Talk of the Town: Double take is Big Bother for Natalie

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THE opening night of Celebrity Big Brother must have seemed like a case of deja vu for former winner John Loughton.

The ginger-haired political activist, crowned Big Brother champion in 2008, had a similar ordeal to one of this year’s participants, actress Natalie Cassidy – both first into the house and given similar opening tasks.

John, 24, from Pilton, captured the nation’s imagination as he responded to secret tasks being fed to him by comedian Matt Lucas, which included randomly screaming the word “cake” and telling housemates he wrote The Sound of Music.

However, Cassidy, starring in Channel 5’s version of the show, had jobs that were considerably less amusing. John observed on Facebook: “A hidden earpiece as a secret task on launch night? Rings a bell . . .”

Political allegiance is there to see in black and white

EDINBURGH West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart popped into Edinburgh Zoo the other day to visit recent arrivals Tian Tian and Yang Guang and was pleased to find them settling in well. Afterwards he said: “I was previously able to say that I represented the most penguins of any MP. Now I’m delighted to be the only MP to have two giant pandas as constituents.”

It’s a split definitive

THE New Year is often seen as a chance for a new start – so perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that the busiest people in Edinburgh today will, according to experts, be divorce lawyers.

Yes, after a festive season of bickering over Trivial Pursuit, the Monday of the first full week back at work after New Year is when most people decide to seek advice or file for divorce.

Stephen Brand, head of the family law team at city law firm Thorntons, said: “Christmas can be an incredibly stressful time for people and this is often magnified when unhappy couples are thrust together over the festive period.”

Divorce lawyers, not being without a sense of humour, have aptly named it “D-Day”.

The lie of the land

WE’RE not quite sure about the scientific validity of this survey, but it doesn’t surprise us. The latest survey to arrive on Talk of the Town’s desk says the average person in Edinburgh tells 375 lies a year about the food and drink they tuck into. Favourites include “It was only a small portion”, “I didn’t touch any of the biscuits”, and “I only had one glass”. If we said we’d never uttered any of those sentences, would you believe us?