You don't have to be mad to go on Big Brother, but it helps

You don't have to be mad to go on Big Brother, but it helps PEOPLE often ask me whether I'd go on Big Brother. Now I know I'm not renowned for being a shrinking wallflower when it comes to grabbing a bit of the limelight but there's absolutely no way on Earth I'd ever consider committing myself to that house.

Can you seriously imagine being under that scrutiny, for that long? Absolutely everything is at stake - your future, your reputation.

You have no say over the way the footage is edited, and you sign a contract allowing your image to be used in whatever way they want, for no payment at all, anywhere across the world.

But forget the morals, what people who share my point of view are really scared about is being filmed, night and day, lying around in their unflattering pants and vest, looking gormless.

That would definitely not be good for my image - which I like to think of as a go-ahead, successful businessman who's always sharply dressed and nicely groomed.

Even if I managed to make myself incredibly popular by excelling in the fun and games and group activities, and shrewdly sussed the house politics to my own advantage, nothing would make up for the indignity of being beamed across the nation, picking my nose and staring into space - like everyone inevitably is.

I already have to contend with the risk of being spotted absent-mindedly mining the old nostrils when I'm in standing traffic on the M62 every morning. I don't even know I'm doing it.

But on TV in front of millions of strangers, rather than the odd fellow motorist I might happen to know, would be just too much.

I'd love to be properly famous but not at that cost. And Big Brother very rarely leads to a successful media career.

My friend Kate Lawlor's making a good effort with her DJing but that's down to talent, not just BB exposure. Most disappear once it's clear that they have nothing to offer the outside world.

You can chart virtually every Big Brother housemate's descent into z-list oblivion from the moment they leave the house. I know plenty of them - when they walked along that walkway to meet Davina, they were hot news and straight away they could command £3,000 or £4,000 for a personal appearance.

A few weeks or months later that's down to £200, then you find their agents are touting them for free, to keep their flagging profiles up. "They'll appear for expenses only," say the desperate agents. And when you say you can't or won't pay expenses, they come back with: "Well, they'd like to give their time anyway!"

Look how massive Shabaz was... now people can barely remember him. All the latter contestants just blend into one. And who's seen Huddersfield's Lesley lately? That poor girl's often said she wishes she'd never done it, and advised anyone who'll listen not to put themselves in that situation.

I'm listening, Lesley, it sounds like good sense to me.

An activist who's so polite

I see gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was beaten up in Russia on his latest crusade. I don't doubt that he does looking for trouble, and he finds it, but I think he's deeply misunderstood.

People expect Peter to be loud and opinionated but I've met him a few times and he's a lovely person, quiet and almost humble.

Unassuming and easy-going... honestly.

Once, he attended a Mr Gay UK final that I'd organised, which was being compered by Jason Donovan. Peter wasn't keen on Jason because he'd once answered a journalist's question: "Are you gay?" with: "No, I surf!" meaning surfing was a manly thing to do and therefore he couldn't be homosexual.

Peter wanted to jump onstage with a banner and he actually asked me first, saying he didn't want to embarrass anyone or spoil the competition. I said: "Er, no, I'd rather you didn't," so he kept his banner furled up and out of sight. What a polite activist!

I feel a bit sorry for him because he funds all his campaigning himself - nobody gives him any money. You have to respect him, that's dedication for you.

The "gayest" kids' TV

I read that people in Poland were puzzling as to whether the Teletubby Tinky Winky is gay or not. It must have been a slow news day...

And what rubbish! One thing's for sure, he won't be "gay" as far as his infant fans are concerned - just funny and entertaining.

Talking of "gay" children's telly, nothing's ever been camper than my old favourite, Rainbow - you had Jeffrey jumping around in his brightly coloured trousers plus bickering twosome George and Zippy both seemed decidedly pink. All right, so Zippy is orange ...