'Wanted list' allegedly includes Mohamed al-Fayed, Charlie Sheen
By STEVE CLARKE LONDON
After months of on-off negotiations, Blighty’s Channel 5 has secured a deal to acquire Endemol’s flagship reality show “Big Brother.”
Financial details of the two-year contract were not revealed, but cost-conscious Channel 5, bought last summer by U.K. publishing mogul Richard Desmond, is likely to have paid a fraction of the estimated £50 million ($87 million) a year rival Channel 4 is understood to have forked out for the program.
Channel 5’s director of programs Jeff Ford said that the show would be a key part of this year’s schedule.
“The series has previously captivated a decade of television viewers and we aim to bring Channel 5’s energy, optimism and vibrancy to the series,” he added.
It remains to be seen if the show, which wrapped on Channel 4 last summer after 10 years following a slide in ratings, can recapture its mojo in the U.K.
Already there is intense speculation over who will be lured into the “Big Brother” house.
Over the weekend, Desmond’s Daily Star paper claimed that “top of the wanted list” was the former owner of Harrods, Mohamed al-Fayed, while “a big money offer” would be made to Charlie Sheen.