Coffee House

The Mrs Bercow show

19 August 2011

What, I suspect, would infuriate Sally Bercow most is if there was a complete media
blackout over her appearance on ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother. As she made clear on entering the house, her whole aim is to annoy what she calls the ‘establishment.’

But at the risk of playing Bercow’s game, it’s worth debunking one argument that her defenders make. They say that she’s a person in her own right and so should be allowed to do
what she wants, that her appearance should be defended on feminist grounds. But on the show, she’s not presenting herself as that. Instead, she’s there as the Speaker’s wife
— that is her claim to fame. When one of the other housemates asked her why she was there last night, revealing most of the so-called celebrities didn’t know who their new celeb
housemates were, she immediately referenced her husband.

If Bercow was appearing on the show as a political tweeter or as someone who stood for Westminster council in the Labour interest last year that would be one thing, but she’s not. Instead,
she is simply abusing her position. The next time that David Cameron or Ed Miliband talks about a lack of responsibility and decency at the top of our society, they’ll have another example to

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  • Francis Soaper

    Venal, shallow and self-centred; it just shows how little difference there is between the main parties if the Strange Idiot Boy is prepared to stand for Labour. Still, she knows how to generate the oxygen of publicity; let’s face it, here we all are fanning the flames.

    I hope the Big Brother House burns down, and her ‘career’ with it.

  • TrevorsDen

    The clue is in the title, Celebrity. Ignore the charidee… its about Z list or has been celenrities increasing their media profile. It generally works for the winner. It generally exposes most of the losers to be the pillocks they wereselected for being.
    Since Bercow’s alleged intention is anti establishment then it seems reasonable enough for the establishment to complain.

    I do not watch programmes where singers can’t sing, dancers can’t dance and skaters can’t skate and celebrities aren’t interesting. Nor do I watch programmes were everyone screams at each other in estuary or cod northern English.
    I suppose that is why programmes were thick scotsmen or english village idiots murder each other are so popular.

  • Mike Towl

    The reason I read the Speccy is so I am not exposed to this kind of crap. Frazer Nelson, go and stand in the naughty boys corner and write out 100 times. “This ain’t the Daily Star!”

  • Mirtha Tidville

    Slapper,Slut and Vulgar……..and her husband aint much better..

  • Mark Telford

    Why are we talking about this waste of space?

  • Baron

    any chance of the husband joining her? this, in a sense, would complete the loop very neatly.

  • Reed

    Ditto what Nicholas said – because he always seems to nail it.

    Let’s not buy the ‘annoying the establishment’ BS. She’s there because she’s a no-talent media whore trying to expand her public profile. Shallow.

  • Alison Kennedy

    Will people please be clearer when referring to the ‘house’ as in this case there are 2 houses to be considered – clarity please

  • Boudicca

    The self-publicising slapper should be ignored. So let’s hope the Spectator sees no need to refer to her and celebrity BB again.

  • and I’ll go to bed at noon


    “…it’s a better show when loud mouthed idiots are on it spouting on about stuff they know bugger all about.”

    I daresay her husband often has the same thought during PMQs.


    Plenty to raise a Coffee Houser’s smile today besides this story. Not only do we have the cover of this week’s house mag to give us all a laugh, but, best of all, is this, courtesy of Guido, from The Guardian:

    And who said the warmists weren’t headbangers?

  • Robert Eve

    The Bercows deserve each other.

  • bojimbo

    Ain’t got a tv ; don’t want one .

  • Dennis Churchill

    A political class that serves its apprenticeship as student activists, what do you expect?
    They are just aged student activists with little or no senior experience outside politics so obviously they would attract equally immature people.
    On his non-political CV what job would Bercow even be shortlisted for let alone get?

  • Percy


    You misunderstood my point; she knows very little about anything but is happy though to share her lack of knowledge with whoever is around….QED an excellent contestant on Big Brother. You really should watch it some time!

  • Andy Carpark

    Sally Bercow reminds me vaguely of Anthea Turner. I cannot recall what Anthea Turner was famous for, if anything, but she came to my attention when she sold the photographic rights to her wedding to some confectionary company and there was a surreal montage of wedding pictures in Hello magazine with everyone pigging out on white chocolate bars and at least one guest in the act, the very act, of throwing up (hands on knees etc).

    I am disappointed that there will be no animal contestants in the Big Brother House as this would lower the odds on a bit of human-animal miscegenation when the household was all pissed up. If the programme were still made by [?] Endemol, I am sure this innovation would already have taken place.

  • In2minds

    @Peter From Maidstone – August 19th, 2011 3:37pm –

    “She brings the office of Speaker into disrepute, such repute as her appalling husband has left it. He should resign………”

    That is the problem, who is pulling the strings? The idea he works in the HoC and she is her own woman is silly. They are in this together.

  • lescam

    Ms Bercow is a self-centred, attention-seeking exhibitionist of the very worst kind, continually parading herself in an undignified manner in the media, and this time having the chutzpah to make out it is being done for charity. What a load of old rubbish, it is being done to promote herself yet again, paving the way to “write” her memoirs and/or diaries for the long-suffering public’s delectation.

    How nauseating is this never-ending parade of Z-list celebs doing idiotic, useless acts “for a good cause”, for some charity or other which no-one has ever heard of, etc. when in fact their only purpose is to promote themselves and keep themselves as a marketable commodity, able to “lecture” on cruise ships, appear on chat shows etc. The charity sideline helps to give them a worthy image from the point of view of the public. I still remember Sarah, Duchess of York years ago promoting her “book” and saying proceeds would go to charity. In actual fact I think it was about 10% of the total.

