EMMA Willis stunned in a shirt and trouser combo as she kicked off the last ever series of Big Brother tonight – hours after Channel 5 revealed it had axed the show.
The star, 42, looked emotional as she got the ball rolling on Big Brother series 19.
She said: “Big Brother viewers, you still have 53 days!
“Welcome to Big Brother… the live launch! We are back!
“As you may have heard… this is the last ever series on Channel 5.
“And it’s going to be our mission to make it the best yet.”
The first housemate to enter was Cian, from Ireland.
Bosses at Channel 5 today announced that this series will be it’s last on the network.
Big Brother first launched on Channel 4 back in 2000, where it remained until 2010. Channel 5 picked it up in 2011.
In a statement released to The Sun Online earlier today, telly execs confirmed Channel 5 is done with the format.
They said: “The forthcoming series of Big Brother will be the last – of either celebrity or civilian versions – on Channel 5.
“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 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.
“Most importantly, we’d like to thank fans of the show for their support over the last seven years.
“We look forward to giving the final series a brilliant send-off.”
Emma has since revealed her shock that this series will be the last.
She said: “This is a very strange ‘What You Talking About Willis?’ today because normally it’s a ‘Yay! It’s the launch!’ of our civilian series.
“But the excitement comes with really a lot of sadness because we have all found out today that Big Brother is no more on Channel 5.
“I feel like I’ve been through this process before.
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“Well I have been through this process before because I worked on the last year on Channel 4 and we like … buried it. Like, genuinely.
“We had a grave for it and everything in the back garden and then the next thing we know is, ‘Oh wow, it’s coming back.’
“So, the news was a shock, if I’m honest, but I kind of still hold out hope that somebody out there, loves it as much as we all do still and will give it a home in the future because it has been on the TV for a bloody long time and you know it’s part of our popular culture.
“So it would be sad. It would be sad to see its end at the age of eighteen.
“It’d be lovely to see it come back for its twentieth anniversary.”
Bit On The Side host Rylan Clark-Neal has also taken to Twitter since the news of the axing broke.
He wrote: “After 6 years working on one of the most iconic shows on television I’m saddened to hear the news Big Brother won’t be returning.
“It has been the biggest privilege being a housemate, a winner and a host on my favourite show on the television.
“To work with Emma, Marcus and the amazing team on BOTS every day and have made friends for life I’m truly the luckiest guy in the industry.
“I hope one day Big Brother will return but my focus now, as with the rest of the team is to make our last series the best yet.
“I’d like to thank all of our guests, Endemol and Channel 5 for having me and most of all the viewers for sharing this amazing journey.
“I learned how to host a show on the job here and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity. R x”
Despite Channel 5’s announcement, it is highly likely another broadcaster will snap up the format, made by Endemol Shine and bring it back as early as next year.
Fans of the show have only just got over the excitement of the celeb version which saw Ryan Thomas win after he was embroiled in the Roxanne Pallett punchgate scandal.
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