Big Brother ‘to be axed’ after 18 years on TV
Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother are reportedly to be axed by Channel 5.
According to a new report the programme will be taken off air at the end of 2018 due to poor ratings.
The current series, which has focused heavily on LGBT issues, has seen viewing figures slump to just a few hundred thousand.
The Daily Star reports that both the celebrity and civilian versions will be “consigned to the dustbin for good” 18 years after the show first aired.
Channel 5’s contract with Endemol, the production company behind the format, ends later this year.
Two more series are already slated for summer 2018, but after that it is understood there will be no further series.
A show insider said: “There have been conversations between the execs about not renewing the contract for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.
“It would be the end of an era, but they feel the time is right for it to end.”
The show brought in as many as 10 million viewers an episode at its peak.
But recent editions of the show have fallen to just 800,000 people watching.
Last summer, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow admitted he would like to see the show scrapped.
He said: “I would be much happier if the channel did not have Big Brother on it.”
Friday’s celebrity eviction, which saw Rachel Johnson and Maggie Oliver evicted, was watched by 1.5 million viewers, falling to one million for the second Friday night instalment.
The first evictee, transgender journalist India Willoughby, caused controversy over claims she had a fear of drag queens.
Quizzed about the fear on Lorraine Kelly’s talk show, India said: “I’d just like to say to all the people who are trans, love you to bits, but I’m actually transexual.
“There’s a slight difference there, it’s a medical condition and I had to transition.”
India continued: “To get lots of abuse from people who maybe dress up once a week or do stage performance, saying I’m a disgrace to the transgender community… I find it really strange.”
A spokesperson for Channel 5 confirmed two more series will be aired this year, but did not comment on the show’s future.