Big Brother to end after 18 years

Ahead of the live launch of the new series on Friday evening, Channel 5 announced it will be the final one

 

The new series of Big Brother will be the last to air on Channel 5, it has been confirmed.

Celebrity Big Brother will also be discontinued after another series packed with controversy.

The seminal reality show first aired on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2010, and was relaunched by Channel 5 the following year.

Ahead of the live launch of the new series on Friday evening, Channel 5 announced it will be the final one.

The channel tweeted the announcement saying: “It’s time for this game to end.”

The show suffered falling ratings compared with reality TV competition, such as the wildly popular Love Island on ITV2.

The final of the first series of Big Brother on Channel 4 attracted a TV audience of 9.45 million.

The final of the most recent series, broadcast by Channel 5 last year, was watched by just 1.11 million.

The new series of Big Brother will be the last to air on Channel 5, it has been confirmed. Photograph: Channel 5/PA Wire
The new series of Big Brother will be the last to air on Channel 5, it has been confirmed. Photograph: Channel 5/PA Wire

Channel 5 said in a statement: “The forthcoming series of Big Brother will be the last — of either celebrity or civilian versions — on Channel 5. We’d like to thank Endemol and all of the production team who have worked tirelessly to make the show a success.

“We’d also like to thank our brilliant presenters — Emma (Willis) on Big Brother and Rylan (Clark-Neal) from Bit On The Side — for their consummate professionalism, Marcus (Bentley), the voice of Big Brother and all of the housemates who have created so many memorable moments.

“Most importantly, we’d like to thank fans of the show for their support over the last seven years. We look forward to giving the final series a brilliant send-off.”

Ben Frow, director of programming at Channel 5, told the Edinburgh TV Festival in August: “I plan for a year without Big Brother.

“I never say never because the world is constantly changing, and I think it would be irresponsible to not keep all options open, but at the moment I’m planning for a year without Big Brother.”

Endemol Shine UK, the producers of Big Brother, said in a statement that they are “incredibly proud” of the show, which they said has “consistently been the highest rated show for Channel 5 over the past seven years, with the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother being the channel’s highest rating show of the year, growing its audience year-on-year by 17 per cent and tripling the channel’s slot average for 16-24s.”

A statement posted on Twitter continued: “This performance is credit to the fantastic production team, plus Emma, Rylan, Marcus and the many housemates over the years who have delivered so many unmissable series. Big Brother continues to be a global phenomenon.

“The UK is one of 20 countries where the show will air in 2018, including the US where Celebrity Big Brother was recently renewed, four different versions in India and last month’s Celebrity Big Brother in Germany which saw a rise in 85 per cent series on series.

“Whilst disappointed not to reach an agreement with Channel 5 the decision opens up a new chapter and we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the UK.”–PA