Italian Roberto tonight became the fourth housemate to be evicted from the UK's Big Brother house – in one of the closest votes in the reality show’s history.
The 32-year-old teacher had been the odds-on favourite for the boot, edging ahead of fellow nominee, Tory boy Derek.
When told the news, the waiting crowd cheered, but the teacher – who reached the final of the “Most Handsome Man in Italy” competition – coolly downed his cuppa.
Wearing a green T-shirt emblazoned with a gold number eight, he hugged and joked with his fellow housemates.
Indicating Derek, he said: “I will leave you in the hands of master chef number two.”
The Italian’s obsession with food annoyed many of the housemates and his popularity plummeted further when he was caught vote-rigging.
It must also have wound up the public – he got 53% of the public vote.
It was confirmed on tonight’s show that Roberto’s vacant place will immediately be taken by three new entrants – although presenter Davina McCall said cryptically “they won’t necessarily be housemates”.
Channel 4 bosses will hope the trio will set sparks flying like previous late entrants to the programme.
Last year, Becki Siddiki stripped off within an hour of arriving and proudly announced she was bisexual.
The year before, scary Welsh addition Lisa Jeynes warned the other housemates she could “kill someone with just two fingers”.
Both failed to make an impression with the public, though, and were swiftly given the boot.
The Sun speculated that the newcomers were a sexy Irish model, a busty “loudmouth exhibitionist” and a virgin who says he has no friends.
The new entrants could provide much-needed sexual interest for the men in the house after the departures of Mary, Lesley and Sam.
They may divert the attentions of Maxwell, Anthony and Craig from Saskia, who Kemal labelled as “dogs” who were on the latter’s leash.
He said: “Saskia’s dominatrix figure is getting to me. She has control of these three idiots – Craig, Maxwell and Anthony. She has the greatest control over Maxwell, she treats Craig like a fool and Anthony is just thick as two planks.
“She’s got leashes on them and is walking her dogs. Power to the woman, but it’s not nice to see. She’s holding their reins and I want to liberate those dogs, I don’t like seeing them suffer.”
Earlier, tension mounted ahead of the eviction, with a playfight between hairdresser Craig and 70s dancer Anthony leading to the Geordie taking the broom to play with.
Derek asked for it back, saying “it’s meant for the kitchen not for your practical jokes. You just f*** off back to Newcastle.”
And Anthony once again got the rough side of a housemate’s tongue when he tried to provoke Science by using his real name – Kieron – and was told “you’re a p**** with a capital P.”