Emma Willis reacts to Big Brother axe ahead of last ever series launch

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Emma Willis has reacted to news that Big Brother has been axed by Channel 5.

Channel 5 confirmed this morning that it had dropped Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother after seven years. The show started on the channel in 2011 after a decade on Channel 4, but won’t be back after 2018.

The latest series – which begins tonight at 9PM – will be the last ever.

Channel 5 said: “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.”

Host Emma has been fronting the main show since 2013 and previously hosted spin-off Bit On The Side back during the Channel 4 era.

In a video posted to Twitter this evening, she shared with BBUK fans: “We have all found out today that Big Brother is no more on Channel 5.

“I feel like I’ve been through this process before. Well I have been, I worked on the last year on Channel 4.

“The news was a shock, if I’m honest but I kind of still hold out hope that somebody out there loves it as much as we do and gives it a home in the future because it has been on the TV for a bloody long time and you know, it’s part of our popular culture.

“So it would be sad. It would be sad to see its end.”

Emma hinted: “It’d be lovely to see it come back for its 20th anniversary!”

She went on: “It has made every single person that works here and on the show it’s given us even more of an incentive to make this the most incredible series.

“We want to go out on a high and on a bang. Not in a controversial view, a brilliant, let’s celebrate Big Brother.”

In the video, Emma went on to tease this year’s Big Brother housemates, describing them as an ‘old school Big Brother’ cast.

Bit On The Side host Rylan, who rose to fame on The X Factor before winning Celebrity Big Brother, has also spoke out on Big Brother’s axe.

He said on Twitter today: “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 [Willis], Marcus [Bentley] 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 but my focus now, as with the rest of the team is to make our last series the best yet.

“I’d like to thank all of our guests, housemates and teams from over the years, Endemol and Channel 5 for having me and most of all the viewers for sharing this amazing journey. I learned how to host a show on the job here and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity. R x”

Big Brother’s final series airs from tonight on Channel 5.

The series is expected to run for 8 weeks.

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