Channel 5 has denied claims that reality series Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother were set to be axed after the broadcaster's current contract ends later this year, saying that talks will be held about future series when the deal expires.

The Daily Star reported that Channel 5 was set to "pull the plug" on the show amid falling ratings, saying it would be "consigned to the dustbin for good" after eighteen years on British television.

However an insider has now told The Sun (via Metro) this isn't the case.

"Channel 5 already has a deal in place for another civilian version of Big Brother and a Celebrity Big Brother which will both air later this year," said the source.

"It's still a very successful show for Channel 5, with millions of viewers, so obviously there will be discussions with the production company about extending the show beyond that. It's far too early to suggest it's the end of Big Brother, quite the opposite, so fans can relax."

A series of Celebrity Big Brother is currently airing, with its launch show drawing in an historic low of 2.4 million viewers. The number is still good for Channel 5 however, which acquired the rights to the show in 2011.

Originally billed as a social experiment, Big Brother first ran on Channel 4, where it enjoyed its best ratings for ten years.

Former MP Ann Widdecombe and football legend John Barnes are currently in the house, with new episodes airing each night at 9pm.