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15/09/2018 11:58 BST | Updated 15/09/2018 12:07 BST

'Big Brother': Emma Willis Fights Back Tears As She Addresses Axe On 'Bit On The Side'

'We should love it and embrace it and give it the send-off it deserves.'

‘Big Brother’ host Emma Willis had to fight back tears as she reacted to the news Channel 5 has axed the show

The presenter was passionate and emotional as she spoke of the decision to end the reality series after 18 years on spin-off show ‘Bit On The Side’ on Friday. 

“We need to stop crying,” she said. “This should be a positive thing. We should just show everyone how fucking great it is, and we should love it and embrace it and give it the send-off it deserves.”

Channel 5
Emma Willis on 'Bit On The Side' 

Referencing how ‘Big Brother’ was axed by Channel 4 in 2010, only to return on Channel 5 a year later, she said: “I’ve also been here before. We buried it, and it came back to life!”

Speaking about Friday’s live launch, Emma continued: “It was brilliant and I think all the changes that the production team have made this series for celeb and the one that we are about to enter.

“I think they have taken all the brilliant bits from the past and brought them back and mixed them with something different for the future because it’s been on for a bloody long time and it has to be different , so I think they have made…,” she said holding back tears.

“I am getting emotional now too. They’ve made a brilliant mix.”

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'Big Brother' will end on Channel 5 after this series

Earlier in the evening, Emma had opened the live launch with a monologue directly addressing the news the show was ending.

She said: “Big Brother viewers. This is Emma. You still have 53 days to say your goodbyes. For one final time on Channel 5, Big Brother is coming to get you!”

She continued: “As you may have heard today, it was officially announced that this will be the last ever series of ‘Big Brother’ on Channel 5.

“Our mission for tonight and for the rest of the series is to make it the biggest and the best yet.

“Especially for all of you watching at home and for every single person that joins us in the audience every single week, as you are the people who have kept us going for 18 solid years. Thank you.”

It currently remains unclear if another broadcaster could pick up the rights to ‘Big Brother’, as Channel 5 did when Channel 4 made the decision to drop the show in 2010. 

In a statement, production company Endemol gave fans some hope, stating they “are excited about future possibilities for ‘Big Brother’ in the UK”.

‘Big Brother’ began on Channel 4 in 2000 with Davina McCall as host, before moving to Channel 5 in 2011 when former champ Brian Dowling took over.

Emma took the reins in 2013, after previously working on the final Channel 4 spin-off series ‘Little Brother’ and hosting ‘Bit On The Side’.

Ian Gavan via Getty Images
Davina McCall on the final night of 'Big Brother' on Channel 4 in 2010

The reality TV show has seen its ratings decline dramatically over the years.

The final of the very first series attracted 9.45 million viewers, compared to last year’s civilian finale, which was watched by just 1.11 million.

‘Big Brother’ continues on Sunday at 9pm on Channel 5. 

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