Big Brother faces the AXE from Channel 5 after 2018

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The future of Big Brother looks to be in serious doubt beyond 2018.

Channel 5 is nearing the end of a three year deal with programme makers Endemol for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.

The contract is understood to end after next summer's Celebrity Big Brother and it's looking less and less likely we'll see a renewal.

Ratings for the ageing reality series hit some new lows this summer with the least watched Big Brother run to date, averaging fewer than a million viewers.

The current run of Celebrity Big Brother is on course to acquire a similar title as the least watched Celebrity edition, with the shortest series in four years at 25 days long.

Eye logo.
Eye logo.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Channel 5's current boss Ben Frow hinted he wanted rid of the show, saying it had "declined declined declined".

He said (via @elliot_gonzalez on Twitter): "I'd be much happier with a channel without #BBUK on it. I want our own programmes. Contract in place before I joined."

It certainly doesn't bode well for a potential renewal of the contract beyond 2018.

However, Channel 5's Commissioning Editor for Entertainment Steve Regan did show more positivity at a different event recently.

Reacting to this year's low numbers, he said: “Next year, we really want to see some innovation within the format.”

Peter Salmon, chief creative officer at programme makers Endemol, admitted the series faced some "challenges" after almost 20 years on air.

“It’s like painting the Forth bridge. We’ve just got to get at it creatively again," he said.

Emma Willis
Picture shows: Presenter Emma

Current Big Brother host Emma Willis revealed she hoped the show could stay around long enough to celebrate its 20th birthday.

“I hope it’s got legs. I’ve been obsessed with it since it began in 2000, but everything has a shelf life," Emma told The Sun newspaper. “Hopefully it will go for a little while longer.

"It would be nice for it to at least make 20 years.”

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