Brian Dowling has been named as the new presenter of Big Brother, set to begin on Channel 5 with a celebrity edition next month.
The Ultimate Big Brother champion and winner of series two of the programme will replace Davina McCall, who fronted the show for a decade on Channel 4.
Emma Willis, the Big Brother’s Little Brother presenter last year, will return on the Channel 5 equivalent, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side.
It’s understood that Geordie narrator Marcus Bentley will also reprise his role on the rebooted programme.
Dowling, 33, said: “I am so excited about this opportunity to host
one of the most talked about shows on TV. It is ten years since I won Big
Brother so what better way to celebrate and mark that anniversary than
to be asked to host the new series.
“It’s on a new channel
and a fresh start for the show that has kept the nation entertained for
11 years and I am so excited to be a part of it!”
At present, no contestants have been confirmed for the celebrity series in August, nor the regular run of the fly-on-the-wall show, slated for the autumn.
Names currently being rumoured in the tabloids for next month’s Channel 5 debut include super-injunction pin-up Imogen Thomas, model Abby Clancy, 80s pop star Steve Strange, retired boxer Ricky Hatton and Amy Childs from ITV2 constructed reality hit The Only Way Is Essex.
Jeff Ford, Channel 5 director of programmes,
said: “As The Ultimate Big Brother housemate, Brian is the perfect man
to be at the helm of Big Brother’s new incarnation. Emma, meanwhile, is a
consummate professional – as well as being a self-confessed superfan.
combined expertise and first-hand experience of the show will bring an
extra dimension to Big Brother when it returns this summer.”
Created by Dutch production company Endemol, Big Brother began in the UK in 2000 on Channel 4. In April 2011, Channel 5 confirmed they’d signed a two-year deal to carry the show, rumoured to be worth around £200 million.