It’s Celebrity Big Brother time again and the house has welcomed its second person with Tourettes. This year Basshunter (Jonas Altberg) is a housemate.
The first Big Brother contestant with Tourettes was Pete Bennett back in 2006 and he went on to win. His appearance on the show still has a positive impact on my experiences when I’m out and about, years after the programme was aired. Pete did a lot to raise awareness of Tourettes and I often hear people refer to him when they’re talking about me.
Jonas’s tics are less obvious than Pete’s. He’d apparently said in earlier interviews that he’d cured himself, so I was worried that some people might think that other people with Tourettes, like me, are just not trying hard enough, but I’ve just listened to an interview he gave a few years ago and he didn’t say that at all. What he did say made sense and is really positive.
It might seem like a bit of an overreaction to be worried by a TV show, but the attitudes and understanding of strangers has a big impact on the quality of my life when I’m out and about.
Jonas has said he’s a Tourettes hero too.