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Benjamin Zephaniah: I’m so glad I turned down Big Brother

BIG BROTHER? NO THANKS: Benjamin Zephaniah has turned down several offers to take part in reality TV shows

BENJAMIN Zephaniah says he has no regrets about turning down offers to appear on Big Brother.

The British poet, celebrated for pioneering dub poetry in Britain, says he has received several offers to appear on reality TV shows and he has rejected them every time.

“I've been offered to do Big Brother twice, I've been offered to go in the jungle [for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!] and I've said no every time, because that has nothing to do with my creativity,” Zephaniah told The Voice. “It has nothing to do with me commenting on the world or trying to help my people.”

Though appearing on the shows may have given him the opportunity to share his thoughts with millions of viewers, the Birmingham-born writer and performance poet insists that reality TV isn’t what he is about.

In addition, a chance meeting with one of his fans confirmed for him that turning down reality TV shows was the right thing to do.

“A woman came up to me after I rejected Big Brother,” Zephaniah recalls. “She literally stopped me while I was crossing the road. She told me that when she was young, she used to come to my poetry readings, and now, she has children who follow me too.

“She said that they're always really proud when they see me on television – but she was so happy when she heard that I'd turned down Big Brother. She told me that the idea of watching me brush my teeth or go in the shower, or get into arguments with people would have broken her heart!”

Zephaniah adds: “Then she said: 'When we see you, we want to know you're going to do or say something worthwhile.' That said it all for me.”

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