Jermaine Jackson, a former member of The Jackson 5, was tonight the first of 11 contestants to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house.
A black-caped Davina McCall, host of the Channel Four show, introduced the famous - and not-so-famous - faces before they entered the house one by one.
Those who win the viewers' support will remain in the house for 25 days, she told the crowd.
"There will be more celebrities stuck in there than ever before," she said.
Jackson, who now lives in Dubai, was co-lead singer of The Jackson 5 with his brother Michael and has an album out this year.
Wearing a long burgundy coat trimmed with gold, he made a peace sign to the crowd as he walked towards the house.
He told Davina that his brother would be watching.
"Michael's in Vegas right now but he has a way of seeing everything," he said.
Next in was Danielle Lloyd, wearing a back and white minidress, who was booed by the crowd as she walked the red carpet.
The 23-year-old glamour model was stripped of her Miss Great Britain title after she posed for Playboy and it emerged she was dating competition judge Teddy Sheringham.
She told Davina he was watching at home and that her ambition in life was "just to be happy".
As Lloyd met Jackson, McCall said: "I don't think she knows who he is."
Legendary film director Ken Russell was next inside the house, but he needed a little help from Davina getting in.
As he walked unsteadily up the stairs towards the house, he whimpered: "I don't want to go."
She then walked the filmmaker, who was wearing a flamboyant patterned pink shirt and waistcoat, slowly down the stairs.
Inside, he explained to other housemates who he was and some of the films he had directed.
"I am an old English film director," he exclaimed.
Before his entrance, the director, who says he is a huge fan of Big Brother, stumbled around in front of the crowd belting out Singing In The Rain.
As he spoke briefly to Davina, the sound was cut with the host apologising afterwards for something Russell had said.
Former S Club 7 singer Jo O'Meara was the fourth housemate to appear.
The blonde pop star-turned-dog breeder, 27, said hello to the cheering crowd and told Davina: "I am absolutely terrified, I can't tell you how scared I am.
"I've hardly told anybody, so 'Hello band' if you're watching."
She added that she hoped to avoid "anyone that's horrible" and had "absolutely no idea" why she was on the show.
Entering the house, she kissed the other three housemates and told them: "I'm so scared, I've been so ill."
She said of the house: "It's quite small, isn't it."
Curly-haired singer Leo Sayer made a quieter entrance than some of his co-contestants.
Dressed in a bright orange scarf and dark coat, he gave the thumbs up to the crowd before telling Davina that being on Big Brother was "something to do in January in the rain".
But the star, who said he now lives in Sydney, warned that other housemates could find that he was "too entertaining".
"They might find I talk too much," he said.
Unlike some of the entrants, he immediately recognised other housemates when he got inside.
Pointing out Jermaine Jackson first, he said: "Jermaine, how are you?"
Sadly though, Leo was not so recognisable to Ken Russell.
"I'm sorry I don't know who you are," Russell said, apologetically.
But when Sayer explained, the director suddenly clicked.
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, 31, was the sixth person to enter the house.
"Being a celebrity is really tough," she said in a pre-recorded clip.
"I constantly travel with an entourage and I know I won't have that in the Big Brother house."
The glamorous star wore a pink sari and spent some time posing for photographers outside the house.
She told McCall: "I just want every Indian to be extremely proud that I'm in here."
But she admitted that she was not familiar with the show.
Next was Carole Malone, 47, the Sunday Mirror columnist, who admitted that she had called previous Celebrity Big Brother contestants "a bunch of morons on a reality show".
But she defended her presence on the show, saying: "As a journalist, it's something I couldn't not do. Every journalist in the country wants to write about this."
She was, she added, "terrified out of my life but I just couldn't say no to this".
As she greeted her fellow contestants, she said: "I'm so frightened, I can't tell you."
Malone is no stranger to reality TV, having previously appeared on ITV1 reality show Celebrity Fit Club.
Next in to the house was rocker Donny Tourette, lead singer of big-haired punk band Towers of London.
The 25-year-old made a less-than-dignified entrance as he made repeated hand gestures at the crowd.
But they retaliated with a continuous chant of "Who are ya?"
Davina attempted to lead him into the house without much success at first before he was eventually persuaded to go inside.
Asked by the host if he was feeling "rock and roll" he said: "The problem is are these people feeling f**king rock and roll?"
As he got inside Tourette, who admits having "bad habits", complained about the "d***heads", possibly meaning the crowd.
He then was immediately recognised by Leo Sayer.
"He used to come around my house," Sayer said.
Former Steps singer Ian 'H' Watkins, 30, was next to enter the house.
In a pre-recorded clip he said: "People's perception of me is that I'm that blonde knob from Steps." However, he noted, he is no longer blond.
Watkins, originally from Cwmparc in the Rhondda Valley, revealed in today's Sun that he is gay and had hidden his sexuality from fans.
Explaining his decision to come out, he told McCall: "I'm really proud of who I am and I just want everybody to know."
He added that he was most dreading "crotch shots" and hoped to have "a load of fun" on the show.
Actress and writer Cleo Rocos followed Watkins into the house.
The redhead, 44, shot to fame on The Kenny Everett Show in the 1980s, most famously as Miss Whiplash.
Wearing a pink satin coat, she said of her former co-star: "He'd think I was a complete loon but he'd have loved watching it."
She revealed that she was single and looking for love. "I'm into OIL: old, ill and loaded."
As she entered the house, Malone told her: "You're a surprise. We didn't hear about you."
Leo Sayer told Rocos that he had met her before.
Last into the house was actor Dirk Benedict, best known as dashing Templeton 'The Face' Peck in hit Eighties show The A-Team.
He made a classic entrance by arriving at the house in a replica of the famous black-with-red-stripe A-Team van.
Benedict, who was smoking on a trademark cigar, got huge cheers from the crowd and spent several seconds soaking up the adulation.
In a pre-recorded clip, he talked about how the hit series had "changed his life" but admitted that he might struggle inside the house.
"I don't like working in groups," he said.
He added that his fame had made it easy to "catch" women but he said he sometimes had trouble holding on to them.
Speaking to Davina live before going in, the 61-year-old said: "I have no idea why I am here. What am I doing? I offer myself up as a sacrifice for the A-Team."
Then, on his way down the stairs, he muttered: "Oh boy, now begins the torture."
After all the housemates were inside, Davina revealed that on Friday a spanner would be thrown into the works when a "family" would be put inside.
Former Big Brother contestant Jade Goody is widely rumoured to be entering the house later with members of her own family.