'Big Brother' looks set to continue for another three years after the lease on the house was extended.

Emma Willis

Emma Willis

Production company Endemol Shine Group has made sure the Elstree Studios reality TV digs seen on the Channel 5 show - hosted by Emma Willis - will be available for filming until 2021.

According to The Sun's Bizarre TV column, the firm has filed a planning application with the local council detailing its ambitions to retain the buildings and continue to film there.

The latest development comes after speculation it could be axed following a decline in ratings, and despite the extended lease it's still said that the broadcaster's contract to air the programme, and 'Celebrity Big Brother', runs out at the end of this year.

The future of the long-running show - which originally broadcast on Channel 4 from its inception in 2000 until 2011 - remains uncertain after Channel 5's director of programming, Ben Frow, revealed that while a decision has still not been made, the format will definitely change if it is to continue at all.

Ben said a deal is yet to be agreed upon, but insisted that the show would not return to the channel "in its current form".

He also said the broadcaster would "not be spending the same amount of money," on the show - although it wasn't revealed whether the budget on a reformed show would be higher or lower - before adding: "The ball is in Endemol Shine's court."

The company's chief creative officer Peter Salmon has thrown his support behind 'Big Brother', despite being rivalled by the huge success of ITV2 favourite 'Love Island'.

He said: "'Big Brother' has got to last. You have to roll your sleeves up and renew it for a different generation.

"It is having a tougher competitive time in the UK but it's huge around the world. 'Love Island' has been sensational. If 'Big Brother' is not on top form, we have to keep changing it."

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