    Why John Bercow allows his wife to act as she does, is a mystery. Her actions, making her look ludicrous, also make him look a fool. This is not the act of a devoted wife, it is the act of a selfish, all-out for herself, crazed publicist who cares nothing about her husband’s image.

  • Holly ……

    You never know, she might decide that other housemates are more capable of annoying members of the establishment,of which she belongs, despite her protestations to the contrary and, grow up/act her age.

    This tomfoolery may just be the making of her, Or could well be turn out to be the car crash TV that she takes in the spirit of being a bit of ‘fun’ dreamt up by the producers…
    Remember Galloway?

    Either way she will learn who she is and what she wants most…The establishment & all it’s trimmings, or the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
    The producers/tabloids don’t care either way.

  • Peter From Maidstone

    She brings the office of Speaker into disrepute, such repute as her appalling husband has left it. He should resign if he has any sense of honour. This goes way beyond the Westminster village. It shows that the Speaker and his wife have no respect for the British people whose servant he is, and by extension she is.

  • LMS

    You never know, she might get drunk and do a repeat of her Evening Standard shoot, minus the sheet.

  • Scary Biscuits

    Chris, to be married is to be part of a team. You are still the same people but you are no longer wholly an individual.

    Regardless of the wealth or status of your spouse, you have a responsibility to them that you have voluntarily accepted. Whatever your level in society what your spouse does affects you. Doing something selfish, purely for your own benefit, when you are in a partnership is unlikely to improve your relationship.

    Sally Bercow going on BB isn’t disreputable because she is married to the Speaker; it is disreputable because she is married.

  • Nicholas

    ” . . her whole aim is to annoy what she calls the ‘establishment.’”

    A hilarious nonsense because the silly woman is part of the ‘establishment’. Socialist politico-celebs like her (q.v. Tony Robinson also) still rage against a long gone ‘establishment’ which they have already supplanted with something far worse. One need look no further for arrogant, privileged tyrants than Mr and Mrs Berk & Cow.

    Still I suppose pandering to the thickest, crassest and most dumbed down aspects of our ‘vibrant diversity’ is at least a consistent socialist objective, however it is dressed up.

  • Jeremy

    The impression I get is that Mrs Bercow is desperate to secure the approval of bien pensant opinion. And to this end, she repeatedly makes a complete arse of herself.

    Therein lies a lesson for us all.

  • Derek Pasquill

    Will the Speaker be Happy, Grumpy or Bashful?

  • 2trueblue

    Percy, you are going to be disappointed, she knows very little about anything. Her previous form is to go out, get drunk and get laid. One night stands, according to her, was how to do it. Now she parades as her own person, under the speakers name. Very enlightened and independent! She lacks anything that you would want your daughter to be.

  • denis cooper

    Well, it’s not the greatest issue facing the country, but I agree with James on this – her only significant claim to celebrity, and therefore her ticket to get on this TV show, is that she’s married to the Speaker.

  • Old Slaughter

    Just what the ever diminishing dignity of the house needs.

    The worst part is her insistence on talking about sex. Images of her or/and Bercow in the sack is enough to bring on stomach cramps.

    Utterly revolting.

  • Pettros

    To be fair she has developed her own right to be on the show via the “saucy” shots infront of big ben. That is equally legitimate as most of the reasons for being on the show.

  • Chris

    This is another one of those scenarios where the politicos get all worked up, completely oblivious of the fact this means absolutely nothing to outside of the Westminster bubble.

    Unless we’re going to start calling for all wives of rich/important/influential men to become subservient and keep quiet “just in case they embarrass their husband”, then this should just be left alone.

    Of course, if she’s stupid enough to say something incriminating then my opinion may change – but until then, I suggest we’re in no position to judge what she should and shouldn’t do. Simply appearing on a TV show like Big Brother embarrasses no-one but herself.

    One last thing – I’d love to see a list compiled of the people who are upset by her appearance – and then work through that list to find out how many of those people a) are a Tory, or b) dislike the Speaker. I’m willing to bet that a large majority of those expressing faux outrage will fall into one of those categories.

  • Andy Carpark

    She will sacrifice a toad
    On the Basilisk’s Abode.

  • AnnInnis

    … interesting: Mrs B has only really had dealings with the political press now she moves into the world of the tabloids… will be a bumpy ride.

  • Percy

    I love Big Brother; it’s a better show when loud mouthed idiots are on it spouting on about stuff they know bugger all about. She’s going to be a great contestant.

  • pharbitis

    La Ber cow will not really annoy the Establishment; there will of course be faux outrage but I think most will regard her as if she were a stripper on the dinner table -a mixture of salacious enjoyment and a twinge of guilt at the naughtiness of the pleasure. The strongest emotion will be delight that she has given her husband’s enemies more ammunition to get him evicted from the House shortly after she is evicted from the BB House.
    Of course if she were really ‘her own person’ she would have gone in under her maiden name – but then no-one wouild have had a clue who she is – just another tawdry shameless wannabee.
    The longer she stays in the better!

  • John Goode

    The Speaker’s WAG

  • Biffo

    Rope. Enough. Hang.

  • Jez

    Well said James.

  • Chris

    Christ, get over yourself.

    You usually provide spot-on analysis, but on this occasion…

    ‘Abusing her position’?! I do think she’s really stupid going on this show but that’s because it’s a terrible, terrible program. Plus, it is actually legitimate to argue that she’s only there because she’s the Speaker’s wife (as she always admits) and also saying she can do what she wants because she’s not the Speaker herself.

    Seriously though, who cares?

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