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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Celebrity Big Brother 2008 axed
Danielle Lloyd and Shilpa Shetty
Danielle Lloyd was involved in the rows with Shilpa Shetty
The 2008 series of Celebrity Big Brother is being axed in the wake of the race row which engulfed the show's last run, Channel 4 has confirmed.

A decision about a return for the reality show in 2009 is expected to be made next year.

The move is also part of a shake-up of the broadcaster's evening schedule which will cull some factual shows.

The celebrity version of the show has run for five series and lasts for three weeks at the beginning of the year.

'Breathing space'

Channel 4 head of programmes Julian Bellamy said: "After the race row, it was constantly in the press and part of the national conversation at a time when traditionally it was off our screens - it feels like it has never been away this year."

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival, Mr Bellamy added that resting the show "will benefit the format in the longer term as it will have a bit of breathing space".

Jade Goody
Jade Goody was at the centre of the controversy
He denied that last year's race row, which centred on Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty, had deterred celebrities from taking part in the next series.

But he admitted there was a "general issue of supply and demand" which was making it harder to book celebrities.

The absence of Celebrity Big Brother will leave Channel 4 with 29 hours of programming to fill in January alone.

'Creative renewal'

The broadcaster's decision to shake up its programming has left Grand Designs as the only regular series in the 2100 slot that will be re-commissioned next year.

Programmes including You Are What You Eat and Brat Camp will draw to a close in what it called a "creative renewal".

Mr Bellamy said: "If we wanted to take the easy path we'd re-commission all of these shows and we'd probably do two series of Celebrity Big Brother if ratings were all we were after. These are the decisions of a public service broadcaster in search of the new and the exciting."

New commissions for 2008 include The Family, an observational documentary series looking at 21st Century family life, and Channel 4's Big Art project, which will develop and fund new public art projects around the UK.

Spending on US shows will be reduced by around 10m to create funding for new programmes.


SEE ALSO
Reporter's log: Edinburgh TV Festival
24 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Big Brother rapped over race row
24 May 07 |  Entertainment
Shetty wins Celebrity Big Brother
29 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Public trust in TV 'has fallen'
23 Aug 07 |  Entertainment

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