Entertainment behind the scenes
So farewell, Big Brother. You have been on British screens every year for the last decade, but 2010 will be your last, unless someone else can be persuaded to pay production company Endemol for a show that has seen its ratings slump.
Channel 4 announced it is ditching the reality TV series, which in its prime enjoyed audiences as big as 10 million Britons but now is viewed by less than two million. Some pundits say it is tired and dull. Others say it never recovered from the 2007 race row when Jade Goody was accused of bullying Indian housemate Shilpa Shetty, prompting tens of thousands of complaints. Justice was seen to be done when Goody was evicted and Shetty went on to win.
Endemol, which makes Big Brother, has not given up just yet, and may seek another broadcaster to buy its ground-breaking show.
Whether the ratings slump is part of a broader disenchantment with reality TV remains to be seen. Certainly talent shows, from Strictly Come Dancing to Britain’s Got Talent, continue to thrive in. But as for Big Brother, will you miss it? Has it passed its sell-by date? Is Channel 4 right to ditch it?