Russell is the second celebrity to quit the show after the lead singer of the punk rock band Towers of London Donny Tourette left the programme after just 48 hours in the house, said the sources yesterday.
''I knew there'd be a few surprises but not of the kind I experienced,'' said the 79-year-old Russell, who argued with Jade Goody before his departure.
Goody, a millionaire after her appearance in Big Brother four years ago, together with her mum Jackiey Budden and boyfriend Jack Tweedy, had joined the celebrities in a surprise twist to the show on Friday.
''I'm a big old fuddy duddy and some of the surprises were a little bit too much for someone of my sensibility,'' added Russell, who is most famous for bringing homoerotic imagery to a mainstream blockbuster in his 1969 film ''Women in Love''.
The film, which saw Oliver Reed and Alan Bates wrestle naked by the fire, brought Russell an Oscar nomination for best director and Glenda Jackson an Oscar for best actress.
The 1970s pop star Leo Sayer is the favourite to win the fifth series of the TV reality show.
With the departure of Russell and Tourette, Sayer is up against Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine and American actor Dirk Benedict, who starred in the 1980s TV series ''The A-Team'', former beauty queen Danielle Lloyd and ex-Steps singer Ian 'H' Watkins.
The other contestants are newspaper columnist Carole Malone; Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty; actress Cleo Rocos and singer Jo O'Meara, formerly of S Club 7.
Critics have dismissed this year's housemates as a rag-tag collection of ''has-beens and wannabes''. Newspapers dubbed it the ''Z-list Big Brother''.
Last year's winner was Chantelle Houghton, previously unknown to the public, who was planted in the show as a ''fake'' celebrity.
REUTERS PDM MIR RAI0948