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-- Big Brother, the British reality TV show that brought Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty into the international limelight, is to be scrapped
because it is thought to be too boring, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Britain's Channel 4 network is to take the controversial show off air after a fall in the number of viewers, and an official announcement could come as early as Friday, The Sun said.

Around two million viewers watched the tenth series this year, compared to 8.2 million when Shilpa participated in 2007.

The Sun quoted an insider as saying: "The reality is people are bored with it. Even at Channel 4, the vibe among staff is that if you like Big Brother you're not cool.

"If the people commissioning the show don't think it's cool, what hope is there?"

A source told the paper that Big Brother was failing to win over the "Facebook generation" because it had been watered down following a controversial celebrity version of the show in 2007, in which Shilpa was alleged to have been racially bullied by several other participants.

"The truth is nobody's talking about Big Brother any more," a source told The Sun.

The Big Brother show is a competition that involves strangers living together in a large specially-designed house before round-the-clock TV cameras with viewers voting them out one by one and deciding on a winner, who gets a cash prize.

Big Brother became controversial in 2007 after Shilpa was alleged to have been racially bullied by British celebrities Jade Goody, Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd.

As the row ballooned, Channel 4 received a record 40,000 complaints against Goody, forcing the network to 'evict' her from the show, which made Shilpa the winner.

Although the show peaked at 8.2 million viewers, sponsors Carphone Warehouse withdrew after global protests.

At its peak Big Brother generated profits of 70 million pounds a year.

There will be one final series next year, after which the show will only go ahead if the production house can strike a deal with another channel, the newspaper said.

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