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Reality TV Interview

Samuel Pepper, John James Parton ('Big Brother 11')

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BB11: John James Parton on Day 72

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Due to Big Brother's decision to have a 'Vote To Evict', last night's quadruple eviction bloodbath led to the biggest and most popular characters leaving the reality show. House scamp and occupational irritant Sam Pepper and sour-faced Aussie grump John James Parton were among those who got the chop on Friday night. We caught up with the duo at a late-night press conference to quiz them on their BB experiences.

Sam, were all your pranks and plans your own ideas? Or were you trained up by Channel 4?
Sam: "Well, no. It was all my own idea. But I did have an interview with the Big Brother website beforehand, where I said that I did pranks. They then asked me to name a prank that I would play. I said that I don't normally plan them out, but I did tell them about the Corin make-up thing. That was the only prank that I planned before I went in the house."

Were you not at all conscious about what people might think when you said nasty things to the other housemates?
Sam: "When you are inside the house it is a totally different place. I was in the test house before, and I knew about the feeling you get, where you just don't care about anything. These people you don't know, you can say what you want and be what you want. I tell people how it is anyway, but in there, I could completely say anything I wanted. Obviously there are limits with stuff like racism, but you know what I'm saying. You can do whatever you like. Trash the house if you want. It's not my house. These people are not my friends unless I make them my friends."

Was there anything you wanted to do that you didn't get around to?
Sam: "Climbing on top of the snug would have been good. Breaking fire doors. I wanted to smash a mirror at one point just to see what would happen."

Why didn't you do it?
Sam: "I don't know. I thought I might kill a cameraman or something."

John James, you flew thousands of miles several times for this show. Was it worth it?
John James: "Ah, yeah, yeah, definitely. But there's obviously some things that I regret."

What do you regret?
John James: "I think when you watch things back, you see things that you don't realise that you are doing at the time. But I think I said a few inappropriate things to females in the house. If I could take back a lot of that, I would. And nominating Dave in the second week, and a few other nominations."

You seemed to have an issue with women in the house?
John James "It wasn't so much women. I had a lot of rows with blokes in there as well. But with the whole Rachael thing at the beginning, I did get teased at school by a group of girls who were like the film Mean Girls. I was really short at school and that. And a lot of girls used to take the p*ss out of me and look down on people for the way they look. They just had that look where they made you look like a piece of dirt. And I just got that vibe off Rachael. But there will be no hard feelings and I will try to rectify it if I can."

It seemed like you got more bothered about upsetting Nathan than calling Rachael a prostitute?
John James: "Yeah, but that wasn't what I wanted it to be like. Obviously I heard that Nathan was p*ssed, but if I was going to apologise I wanted it to be off my own back. Not just because Nathan wanted to kill me. When I apologise to Rachael I want it to be face-to-face. I was asked about it on Big Mouth, but I won't do it on national TV or for journalists. It has to be face-to-face to make it legit. I never had any problems with Nathan, but I can understand why he was p*ssed."

Can you understand why people might call you a bully?
John James: "I can understand that. Obviously I don't want to be known as a bully or a sexist, that's not a good thing. But what was shown was what was shown. I'm going to have to deal with that."

Why are you so angry all the time?
John James: "I guess, people tell me that I have two different personalities. But it isn't about women. When something p*sses me off, it really p*sses me off. If someone like Mario is playfighting with me, I can sometimes tell them to f**k off. I don't know why it is."

Have you fallen in love with Josie?
John James: "Yeah, I think I have. We'll see what happens. The problem with being in Big Brother is that you don't know whether it is real. Josie can come out of the house and feel totally different, but I'll just have to wait."

Did you ever have sex in the house?
John James: "Oh, miles away. Nothing close to sex. Did I get aroused?"
Sam: "If you had Josie rubbing up against you, would you get aroused? Well, there's your answer!"

Was it tough to not do anything when you were under the duvet all the time?
John James: "It is hard to hold back in situations like that when you are caught up, but I always had Big Brother in the back of my mind. I didn't care about being watched, but I didn't want people thinking it wasn't real. People can believe what they want, but as long as Josie and me know where we stand, that's all that's important to me. As long as she knows how I feel, that's the main thing. That's why I left via the fire exit that day, because I didn't feel that was the case."

