The new series of Celebrity Big Brother is barely a few weeks away – but it seems that the show’s bosses have only just managed to resolve the fallout from the last instalment.
Endemol have been thrashing out a deal with panto legend Christopher Biggins, who was less than impressed with their attempts to withhold his entire £100k fee after he was booted out of the house for making an anti-Jewish slur.
The 67-year-old star was hoiked out of the house after telling X Factor singer Katie Waissel: “You better be careful or they’ll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room.” The comment was widely construed as being a reference to the mass murder of Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
He’s since apologised to both Katie and her grandparents, who fled Poland to avoid the Holocaust during the Second World War. A close friend of the star says he’s been “deeply affected” by what happened.
“He’s a lovely, gentle man who just didn’t realise the impact of a comment made in haste, and he’s been paying for it ever since,” said Biggins’ pal. “He just wants to close this chapter and move on.”
The Mirror reports that Biggins and Channel 5 have settled on a sum thought to be less than half of the promised £100k fee, with the show’s producers claiming he brought Big Brother into disrepute. No mean feat, that.
“The production company were under no breach of contract by not honouring his full fee,” an insider explained. “He had flouted the show’s rules by making offensive comments and had to leave the process early.
“They have now agreed a figure, but it is nowhere near what was agreed before the series. His remarks were taken very seriously by show bosses.”
Biggins has since returned to TV, recently appearing on Good Morning Britain ahead of this year’s I’m A Celebrity, which he won in 2007.