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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 10:41 GMT
Sponsor evicts C4's Big Brother
Shilpa Shetty
Shilpa Shetty was at the centre of the alleged racist bullying
Carphone Warehouse has dropped its 3 million sponsorship of Channel 4's Big Brother in the wake of the row over alleged racist bullying in the show.

The firm temporarily suspended its sponsorship during the Celebrity Big Brother series in January.

It followed allegations that Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was being bullied by fellow contestants.

The firm said the "huge publicity" had prompted it to look for alternative sponsorship opportunities.

Channel 4, which had been hopeful Carphone Warehouse would sponsor this summer's series, said it is now in talks with other companies to find a new sponsor.

The company said it would continue to advertise during Big Brother commercial breaks and on the show's website, and would work with Channel 4 on other projects.

International outcry

The sponsorship deal had been in place since 2003, but was put on hold after the show sparked an international outcry.

Tens of thousands of viewers complained about the way TV star Jade Goody, model Danielle Lloyd and singer Jo O'Meara treated Shetty in the reality show's celebrity version.

All three contestants have since denied racism and have apologised for their actions.

At the time, the firm's chief executive Charles Dunstone said: "Our concern has rapidly mounted about the broadcast behaviour of individuals within the Big Brother house.

"We are totally against all forms of racism and bullying and indeed this behaviour is entirely at odds with the brand values of the Carphone Warehouse."

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