The network is theming this summer’s reality hit as The Eye of The Storm and is expected to introduce housemates that have all been caught up in their own media controversies.
The entrance of Samantha Markle, otherwise known as Samantha Grant, would make perfect sense given her controversial views leading up to her half-sister’s wedding to Prince Harry. It emerged that she was responsible for setting up Markle’s father’s staged paparazzi photos and has also appeared on a number of British TV shows including Loose Women and Good Morning Britain, with Piers Morgan, to suggest that Harry would been better off marrying someone else.
The 53-year old claimed to have raised the Suits actress for a number of years and is thought to be writing an autobiography called The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
Markle is one of a number of celebs being lined up for the show, which will launch in August on Channel 5, slightly later so as to avoid clashing with ITV2’s hit reality series Love Island. Other names suggested include Bad Girls Club star Mehgan James, who has been romantically linked with Rob Kardashian, The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osborne and kidnapped British model Chloe Ayling. Channel 5 won’t confirm casting until launch date and declines to “comment on speculation around possible housemates”.
This summer’s show is, however, confirmed to get a new creative director as Paul Osborne returns to run the show after a decade of show-running in the U.S. He becomes Creative Director of the show, which is produced by Endemol Shine-backed Initial Productions.
Osborne, who worked on a number of series of Big Brother, including its launch, rejoins after ten years in LA, where he worked on shows such as Secret Millionaire, Breaking Pointe and Celebrity Wife Swap. Separately, Tamsin Dodgson re-joins as Executive Editor.
He says, “Big Brother is part of my DNA, so returning to my roots was a no-brainer. This year all the celebrity housemates have a unique shared experience, they’ve all weathered their own media storms. Under Big Brother’s eye their stories will be once again firmly in the spotlight and in the national conversation. This summer’s Celebrity Big Brother, like the new eye, is set to be electric.”
Executive Producers are Anna Meadows and Jess Thomas with Lucy Crofts, Matt Green and Cally Haycox serving as Series Editors.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.