Big Brother future uncertain as Channel 5 plans to axe show for a year
The future of Big Brother is uncertain as the boss of Channel 5 confirmed he is planning “a year without it”.
The reality show has seen ratings slide in recent years as programmes such as ITV2’s Love Island have surged in popularity.
Ben Frow, director of programmes at Channel 5, told the Edinburgh TV Festival: “I plan for a year without Big Brother.
“I never say never because the world is constantly changing, and I think it would be irresponsible to not keep all options open, but at the moment I’m planning for a year without Big Brother.”
Frow also said he was “bloody furious” when porn star Stormy Daniels pulled out of the current series of Celebrity Big Brother.
Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump, flew over to the UK to participate in the series but withdrew at the last minute.
She later claimed she had to pull out because of a child custody dispute going on in the US.
Frow said: “She was in Big Brother, we built the whole week around Stormy.
“I wrote her a really nice letter, we heard there was all kinds of potential issues with immigration, I flew somebody over to accompany her in.
“We contributed a lot to her participation and we filmed the VT, which people will have seen, and then she decided not to participate, sort of disappeared on us.
“I was miffed. I was bloody furious actually. Because we’d built the whole goddamn show … we built the White House … Kirstie Alley actually ended up being a much better first lady.”
He added: “The one thing about the big shows like Big Brother is that you don’t have time to linger in the moment. The storm came and the storm went.”
Asked about the channel’s ratings, Frow said it had been a “challenging year”.
He added: “A lot of our very successful shows have started to decline, which is life, my job is to keep us up there, and the targets keep growing and growing and growing.
“But you can’t just keep growing, you have to free up the schedule, you have to open it up to try new ideas, you have to find and test the water for what might work in the future. If you look at what we were doing five years tonally, we are completely different now.”