This year's Big Brother is, to all intents and purposes, already over – despite only six days of its 13-week run having passed.
The truly dreadful Shahbaz, a walking exemplar of everything defective in the human psyche, has left the house, but not before becoming the victim of a shocking extended period of bullying in which almost every single other contestant behaved quite appallingly.
I have to say that had I been in the house I would certainly have joined in with them – Shahbaz went so far out of his way to be obnoxious to as many people as possible that I think any collection of strangers would have eventually formed a pack to hunt him down without mercy. The villains are Endemol for creating the situation in the name of entertainment.
Meanwhile, 12 of the remaining 13 housemates are about to be hit by a backlash of monumental proportions. Shahbaz is being reinvented as a poor, sad, deluded loon who was wildly irritating but nevertheless didn't deserve to be on the receiving end of such uncaring savagery. A firestorm is gathering pace, and even long-running BB addicts on the Digital Spy forums are shooting off complaints to broadcasting watchdogs.
However, there is one person in the house who is likely to escape most of the criticism, and that's Pete – the amiable singer whose basic compassion and good sense are never entirely obscured by the tics and whistles of his Tourette's Syndrome. He was already the bookies' favourite to win, and the sight of him in the diary room after Shahbaz left, in tears, saying “I didn't know *how* to stand up for him”, has simply cemented it.
So – Pete to win, everyone else to get roundly booed as they leave. Probably, it would be best if they just called the whole thing off now and saved us all a lot of bother.