Channel 5 boss admits he’d prefer NOT to have Big Brother

Ben Frow's comments put show's future in doubt after it suffered a ratings crash
2 comments - Posted on August 25 2017 at 11:20am

Channel 5 director of programmes Ben Frow

The future of Big Brother UK is looking bleak after Channel 5’s director of programmes Ben Frow admitted he would be “happier” not to air the show.

Both the Celebrity and ‘civilian’ versions of Big Brother have suffered huge ratings drops this year, with January’s CBB down almost half a million year-on-year, while BB averaged below a million viewers in overnights for the first time ever.

But rather than offer his support to the long-running reality format – which has a year left on its current contract – at a difficult time, Frow has now publicly stated he would rather it was not part of C5’s programming line-up.

During a ‘Leader’s Debate’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday, he began by explaining his efforts to diversify C5’s output for the key 16-34 demographic.

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

“A year ago, everyone was saying 16-34s aren’t watching television,” he said. “Love Island has proved that if you get the right programme, they will come.

“I’ve got Big Brother on the channel which is, you know, decline decline decline. Still a useful programme. But this is a really good time for me to take a step back and look at a programme that was the be all and end all for our 16-34s and go, what are we gonna do?”

Frow dropped his bombshell admission later in the session, when he commented: “I think most channels want to create their own content. I don’t really want a show from another channel.”

When moderator Evan Davies pointed out that Channel 5 took Big Brother from Channel 4, Frow distanced himself from the show – despite its highest rating C5 series occurring during his tenure.

Celebrity Big Brother summer 2017 - bbspy exclusive launch night house tour: Live show set

“That was a contract that was there before I came,” he continued. “I would be much happier with a channel that did not have Big Brother on it.”

Despite his position, he did add that he “likes the ratings” Big Brother brings.

Frow’s admission came as a shock as, despite stumbling this year, BB is considered to have played a major role in turning around C5’s fortunes.

The show has helped the broadcaster secure key ratings victories over C4, more than quadruple its value to £450million when it was sold in 2014, and report back-to-back years of profit for the first time in its history.

The remarks also contradict those he has made at previous festivals. In 2013, he said it was a “genius, genius, genius” move for C5 to acquire the format.

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2 comments on this article

  1. Jay says:
    Fri 25 Aug Reply !

    The man is an absolute fruitloop, everytime I read an article and hear him speak it’s all twoddle. I am amazed he is still in a job.

  2. Phil says:
    Fri 25 Aug Reply !


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