Emma Willis replaces Brian Dowling as Big Brother host

The former Bit on the Side presenter will step up to the main show when BB returns to Channel 5 in the summer

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Emma Willis has replaced Brian Dowling as the host of both the regular and Celebrity versions Big Brother.

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“I am thrilled to have been offered this job,” said Willis. “I’m a fan first and foremost so to be able to front the show is going to be amazing.  Roll on the summer!”

Willis, who is perhaps best known as the host of spin-off series Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, began her TV career at MTV in 2002 and she’s since made appearances on the likes of Loose Women, This Morning and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here Now!

It was reported in mid-March that Channel 5 bosses were planning to remove Downling as Big Brother’s host, with sources at the time saying that the C5 top brass see Willis as a “natural successor” to Davina McCall, who hosted Big Brother when the show was Channel 4.

“Emma is a natural on screen, she’s made the spin off show her own and now the time is totally right for her to step up,” said Channel 5’s Director of Programmes Ben Frow.

He added: “I’d like to thank Brian Dowling for doing such a sterling job over the last two years. He’s been a big part of the success of the show and I wish him the very best. ”

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Big Brother will return to Channel 5 this summer.