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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 10:51 GMT
Virgin Media sponsors Big Brother
Celebrity Big Brother logo
This year's Celebrity Big Brother became mired in controversy
Virgin Media has been announced as the sponsor of the forthcoming summer series of Channel 4's Big Brother.

Carphone Warehouse had been the reality TV show's main sponsor since 2003, but withdrew in the wake of the Shilpa Shetty racism row earlier this year.

Virgin Media said they considered the controversy's impact but were convinced C4 was a responsible broadcaster.

No figures have been released regarding the new deal. It is believed the Carphone Warehouse deal was worth 3m.

Ongoing dispute

During the 2007 edition of Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 4 was criticised for its handling of a series of rows between Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and some fellow housemates.

Regulator Ofcom received tens of thousands of complaints from viewers about alleged racist comments.

James Kydd, managing director of marketing at Virgin Media, said: "Big Brother has always come under the spotlight and courted a lot of attention.

"Virgin is known for facing challenges head on and we know that our customers enjoy Big Brother because it's the most unpredictable and exciting TV programme there is."

David Charlesworth, head of sponsorship at Channel 4, said: "We share so much with Virgin in both brand and business so look forward to pooling our expertise to create a ground-breaking sponsorship."

A dispute between Virgin Media and Sky TV over a new broadcast deal has seen some channels disappear from Virgin's cable service.

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