Channel 5 has officially cancelled Big Brother and Celebrity Brother.
The reality series, which took its name from the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, is one of the longest-running shows on UK TV. First beginning back in 2000, presented by Davina McCall, the show put a bunch of strangers in a house monitored by cameras and invited viewers to watch the group dynamics unfold. Positioned as a social experiment, the show was a huge hit, with an audience of 9.5 million at its peak.
From Season 1’s “Nasty” Nick Bateman through to lovebirds Helen and Paul in Season 2 and later stars such as Jade Goody, who passed away in 2009, the show went on to spawn its own Celebrity Big Brother spin-off. Eventually, the programme was dropped on Channel 4, but was relaunched the following year on Channel 5, with Emma Willis replacing McCall as the presenter.
This year, Celebrity Big Brother returned with contestants including Dan Osborne, Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas and Emmerdale’s Roxanne Pallett. Once again, Marcus Bentley narrated the show, his voice becoming a household institution across the country. With ratings dwindling over the years, though, there has been speculation of late as to whether Channel 5 would renew its contract with producer Endemol, which is due to expire at the end of this year. The 2017 series finale reportedly attracted 1.1 million viewers.
Now, Channel 5 has officially announced that it will not be renewing its deal for the format.
“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,” said the broadcaster in an official statement. “We’d also like to thank our brilliant presenters – Emma on Big Brother and Rylan from Bit on the Side – for their consummate professionalism, Marcus, 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.”
Rylan Clark-Neal added: “After 6 years working on one of the most iconic shows on television I’m saddened to hear the news Big Brother won’t be returning. It has been the biggest privilege being a housemate, a winner and a host on my favourite show on the television. To work with Emma, Marcus and the amazing team on BOTS every day and have made friends for life I’m truly the luckiest guy in the industry. I hope one day Big Brother will return buy my focus now, as with the rest of the team is to make our last series the best yet.”
“We are incredibly proud of Big Brother which has consistently been the highest rated show for Channel 5 over the past seven years,” Endemol said in a statement. “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 of 85% 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.”
The news comes as its final season prepares to air on Channel 5, kicking off at 9pm on Friday 14th September. It also follows the phenomenal success of Love Island on ITV 2, with Channel 5 reportedly bringing back US dating show The Bachelor in a move to win over the same audience. In the meantime, read on below for some photos released by the broadcaster of this year’s Big Brother house.