Josie is very self-conscious about her figure. Do you find her attractive?
John James: "Obviously I'm attracted to her. I'm not really someone to judge someone on appearance."

Will she pass the mum test?
John James: "Pass the mum test, I've got to pass my own mum test! I've got to meet her in a minute. I wonder what she thinks of me right now?"

You were in the test house last year, Sam. Can you tell us how you came about coming back for a second time?
Sam: "Last year, I did all the auditions and there was an interest. But it's hard to tell how well you are doing because everything is so secretive. But I went in the test house last year, and test housemates rarely go in at the beginning, because they've done a lot of tasks that happen in the real show. But they did call me up when they put David [Ramsden] in last year and I nearly went in then, but they didn't choose me then for whatever reason. At the beginning of this series, I got the call back to audition again, missed out on the opening night and then got rejected again when I was one of the six. But thankfully, they called me up one last time and said that I was going in for real this time."

Were you not attracted to any of the girls in the house?
Sam: "Nobody. If someone like Caoimhe... I didn't actually watch this series, but Caoimhe looked hot. I saw her in the audition process. But apart from that... and don't start with me on the Josie thing. I've already been told by people that there is some supposed chemistry between us."
John James: "I think it was Josie who said it [laughs]."

BB11: Samuel Pepper on Day 73
Did you not fancy Josie?
Sam: "We both liked each other, but I think deep down we hated the fact that we liked each other. She is like me and we both wanted to stick to the fact that we didn't get on. But I couldn't help myself because she is a likable person. And during the series we got closer, and I can imagine hanging out and meeting up once a week outside the house. But we wouldn't get on in a relationship."

How are you going to cope with being known as a villain, John James?
John James: "I expected it before I went on, to be honest. I knew that I had this argumentative side. I know that I can come across as aggressive. I was warned about that twice, once with Sam, which proves that it's not always with women. Although I suppose he's pretty close to being one. If I'm a villain, I'm a villain. I'm not sure how I will deal with that. We'll have to see how the public react."

Are you looking forward to having girls throw themselves at you?
John James: "By the sound of it, I will be dodging knives. By the looks of it I have had bad stuff written about me. So I think I have more to worry about with that. I'm not relishing having girls throw themselves at me. If it happens it happens. I can't control that, in the same way I can't control people hating me."

Sam, will you be having a go at John James and Josie if they sell their stories?
Sam: "Right, let me clear this up. I said to Josie, she will sell her story to the paper. But I should have phrased that differently. I meant that she would 'tell' her story. Not 'sell' her story. I made it sound like it was about the money. But it's not the money for her. She will like telling her story. She's bubbly and likes talking to people about her life, but I don't think she's the sort of person to sell stories."

Who do you think was being fake in the house?
John James: "Andrew I'm not so sure about. I don't really know him enough. He could be playing a game, Andrew. But as far as Mario and Dave are concerned, they are two of the most genuine guys in there."

You seemed quite obsessed about gameplans in the house?
John James:"That was obviously one of my concerns. People fishing for media time and stuff like that. I never had a problem with people doing that, but I had a problem with people going in Big Brother solely for that reason. If people want to sell their story, no problem, but if that's your whole reason for going in... that's pathetic."

But why did you let other people's intentions bother you so much? It doesn't affect you, does it?
John James: "It doesn't matter. But if someone has gone on the show for Nuts or some magazine, how can I trust their friendship? They want to avoid nominations because being in the house longer will get them more money. I needed to trust people in there. I could do that with Josie and Dave.
Sam: [coughs]
John James: "Oh, and Sammie! But with people like Benny, who admitted that the show was make or break for his media career, I was not sure if my friendship was legit."

Did you consider having a Big Brother wedding in the house, John?
John James: "Look, why not? We were going to stage a wedding when she had the wedding dress. Dave was going to do it all as a minister. I would have been happy to play along. Did I think she was marriage material? Yeah, why not? I really, really love her."

Big Brother 11 continues nightly on Channel 4

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