As the saying goes, all good things come to an end.
And though the producers of Big Brother arguably could’ve heeded the saying’s message some time ago, it seems they’ve got the point now, and have confirmed that the upcoming series of the show will be the last.
In a teaser tweet from Channel 5, they announced:
It’s time for this game to end.
The final series of Big Brother starts tonight at 9pm.
Featuring many of the previous series’ iconic eye imagery, the accompanying video also read, ominously, GAME OVER.
It's time for this game to end.
— Channel 5 (@channel5_tv) September 14, 2018
It had previously been rumoured that the show was facing cancellation due to falling ratings. The series’ contract was also expiring this year, according to Metro.
Earlier this year, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow said that Big Brother would not be making an appearance on the channel in 2019.
I have planned for a year without Big Brother. But never say never. The contract runs out at Christmas.
The program moved to Channel 5 in 2011, after 10 years and 11 series on Channel 4. Emma Willis took over as host in 2013.
Though Big Brother started life with non-celebrity housemates (but conversely turning many housemates into celebrities in the process), the actual Celebrity Big Brother has become more popular than the regular show in recent years thanks to its controversies and surprise stars.
And the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother was no different.
Most notably, an incident between Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas and actress and radio presenter Roxanne Pallett sparked widespread debate.
In the program, Pallett could be seen laughing and play fighting with Thomas, who appeared to playfully shadow box and make contact with her as she walked by with some laundry.
Later though she entered the Diary Room and claimed she’d been ‘punched repeatedly, unprovoked and completely deliberately’ by Ryan and demanded he be removed from the Channel 5 show.
I went from being upset to being angry, because a boy has punched me repeatedly, unprovoked. And we weren’t play fighting, there was no banter, it wasn’t a joke.
Following the incident, Big Brother issued Ryan with a formal warning while Roxanne asked to sleep away from the other housemates for her own safety.
Following Big Brother’s rebuke, Ryan apologised to Roxanne and said: ‘I think we both know, and Roxanne, that there was no malice or anger in anything I did’.
Roxanne’s reaction to the incident prompted 11,215 complaints, from people who believed she’d overreacted to what was obviously play fighting.
Many people took to Twitter to defend Thomas, including Nazir Afzal, the former Chief Prosecutor for North West England, who campaigns on violence against women, who claimed that Pallett had ‘set back immense work’ achieved by charities with a false allegation. He also suggested Pallett ‘clearly has issues and needs help’.
Pallett later left the house, just 24 hours after escaping eviction.
It may be a shame to see the end of Big Brother, though a break from the drama might be a welcome relief.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.