After months of speculation it appears a return for Big Brother is close to being confirmed, with Channel 5 said to be just days away from signing a £200 million deal with the show's makers Endemol. The reality series, which was axed from Channel 4 after more than 10 years last summer, could be back as early as August.
According to the Guardian discussions between the two parties - which are thought to have been ongoing since last autumn - have led to Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond and Ynon Kreiz, Endemol's chief executive, refusing to speak to one another. Current negotiations are being undertaken by one of Endemol's biggest shareholders and Jeff Ford, the Channel 5 director of programmes.
According to the paper, if the deal goes through the show would return to its usual schedule in 2012, with a celebrity run in January followed by a longer run with 'normal' housemates in the summer, all following a short celebrity version this August. As well as Big Brother, the newly revamped Channel 5 hopes to bring a load more reality telly to the channel include shows such as Candy Bar Girls. The program will follow the "life and loves" of six lesbians who work in a bar in London's Soho, according to the Guardian.
Channel 5 owner, Northern & Shell, declined to comment to the publication.
Meanwhile Cheryl Cole's spokesperson has once again denied reports suggesting she would be a part of the new programme. "Cheryl has not been approached, and she has no interest in presenting Big Brother," the singer's representative said last night.