Desmond’s high hopes for Celebrity Big Brother

Channel 5 boss Richard Desmond will be hoping Celebrity Big Brother delivers not just for Channel 5, but for the rest of his media empire too.

At the Celebrity Big Brother press launch yesterday, Richard Desmond joked that he would be hoping for 20 million viewers – according to the Guardian. Desmond was in attendance along with over 100 journalists and bloggers in the build up to the return of the reality show this Thursday.

When Desmond bought Channel 5 last year it was pretty much cemented that he would acquire the rights for Big Brother. The show its said will work alongside his existing platforms such as OK! Magazine and Daily Star newspaper. This year’s Big Brother is expected to be accessible across all social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. It is not known yet whether the live feed will be back. Channel 4 caused a small outcry in 2009 when they axed the live feed. The backlash forced it to return the following year for the final series on 4.

The Guardian claims that Desmond is actively involved in Big Brother, regularly meeting with producers and overseeing which celebrities will be in. Desmond’s wealth means that it is possible for the show to attract more high profile celebrities. Trouble actor Charlie Sheen is one of those big names put into the ring although the show won’t be announcing who is going in until Thursday.

Channel 5 has been experiencing a small growth in ratings over the past year, even managing to beat Channel 4 in some areas. Even if the show was to average 1.8million viewers a night, that would be a major success for Channel 5, which rarely sees anything past 2million viewers.

Celebrity Big Brother returns this Friday hosted by former winner Brian Dowling. The main series will follow in September.