Britain's Channel 5 pulls the plug on 'Big Brother'

Several Irish people have taken part over the years

Britain's Channel 5 pulls the plug on 'Big Brother'

The 'Big Brother' eyeball logo | Image: Channel 5

British broadcaster Channel 5 is axing the 'Big Brother' franchise.

In a statement, it says the forthcoming series - which begins Friday - will be the last.

It also says this will be the last series "of either celebrity or civilian versions".

"We'd like to thank Endemol and all of the production team who have worked tirelessly to make the show a success.

"We'd also like to thank our brilliant presenters - Emma (Willis) on Big Brother and Rylan from Bit on the Side - for their consummate professionalism, Marcus, the voice of Big Brother and all of the housemates who have created so many memorable moments."

The latest incarnation of Celebrity Big Brother finished earlier this week, with former 'Coronation Street' actor Ryan Thomas crowned the winner.

The original version of 'Big Brother' premiered on the UK's Channel 4 in 2000 and became a ratings hit.

Big Brother runner-up, lesbian and ex-nun Anna Nolan in the Herbert Park Hotel Dublin in 2002 | Image:

It saw Dubliner Anna Nolan come second overall.

While Kildare man Brian Dowling won the show the second time around in 2001.

Other Irish people to enter the house over the years included Ray Shah and singers Jedward. 

Jedward signing copies of their single Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby) in Dublin in 2010 | Image: James Horan/

Reports say viewing figures have dwindled in recent years.