Channel 5 has aired the final episode of the iconic reality show Big Brother after 19 years.
Channel 5 announced in September that this series of the show would be its last.
The “original social experiment” started on Channel 4 in 2000, before moving to Channel 5 in 2011 where it’s seen lower ratings ever since.
Host Emma Willis choked up as she opened the show’s last ever final, calling Big Brother the “greatest reality show of all time”.
Initially hosted by Davina McCall, the show has hit the headlines for the past two decades.
In season one “Nasty Nick” left viewers furious after manipulating his fellow contestants into voting against those he saw as a threat.
In 2007 the show caused an international incident after Celebrity Big Brother contestants Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara were accused of racist bullying against Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.
The controversy coincided with then Chancellor Gordon Brown’s trip to India. He was forced to comment on the controversy, saying he wanted Britain to be seen as a nation of “fairness and tolerance”. Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced racism “in all its forms”. The issue was even debated in parliament.
In the final celebrity edition of the show earlier this year, Big Brother was once again at the centre of a national outcry as actress Roxanne Pallett falsely accused Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas of violent abuse.
The former Emmerdale actress labeled Thomas a “woman beater”, claiming he repeatedly punched her in the ribs “like a boxer would punch a bag”.
The cameras monitoring the famous house proved her accusations not to be true, to Ryan’s relief. After learning of the accusations he broke down in tears in the diary room. Thomas went on to win the series.
When the show moved to Channel 5 in 2011, Brian Dowling took over from Davina as host. Dowling hosted two series’ of the civillian show and three celebrity editions. Dowling was replaced in 2013 by current host Emma Willis.
McCall posted a video to Twitter prior to the final episode airing.
“I know it is going to be hard tonight but I’m sending you all so much love,” she told the show’s hosts and crew.
Despite its continually falling ratings, there has been much speculation that the show might be picked up elsewhere.
In 2000, the first ever final attracted 9.45m viewers for Channel 4.
This fell to 1.11m for Channel 5’s final for the 2017 season.
19-year-old Cameron Cole was crowned the final winner of Big Brother.