ENTERTAINMENT

'Big Brother' Facing Channel 5 Axe? Network Boss Admits He'd Be 'Happier' Without It

Ratings have declined dramatically in recent years.

24/08/2017 18:24 BST | Updated 24/08/2017 18:26 BST

Big Brother’s days on Channel 5 look to be numbered, as the network’s boss has admitted he would be “happier” if it were axed. 

Ben Frow has said he doesn’t want “other people’s programmes” on his channel, as he was not the one who originally snapped up the rights after the reality show left Channel 4 in 2010. 

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Emma Willis is the current host of 'Big Brother' 

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Thursday (24 August), Ben said (via Radio Times): “I would be much happier if the channel did not have ‘Big Brother’ on it.

“I like the ratings but I want to create our own programmes. I don’t really want other people’s programmes. I want my own programmes that we have created.”

While Ben suggested the ratings were still in good health, the last run of the civilian series earlier this summer became the least watched in its 17-year history, losing out to rival show ‘Love Island’

The current run of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ has also struggled, drawing an average of less than two million per episode. 

However, while the numbers pale in comparison to the six million who tuned in during the show’s early-00s heyday, ‘Big Brother’ has been a reliable source of revenue for Channel 5, and still attracts ratings above its usual slot average. 

The show only has one year left of its current contract, which includes a winter and summer run of ‘Celebrity’, as well as a regular series. 

Channel 5′s former owner, Northern and Shell boss Richard Desmond, was instrumental in bringing ‘Big Brother’ to the network in 2011, shortly after its final series on Channel 4 aired. 

First airing in 2000, it aired 11 series on Channel 4 before it was axed, but has since gone on to air seven more on Channel 5. 

Meanwhile, ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ is currently in its 20th series, with 13 of those going out on Channel 5. 

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