SALLY BERCOW , the wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, JOHN BERCOW, was begged by him to turn down the chance to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, the Mirror has reported. Apparently John has purposefully gone on a tour of India in order to get 'as far away as possible' from the backlash that is bound to ensue from other MP's and the press. Sally's fee is reportedly £160,000 - £100,000 of which she has chosen to give to charity, with her agent Max Clifford receiving £20,000 and Sally pocketing £40,000 for herself. It is this decision to keep £40,000 that has attracted most controversy.

Clifford told the Mirror: "Sally likes being on TV and she knows it will upset the establishment, which is a big plus.John didn't want her to do it. He hates the show. He thinks it's dreadful. But she didn't want him to be a Tory MP." She also told the Daily Mail that Sally was keen to develop her own career, despite her husband's protestations, and has designs on working with Simon Cowell: "She is keen to meet Cowell. And he's interested in meeting her. So when she's out of the Big Brother house, that's going to happen.Sally has some interesting ideas for TV programmes. There are also some other TV projects, including TV presenting, which she's quite keen to pursue." Big Brother continues on Channel 5 tonight.