Sally Bercow ‘to go on Celebrity Big Brother’
Big Brother appearance would put even more pressure on her husband, Commons Speaker John Bercow
Sally Bercow, the wife of the Commons Speaker John Bercow who not long ago admitted that a newspaper photo of her wearing a bed-sheet made her look like a "complete idiot", is apparently set to bare all in the upcoming series of Celebrity Big Brother.
Tory MPs have already questioned her motives for agreeing to appear on the show, with one accusing her of using Parliament for "her own financial gain". But far worse, for her husband, is the possibility that his wife's appearance in the round-the-clock reality TV show will be the last straw for his fellow Conservatives, who are keen to relieve him of his role as Speaker.
Bercow will reportedly join X Factor finalists Jedward, former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson and reality TV regular Kerry Katona in Channel 5's first CBB series, which starts on August 18 after the show was ditched by Channel 4. C5 is yet to confirm any names but a 'show source' told the Daily Mail that "the house will not be boring with Sally in it".
Should Bercow appear on Celebrity Big Brother, Westminster village onlookers - an unlikely Channel 5 demographic - will doubtless be agog. John Bercow's enemies in the Conservative party particularly are likely to be glued to the television, waiting to pounce on some faux pas even worse than that of appearing on the show in the first place.
Mrs Bercow, a former Labour candidate, has previously caused controversy for speaking out about her and her husband's private life since he became the Speaker of the House of Commons in 2009. As well as posing for the London Evening Standard's ES Magazine draped in a sheet – a stunt which the 41-year-old later admitted "completely backfired" - Bercow also revealed that living in the Speaker's grace-and-favour apartment had improved the couple's sex life.
In a previous interview with the Standard, Bercow confessed to one-night stands and drinking too much as a younger woman – revelations that led to Conservative MP Nadine Dorries saying that she had reduced her husband and his office to "a laughing stock".
Last night Tory MP Rob Wilson urged Sally Bercow to "think very carefully about what she is doing". He told the Mail: "John Bercow said he wanted to restore respect and dignity to Parliament in his manifesto for Speaker. I am not sure how Sally Bercow going on one of the country's tackiest shows helps."
Speaker Bercow has previously stuck up for his wife, most recently using a Q&A session to defend her daily Twitter comments. "She's free to do what she wants," John Bercow said in June, adding that it was a "spectacularly sexist idea that Sally should have to be silent".
But appearing on Celebrity Big Brother is a whole new ball game. As one Tory MP, who did not want to be named, put it: "With Mrs Bercow under 24-hour scrutiny, it is going to be impossible for her not to embarrass her husband and herself."