Big Brother’s Bit On The Side is reportedly facing the axe – to be replaced by former spin-off show Little Brother.
Reports this weekend have suggested a change to the current show’s set up, with the spin-off show now airing early evenings before the main highlights episodes.
According to the Daily Star on Sunday newspaper, current Bit On The Side host Rylan Clark-Neal will front the revived version of Little Brother.
“Ratings for Bit On The Side have dropped in recent years. It is felt that it has had its time,” a source told the tabloid. “Channel 5 now want Big Brother’s spin-off to be like it was years ago. So it makes sense to bring back Little Brother.”
They: “BB’s spin-off show will now air before Big Brother each night. It will be a more relaxed affair without any swearing or the naughty games people often saw on Bit On The Side.”
Little Brother last aired in 2010 when Big Brother was still on Channel 4 before moving to its current home in 2011.
It’s been suggested that the change could be a part of a move to return Big Brother ‘back to basics’ this summer.
The source previously claimed that most recent series will see an end to “manipulative tasks” and allow drama to unfold “naturally”.
They said: “Execs plan to restrict producers from ‘over producing’ and want to let the characters unfold naturally rather than forcing them to do so with manipulative tasks.
“There will be far fewer tasks this time around.
“They want it to be a true social experiment because they realise they have lost that element along the way.”
A spokesperson for Channel 5 said they would not comment on the speculation.
This year’s Big Brother could be the last to air on Channel 5 with the channel yet to confirm if it will be renewing the series beyond the end of 2018.
Host Emma Willis told The Sun’s Fabulous magazine last month: “I’m hoping it doesn’t go anywhere, but no one’s told me anything yet. I would love it to make 2020.A nice round number and 20 years would be amazing.
“I do think that if you get Big Brother right, if you keep the essentials of what it is – a psychological experiment of how different people react in an unrealistic situation – it’s something that can keep going.
“I’m a nosy neighbour, so for me it’s perfect television.”