Simon Gross is one of the handful of glamorous housemates from this year's series of Big Brother. He goes by the snazzy name 'MR SHOWBIZ' who unfortunatley didn't make it to this week's final on the popular Channel 5 Reality Show. He brought joy, fun and of course a touch of Showbizzz to the house!
Here I chat to the bubbly, fun loving Simon over the phone to discuss Autism & OCD. Let's not forget the little bit of gossiping we had of all things Big Brother. Let's not waste anymore time and get down to our good old chinwag. As we're chatting Simon is making his way to Big Brother's Bit On The Side as he's going to be on the panel tonight! Enjoy....
Hi Simon! It's lovely to be chatting to you today!
First of all, what are your thoughts on Autism?
I run a production company where we mainly do work with elderly people but we have done work with autism before with children like in the past. The work we did was very rewarding and the fact that the audiences responded really well, obviously they were really lively and energetic and for a performer that is a really good thing and they got really involved in the shows that they did.
Would you agree that there is enough awareness of the disability?
I would say no, not really because when you look at something like alzheimer's or dementia where we are more aware of that because people are talking more about that on a daily basis but I don't see much about autism. It's not something that's brought into the public eye everyday so I'd say for that reason, no although I think it's an area that needs to be looked into more.
Simon talks a little bit about how he thinks he may of had OCD when he was younger...
It wasn't extreme, I was obsessively clean as a kid and I used to clean the house from top to bottom constantly. I also went through a thing of not being able to touch anything. I aren't as bad now but being in Big Brother, you can't really be OCD. When Nikki Graham was in there too (also a housemate) She used to struggle and she had everything personalised and written on everything because the house wasn't clean at all, It was quite dirty because I was living with people who couldn't clean up after themselves. You would definitely struggle with OCD being in the big brother house. As a team living together we should be cleaning up after ourselves and have a rota and respect each other but I think over the years I've got a lot better now.
I think people should be people because at the end of the day, if you've got any disabilities or anything you've just got to learn by it and try and get better with it. Just keep going and try to improve it everyday.
You did Big Brother this year, what was the whole experience like for you?
It was a great experience because Big Brother is a brilliant opportunity for anybody who wants to learn more about themselves and things in life that you want to improve on because when you're in the house for so much time on your own like with people but expect a lot of thinking time and I think if you've got stuff going on in your life, It really irons a lot of things in your mind and you need to do that.
I think Big Brother is a brilliant thing to do and it's a brilliant way to meet new people. You're not going to get along with everybody which I didn't as you know although you do meet people that can become friends for life. You go through a journey together and you are a family, I guess and that's what it was like, it was like a family on rollercoasters and going through all different emotions. One minute you're up and the next minute you're down. I found the first week horrendously hard. I was very naive and didn't really realise what the whole process was really about until I got there because obviously I was the 'showbiz' character and everybody knows me for that now but when you take that away, you are who you are and you're a human being and you really had really had to become real in the house. I found that bit very hard. But after the first week I got into it. It was a great experience which I don't regret. It's given me so many more oppurtunities to open up because I'm in theartre and television industry anyway. It's a good show to do for a lot of reasons but you got to be incredibly big-shouldered to do it. It is hard.
Do you think that somebody with Autism could do Big Brother?
I think it would be hard. You would find it very hard because you can't be either on a high or a low all the time, you got to be in the middle with big brother really. You have to be high all the time because if you're on a low, it could make the experience very miserable like you would want to quit.
There were all sorts of people in Big Brother. Nick (also a housemate) who is in Big Brother, he had depression and he struggled with anxiety. He's been amazing and he's even in the final which he has done amazingly well. So saying somebody like that who has survived ten weeks, maybe you would be alright.
Was there anybody you liked and disliked the most in the house?
I connected with people more but you do in Big Brother. I mean, I've connected with Marc (also a housemate) We're really close and we got on so well. Marc is a good friend to me. I also got on well with Sam (also a housemate) She was really nice. I got on so well with Helen although she clashes with a lot of others but she never did me any harm so I got on well with Helen.I didn't cope with Jack very well. He is a problem, he's very very controlling over the house and even dominated the house who was angry about everything. I found him really difficult to get on with to be honest. The thing is with me I was on the original launch night and then I got evicted and returned again, they're such a tight group of people which is why they're all in the final now which annoys me a little bit now because all the other big personalities who came when the show started has all gone. They were the original housemates when we were all there together and like a little family. It seems unfair that all of the originals had gone.
