Channel 5 to air Big Brother UK later than usual in 2018?

Audition terms suggest show could be rescheduled to avoid ITV2's Love Island
- Posted on December 17 2017 at 08:27pm

Big Brother 2017 presenters - Emma Willis and Rylan Clark-Neal

Endemol Shine has triggered speculation that Channel 5 may air the ‘civilian’ version of Big Brother UK later than usual in 2018 after revealing a late age cut-off date for the upcoming auditions.

This week, Big Brother’s official auditions website,, has been refreshed as bosses prepare to begin casting for its nineteenth series.

Among the changes are an update to the site’s FAQ page, which reveals new information regarding the age limit for potential housemates – with all applicants required to be 18 or over by Tuesday 31st July, 2018.

However, this cut-off date has aroused fans’ suspicion, as it is unusually late. For the last four years, applicants had to be 18 on the date of their first audition, occurring between December and February.

Big Brother 2017 eye logo - 'United Kingdom of Big Brother'

Although dates are subject to change, this has resulted in speculation that Big Brother – which traditionally starts in early June – will air later than usual in 2018.

The last time the show began in the second half of the year was in 2011, when Channel 5’s first regular series ran between September and November.

If the rumour proves true, the move is likely an attempt to revive Big Brother’s fortunes after it suffered a severe ratings drop against ITV2 rival Love Island.

While Love Island attracted bumper ratings of up to 3million viewers earlier this year, the latest Big Brother became the first ever to average below a million.

What is unclear is how such a shake-up would affect the summer edition of Celebrity Big Brother, which typically follows the civilian version.

ITV2 Love Island logo

It is unlikely to be axed, as a summer CBB has already been contracted for 2018.

C5 may decide to switch the schedules and air it beforehand, to counter Love Island and the 2018 World Cup – similarly to how CBS has plotted the first ever celebrity edition of Big Brother USA against the Winter Olympics.

It is also unclear how the move would fit with the lease on the Big Brother house at Elstree Studios. Planning permission is currently due to expire on Sunday 30th September 2018, and Endemol Shine is yet to file for a renewal.

Channel 5 has not commented officially on Big Brother’s future scheduling plans.

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