After plenty of speculation and disappointment over the past
six months, it seems that the Big Brother game show format
could yet rise 'phoenix-like' and make a return to our TV
When it was scrapped by Channel 4 last summer after a ten-year
run, the broadcaster distanced itself from the show by confirming
to us that it definitely
wouldn't be coming back.
Publicly-owned C4 had already given the show a mock funeral,
said their goodbyes and pointed-out why they killed it off
(a move supposedly aimed at freeing-up resources to make more
new drama). So, a return to that channel was always going
to be unlikely, despite tabloid stories suggesting it would
return in the New Year (early 2011).
Around the time of its demise, Channel 5 were said to be
in talks with production company Endemol to take over the
format and rekindle the show. However, we reported on the
day of the last-ever Channel 4 show that those talks
had broken down.
Acting on inside information, we went as far as to say that
the show was effectively 'dead in the water', in light of
the fact that no other potential buyer had come forward.
This caused waves within the online community of Big Bro
fans, who found it hard to accept that the show – which
had been a big part of their lives for a number of years –
wasn't coming back. So, many people dismissed our suggestion
and refused to believe it.
At the time we were right though, although our controversial
article did suggest that talks between the two parties might
resume in the future. Well, that's precisely what happened,
and in January there were rumours that Channel 5 owner Richard
Desmond was getting close to agreeing a deal.
Desmond, the mega-rich owner of the Daily Star and Daily
Express tabloid newspapers, made no secret of the fact that
he was interested in acquiring the rights to air Big Brother
when he bought FIVE last summer. According to the latest information,
that's looking almost inevitable now.
For negotiations with the programme-maker, which would likely
see a Celebrity version of the show airing on C5 later this
year followed by a regular series featuring members of the
public, have forged ahead recently.
Indeed, according to our mole, a licensing deal between Endemol
and FIVE valued at well in excess of £100 million is
all-but done, and is just days away from being announced;
it was due to be announced this week but last-minute legal
issues prevented it. The show was last commissioned by Channel
4 in late 2006, in what was reputed to have been a £180
Meanwhile, according to the Daily Star, sexy songstress Cheryl
Cole is in the frame as a possible new presenter, with long-time
host Davina McCall unlikely to return having said in recent
months: "Any channel that picks-up BB would be a very
lucky channel, but I think I've said goodbye".
A huge BB fan herself, the 43-year-old also went on record
to say that someone else should present the show if it returns
on a new channel, because it needs a 'fresh start'.
Watch this space for more information. In the meantime, make
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