02/04/2013 06:21 BST

'Big Brother': Emma Willis Replaces Brian Dowling As Host

'Big Brother's Brian Dowling has been replaced by Emma Willis as the Channel 5 show's new host.

Willis, who has been promoted from spinoff show 'Bit on the Side', will also front 'Celebrity Big Brother'.

In a statement she said: "I am thrilled to have been offered this job. I'm a fan first and foremost so to be able to front the show is going to be amazing. Roll on the summer!"

emma willis

And Channel 5's director of programmes Ben Frow said: "Emma is a natural on screen, she's made the spinoff show her own and now the time is totally right for her to step up. I know she'll take 'Big Brother' to the next level and I can't wait to see her dealing with the housemates both famous and soon to be famous.

"I'd also like to thank Brian Dowling for doing such a sterling job over the last two years. He's been a big part of the success of the show and I wish him the very best."

Dowling, who won the reality TV show in 2001, has been hosting the programme for the past two years since it moved from Channel 4 to Channel 5.

Last month it was rumoured he would be axed from the show when an insider told The Sun: “Brian has been a great host but Emma is seen by channel chiefs as a true successor to Davina. They’re talking to her now about taking over the role from the summer.

“Like Davina when she hosted the show, Emma’s young, a mum of two, and very glamorous."

Willis has previously presented on shows such as MTV's 'TRL', 'I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Now', the 'This Morning Hub' and 'Girlfri3nds'.

brian dowling

Brian Dowling and Rylan Clark during CBB's final in January

'Big Brother' and 'Celebrity Big Brother' will return to Channel 5 in the summer.

The final of 'Celebrity Big Brother' in January this year reached a new high in the ratings for Channel 5 – becoming the most watched final of the reality TV show since it first debuted on the station in 2011.

According to overnight figures an average audience of 3.25m tuned in to see Rylan Clark crowned series champion ahead of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt – a considerable leap on the 3.14m who watched Julian Clary win the final of the summer 2012 series.

Do you think Willis will make a good new host? Or do you wish they had kept Dowling? Let us know in the comments below.

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