Big Brother narrator thought iconic ‘David’s dead’ moment was fake
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Big Brother narrator Marcus Bentley has admitted he thought the iconic ‘David’s dead’ moment was fake, saying the truly ‘gob-smacking’ exchange was the ‘greatest piece’ of reality TV.
Cast your minds back to January 2016, which may not initially seem like a particularly memorable time – maybe you were carving your name into a desk at school, looking over all the figures from Q4 or just trying to eat up the rest of all that Christmas cake.
Over in the Big Brother house, however, a bunch of famous faces were cooped up for the latest celeb version of the long-running TV show.
It also happened to be the month that we lost singer David Bowie, who passed away on 10 January after being diagnosed with liver cancer 18 months before.
While contestants are often completely oblivious to what’s going on in the outside world, producers chose to tell Angie Bowie – the star’s ex-wife – of his death.
After being married to him for 10 years between 1970 and 1980, she was clearly completely shocked as she returned to tell her other housemates the news, telling Tiffany Pollard: “David’s dead.”
However, at the time, another David was in the competition with them - David Gest, who had been feeling unwell and was resting in bed.
Pollard ran to tell others what had happened, saying: “I can’t keep it a secret, she told me not to tell anybody. He told me something and I have to say it. I’m not able to not say anything."
But when she went into the bedroom and found Gest lying in bed, she had the shock of her life – before her housemate came and told everyone: “David... My ex-husband!”
Gest sadly ended up passing away a few months later in April after suffering a stroke.
Narrator Bentley, 55, said he was as stunned as we were, recalling how the team monitored his reaction to the unaired footage to gauge how audiences may respond.
Speaking to the Metro, he explained: “I initially thought it was fake. My jaw was on the floor. It is one of the most unbelievable bits of reality TV.
“I think it’s the greatest piece of reality.”
He added: “It’s ridiculous and gob-smacking.”
Bentley went on to pay tribute to late Big Brother star Nikki Grahame, who sadly died in 2021.
“She was gorgeous, fun, hilarious and a complete diva,” he said.
“That’s who she was.
“She was outrageously funny and selfish. She was a human, and God love her – she had battles with anorexia and she’s one of the only people that made me cry watching her."
He said he was left in tears during 2010’s Ultimate Big Brother, when Grahame opened up to Vanessa Feltz about her struggles with anorexia.
“This hilarious, outrageous lady who made us all laugh and wince, had this battle with an illness,” Bentley said.
“We know now it eventually killed her.”
Bentley also revealed a recording of 'hanky panky' between Jade Goody and PJ Ellis was ultimately destroyed.
"The film was put in a safe because at the time it was a little bit explicit," he said.
"I never saw it. I have heard from the horse’s mouth that they put that tape where nobody could have it and eventually, they destroyed it.
"They may be adults but they are young adults. You can’t just roast them for a few extra views. They have to have a duty of care."