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Will Big Brother Return On Channel 5 After All?

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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 screens.

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 million deal.

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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 sure that you're signed-up to our free Newsletter.

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