Big Brother 7 executive producer to return for 2018 series?

Original BB staffer Paul Osborne set to rejoin Endemol Shine after a decade
- Posted on January 24 2018 at 11:52pm

Big Brother 7 eye logo

Paul Osborne, one of Big Brother UK’s original crew members and an executive producer of the fan-favourite BB7, is reportedly returning to the show for the first time in a decade to oversee the summer 2018 series.

The Sun claims that production company Endemol Shine UK has turned to Paul in a bid to give Big Brother a ‘major overhaul’ and revive its fortunes, following a critical slump in ratings last year.

According to the newspaper, he has signed up to become Big Brother’s new creative director, and aims to recapture the ‘true essence’ of the format.

This suggests he is replacing Katy Manley, who previously held the role, but is now credited as ‘head of reality’ for Endemol label Initial.

Endemol Shine UK

A source said: “Everyone is working hard to ensure it returns with a bang in the summer. Paul is thrilled to be joining the team again and can’t wait to get his teeth back into recreating the true essence of Big Brother.”

A spokesperson for Endemol Shine UK added: “As with any long-running series, creative leadership changes regularly. It’s great to have such an experienced and brilliant creative director working on the summer series.”

Paul was a member of the BBUK team for the majority of its original run on Channel 4, beginning as an assistant producer on the very first series in 2000, before rising through the ranks.

He is most notable to fans for being one of the executive producers of the seventh ‘civilian’ series, which is regarded as a viewer favourite, and was voted the best ever in a 2010 C4 poll.

Big Brother Celebrity Hijack eye logo

He left in 2008, after serving as the sole EP on E4-exclusive spin-off Celebrity Hijack, and has since worked in the US on shows including NBC’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and ABC’s Skating With The Stars.

Paul’s return comes at a time when BBUK’s future is in peril, with ratings at historic lows, and Channel 5 chief Ben Frow publicly disavowing the show.

Only two more series, one ‘civilian’ and one Celebrity, are guaranteed under C5’s current contract with Endemol. At the weekend, a front-page Daily Star story claimed bosses are preparing to swing the axe, although other sources disputed the claim, pointing out that negotiations over a renewal are ongoing.

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