Celebrities take control in Big Brother spin-off show

JOAN Rivers, the comedienne, and Ian Wright, the former football star, are among the celebrities who have signed up for a new Big Brother spin-off.

The stars will take on the role of Big Brother – maintaining control by setting tasks, handing out punishments such as removing food, and listening to housemates in the diary room.

The contestants taking part in Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack are expected to be young scientists, athletes, acrobats and members of Mensa.

Other celebrities on the month-long E4 show will include Matt Lucas, the Little Britain star, and Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols' manager.

Dermot O'Leary will present the series – his last Big Brother job.

A racism row in the last series of Celebrity Big Brother caused a furore, and Channel 4 decided to replace the show this year with Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.

The programme kicks off on 3 January at 9pm.