You also can't get on with everybody in that house. Big Brother is like real life and you connect with real people who you connect with 24 hours a day. I tried my best to not row with people although I am quite confrontational but I coudn't be bothered with it all. I didn't want any part of it. I couldn't be bothered with the rows and all of the shouting. You live with these people so if you had a row with them, it'll be uncomfortable. Marc and Sam are nice, nick is also a nice guy. I also got on very well with Cristian who I'd like to win for definitely. I got on well with most of them really. The people I didn't like are still in there. The people that shout and throw their weight around.
You became good friends with Helen. If Helen was to stay until the final, what do you think the house would be like?
Helen is a very big character. She would probably divide the house with two different sides. You either want to be with her and warm to her or you don't. That's the way she is. I think the house would eventually be ok. She was in it last year and survived it and she won it! I think she's very upfront and honest. I think she would strengthen people up but she also upsets a lot of people as well. It would definitely probably be a tough house though.
Helen and Brian Belo (also a house-mate) just clashed, they didn't get on and it didn't work. That's just the way it was. She does say it how it is. She was out of order for what she said to him which I did tell her. The thing about Helen is that she likes to get a reaction and won't change. She is who she is. I love Helen although a lot of people wouldn't agree but that's a part of life really. Helen had a hard time with the public
which Helen kind of thrives on that and if she's being hated then she's happy. She's like Katie Hopkins, those sort of women who are very fiery and like a confontation. Helen actually writes a column for the Daily Star and she's a very good journalist. She's not stupid. she knows what she's doing.
What advice would you give to somebody that wants to audition for the show in the future?
I think that if you want to do Big Brother then you have to know what it's all about. Do your research because you really have to know what you're signing up for. You need to make sure your mentally stable to be able to cope with Big Brother. You've got to really prepare for your whole life to be edited on television. You can't be too private. You've also got to be able to let yourself go. I think it's great fun if you're a young person who wants to learn more about life and have fun other the summer then take the oppurtunity. Don't do it if you think you're going to be famous or make a lot of money from it because you won't. You're bit of fame will not last long either. It's an amazing oppurtunity. Really think about it and do some research too.
You don't even realise how important yur once in a lifetime experience is because I nearly quit three times but I didn't so I'm glad I went properly when I got evicted or else I would of regretted it. Also If you like to sleep then don't do it because they keep you awake most of the night, haha.
You were really great friends with Marc on the show, tell me a bit more about that...
Well, Marc and I came into the house together because we were two of the four that went in. I met Marc at the auditions so we kind of kicked it off when we met. I though he was going to be loud and annoying but I really liked him. I didn't realise who he was when we went into the house but then after a while I realised who he was. We've literally always been there for each other like a bond. That's all I can say. We have a really weird friendship, like brotherly friendship. He's a very intelligent guy and such a lovely person to be around. He was also annoying of course 24 hours a day. He isn't actually like that in the real world he's a lot tamer. He's good to have as a friend. I wanted to find somebody like that in Big Brother and he was what I found. We were facebooking each other this morning and we always say we love each other. We were always there for each other like every morning I would make him coffee and when I'd gone he said he missed his coffee every morning. If he wasn't there, I would of wanted to give up.
I'm actually going to be working with Marc doing some things with him so we will keep in touch. even though you have a friendship in Big Brother, you can still feel very lonely.
What was it like to live with the other TimeWarp BB legends?
Helen Wood and I was great. I liked Nikki Graham. I didn't spend much time with her because she kind of walked around from one person to the next. She didn't really talk with people like Helen. Helen does spend a lot of time talking. I liked Brian belo although I didn't get to know him properly. He had a hard time in there but we had some quite nice conversations. I though he was quite sensible as I imagined because I though he would be a bit of a clown but he's not. He's actually quite a meaningful guy. It's sad when he left the way he did when he escaped by jumping over the wall.
Aisleyne is a strange one, I don't know, I can't really work her out. Obviously her and Helen don't get on at all so I don't know. She took a swipe at me because she said that I said something about her on Twitter which was a load of rubbish because I didn't so I had it out with her. Brian and Nikki have been great and so has Helen. I don't really have any favourites out of the three of them. I just seem to talk to Helen more than the others.
Finally, what's next for you career-wise?
I'm doing Big Brother tonight at 11pm which then I'll be on the panel of Big Brother's Bit On The Side. I'm also going to be doing a lot of personal appearances. I've got one in Newcastle on Sunday and then I'm going to be working with Marc and the pleasure boys because he's of course a stripper so I'm going to be hosting the show! I start touring with them throughout the UK soon. I'm going back to a TV company. Also I'm releasing a single for Celebrity Soccer in September. I've got a meeting next week which we've started working on and it's going to be named Showbiz! Everyday there is something else like interviews and that so yeah it's really good. I've got loads of things going on and the public t=have been really supportive too.