Ö
Davina: Do you think?
Galloway: At the very least, I look at it this way, the beneficiaries of the charity I nominated will get something to eat.
Davina; Yeah ..
Galloway: A couple of people will get a job out of my own earnings, Ö
Davina: Yeah ..
Galloway: And if the third goal, which was to reach millions of people, and hopefully to impress them somehow Ö
Davina: But do you think you have reached them in a good way?
Galloway: Well, if I have half impressed half of the people then that would be a very big gain.
Davina: But what if you havenít impressed them?
Galloway: Well that would be Ö
Inaudible shout from a woman in the audience;
Davina: No, ahhh Ö Well, to be fair you have impressed her. No, but what I am saying is, you said that you wanted to go in and reach out to young people, pretty much exactly what you said just now, but do you think you did that? Because in the house actually, you seemed to alienate all the young people, and you actually ended out hanging out with all the older people. And being .. .
Galloway: Excuse me, but they were pretty cool older people. I mean Pete Burns, he is not exactly an old age pensioner.
Davina: I am not saying there is anything wrong with them at all. What I am saying is that you were alienating the very kind of people that you seem to want to reach out to. You have alienated a lot of young people.
Galloway: Well we had our moments together, and our terrible half hours. There were times when I was the best of chums with the people who have just been putting their knives in me there.
Davina: Preston loved you.
Davina: He really did love you.
Galloway: Well, he kind of did and he didnít.
Davina: No, he kind of hero worshiped you.
Galloway: Until he discovered that I was thinking of nominating him for eviction.
Davina: he was really hurt.
Galloway: Everyone thinks all the time about nominating everybody. That is how the game works.
Davina: I know, but so then you shouldnít have been upset about when he was Ö
Galloway: No I was upset that they took my rights away, thatís all. I was expecting to be nominated.
Davina: Now, you are probably not surprised that MPs have lined up to criticise you, your opponents. And just to let you know Tony Blair says he hasnít been watching. Right!!! Of course he has been watching! The speaker of the house says he has been watching. And the chief Labour whip, Hilary Armstrong, launched a petition to get you out of the Big Brother House saying that ďyour egotistical action showed a shameful lack of respect for your constituencyĒ
Galloway: I bet, I bet Ö
Davina: Well, you have got your right to reply. Go for it George.
Galloway: Well, the people of my constituency elected me against the advice of Mr Blair, and all his government ministers, who came down every day to try and ensure that I was defeated. But I won. And that is the endorsement that counts, the endorsement of people on the streets of Britain, in Brick Lane, where I hope I will be later this evening.
Davina: Having a curry.
Galloway; yeah, and later in the streets of the rest of my constituency. That is the proof of the pudding, that is the eating that will count.
Davina: Ok letís talk about the housemates. Right, now the big argument on Monday night, that was a huge turning point for you, I think George. There was a big argument with Michael, during the course of which some quite heated things were said. Do you feel afterwards that maybe you had taken that a bit too far?
Galloway: No, I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. And I stand by whatever I said. I was responding to yet another attack by Michael on Dennis. In fact there was another one just 25 minutes ago.
Davina: But Dennis is a big boy. He can fight his own battles.
Galloway, Well yeah, but they take advantage of the fact that he is a six foot eight black American from the ghettos. ...
Galloway: But it does, he doesnít talk in the same way as them, he doesnít express himself in the same way.
Davina: I understand that, but what about Chantelle? You could say the same about you guys and Chantelle. Pete with Chantelle.
Galloway: She is as sharp as a tack.
Davina: And you are saying that Dennis isnít?
Galloway: He is, but in a different way.
Galloway: He is, in a different way. He is extremely articulate over the long run, but in sharp exchanges, in a foreign language, he doesnít do well. And I felt that people were picking on him. And I felt that Ö. just half an hour ago, Michael started on him again.
Davina: he does speak the same language as us though.
Galloway: Well, as Oscar Wilde said, we are two peoples divided by a common language. Look, Dennis has 41 brothers and sisters, 41 brothers and sisters, he was homeless Ö
Davina: What has that got to do with it?
Galloway: He was homeless for a year and a half in the ghettos of Los Angeles. He comes from a different background.
Davina: He is a grown man: he has been extremely successful in his own right. He wouldnít have got this far: in show business, not just in his own professional line, if he couldnít articulate Ö
Galloway: I just felt that there was a tendency to kind of make Mike Tyson out of him, all the time and I kind of resented that.
Davina: Ok, letís move on. Letís talk about last week. You did say to Preston ďI always come to the defence of people who are being picked onĒ But an hour later, Pete just completely laid into Traci, in the living room. I am sure your remember it. Uncomfortable to watch I am sure it was uncomfortable to listen to.
Galloway: I came into it halfway though, yeah.
Davina: Why didnít you say anything?
Galloway: I did. Youíve got the tapes.
Davina: But you just sat there for a huge amount of time just letting it happen.
Galloway: Well as soon as Pete had left that room I went into the room he was in and complained angrily about the way he had treated Traci.
Davina: But why, why didnít you? If I had been Traci, and I had just sat there. And it wasnít just you, it was Chantelle, and Preston who walked out, none of you stuck up for her. I would have wanted you to stick up for me. I would want you to stick up for me while I am there!
Galloway: Well the thing is I came in at least half way through, and I didnít know what the background to all this wasÖ
Davina: It doesnít really matter.
Galloway: He spoke to her in a way that no person should ever speak to another person.
Davina: I agree, good. Iím glad you agree with that. Because I think he does that a lot, but I think people are frightened of him.
Galloway: Obviously I donít Ö I really respected him.
Davina: Somebody just shouted out, do you fancy him? For pityís sake, that is one thing I donít think George is.
Galloway: I have been accused of everything else, but not that.
Davina: There is nothing wrong with being that, but I donít think youíre gay. Do you think, George, that you have made any lasting friendships in that House?
Galloway: Yes, Dennis and Pete definitely. Dennis and Pete. I think we will hang out when we can.
Davina: I have so got a vision of you on the beech at Malibu at Dennisís pad at a big beech party.
Galloway: That doesnít sound bad.
Davina: Now do you think it is possible to ever live in harmony in that house?
Galloway: I think not. I didnít think that when I went in, but I fairly swiftly formed that impression, that it is impossible in the circumstances. Big Brother goes out of his way to make itÖ
Galloway: yeah, and that no doubt is part of the entertainment. I donít blame him for that. We knew the rules, and the background to it when we came in. But it really impossible. It is unbelievably boring, and turgid, through long hours and days and nights with the same people, with whom you have got very little in common. And you are cut off from the people you love, and things you are interested in. It is very difficult to keep everything on an even keel.
Davina: So are you glad you did the show?
Galloway: Well, not after I have seen those press cuttings. I will have to hear from my nearest and dearest.
Davina: I am sure you will talk you way out of that, no pro-blem-o !
Galloway: Well actually, I am not standing in any more elections. That was my last election and I lost it.
Davina: One final question. What did you learn about yourself?
Galloway: I thought I could get on with almost anybody, Tony Blair excepted. But I certainly couldnít. I thought I could keep people together in a common cause, and I failed. I thought I could live without the news, and I couldnít. So yeah, I learned things about myself. I also learned some quite personal things that I am not going to talk about on television.
Davina: I look forward to reading them in your autobiography. George I have to stop you there. These are your best bits:
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