Celebrity Big Brother 2018: Liverpool football star John Barnes confirmed as first male housemate

Jacob Stolworthy
Rex Features

The first male star set to join the eight female housemates in the new series of Celebrity Big Brother has been confirmed.

Former Liverpool football player John Barnes will join the compound this Friday night (5 January) following a live eviction.

Barnes' appearance was announced by Rylan Clark-Neal on sister show Big Brother's Bit on the Side following last night's launch which saw an all-female line-up to mark the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

The former footballer - now a pundit for ESPN and SuperSport - is revered as one of Liverpool's finest players scoring 106 goals in 403 matches between 1987 and 1997.

Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe leads this year's pack alongside novelist and former editor of The Lady, Rachel Johnson who has a famous celebrity big brother of her own - politician Boris.

Elsewhere, the UK's first transgender newsreader, India Willoughby, and 82-year-old veteran actor Amanda Barrie - best known as Coronation Street character Alma - rounds up the initial crop of housemates alongside Maggie Oliver, the detective constable who led the investigation into the Rochdale child sex abuse ring which served as inspiration of 2017 BBC drama Three Girls (she was played by Sarah Lancashire).

You can find the full list of housemates here.

This was the second Big Brother launch in history to have seen just women enter the house following the reality competition's non-celebrity eighth series which aired on Channel 4 back in 2007.

The series is presented by Emma Willis.

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