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Thoughts and prayers are with that Geordie bloke at this difficult time


Big Brother to bow out next year


Channel 4's final series of reality TV show Big Brother will be broadcast next year, it has announced.


The station, home of the programme since it began in 2000, will honour its deal to screen series 11 next summer.


Channel 4's director of television Kevin Lygo said the show "had reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it's time to move on".


Big Brother has suffered from falling ratings in recent years, with the current run the least watched.


'Huge hole'


The latest series has picked up about two million viewers per show, compared with an audience high of eight million in 2002.


Speaking at the broadcaster's new schedule launch, Channel 4 head Julian Bellamy said: "Big Brother has been our most influential and popular programme over the last decade."


But he added that "inevitably we're both excited and ever-so-slightly terrified by the prospect of getting by without it".


Mr Bellamy said the loss of Big Brother would leave a "huge hole" in the station's schedules, but would prompt "the most fundamental creative overhaul" in Channel 4 history.


He stressed that Channel 4 was not seeking a like-for-like replacement for the reality programme, but admitted that fans of the show would be "disappointed" by its demise.


He said the final series next year would "be an opportunity to give Big Brother an appropriate send-off and celebrate one of the most extraordinary programmes, not just in the history of Channel 4 but of TV in general".


The broadcaster said it had already started to allocate funds which would have been spent on Big Brother into new drama.


The show also spawned Celebrity Big Brother, with one more series of the spin-off to be screened at the beginning of 2011.


Big Brother may not disappear from British TV screens, with the prospect of producers Endemol securing a deal with another broadcaster.


The show's makers said in a statement they are "enormously proud" of their partnership with Channel 4.


"We have every intention of celebrating the show's historic run on Channel 4 with great final series of both Celebrity Big Brother and the summer series in 2010," it continued. HAVE YOUR SAY Top marks C4 - I'll be able to start watching you again Adam, Norwich


"As for 2011, stay tuned. Big Brother will get back to you…"


The programme thrust contestants including Jade Goody, "Nasty" Nick Bateman and Kate Lawler into the spotlight.


It has also courted controversy, including in 2007 when Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty won Celebrity Big Brother following a series of rows with Goody, who was accused of bullying and racism.

Story from BBC NEWS:



Published: 2009/08/26 10:55:57 GMT



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