Big Brother presenters Rylan Clark and Emma Willis
The makers of reality TV show Big Brother have announced that the show is being axed at the end of the current series.
The show’s Twitter account shared the news that the 19th series, launching on Friday night, would be the last.
Channel 5, where the show currently resides, has also announced Celebrity Big Brother is ending.
Big Brother “first appeared on screens in 2000 and was extremely popular, but viewing figures have dwindled in recent years”, says the BBC.
It had “previously been rumoured that the series would be axed as the contract for the series was expiring this year”, says Metro.
It's time for this game to end.
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) September 14, 2018
Despite the shock announcement, “it looks like the house could remain open for at least another three years but the show will never return to Channel 5”, says the Daily Mirror.
Viewers feared this could mean the show’s end but “a planning application has been submitted to keep the house at Elstree Studios open until 2021”, adds the paper.
It isn’t clear if Endemol will open up bids for the show to be placed on another channel.
So far, there have been 18 winners of the civilian series – Craig Phillips, Brian Dowling, Kate Lawler, Cameron Stout, Nadia Almada, Anthony Hutton, Pete Bennett, Brian Belo, Rachel Rice, Sophie Reade, Josie Gibson, Aaron Allard-Morgan, Luke Anderson, Sam Evans, Helen Wood, Chloe Wilburn, Jason Burrill and Isabelle Warburton.
Celebrity Big Brother began in 2001, in an eight-day series won by Jack Dee.
Since then, Mark Owen, Bex, Chantelle Houghton, Shilpa Shetty, Ulrika Jonsson, Alex Reid, Paddy Doherty, Denise Welch, Julian Clary, Rylan Clark, Charlotte Crosby, Jim Davidson, Gary Busey, Katie Price, James Hill, Scotty T, Stephen Bear, Coleen Nolan, Sarah Harding, Courtney Act and Ryan Thomas have all been crowned winners.