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Channel 4 cans Celebrity Big Brother

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Channel 4 has confirmed the UK's viewing public will not be subjected to another outing of human zoo Celebrity Big Brother - at least until 2009.

The broadcaster has done the decent thing in the wake of the Shilpa Shetty racism kerfuffle and decided not to go ahead with next year's confinement of c-list social inadequates for the gratification of the unwashed masses.

According to the BBC, Channel 4 head of programmes Julian Bellamy said: "After the race row, it was constantly in the press and part of the national conversation at a time when traditionally it was off our screens - it feels like it has never been away this year."

However, C4 may resurrect CBB in 2009, and Bellamy reckons the show "will benefit the format in the longer term as it will have a bit of breathing space".

Bellamy had the brass neck to insist the racism rumpus had not played a part in the regrettable decision, but rather that a "general issue of supply and demand" had made it harder to book celebrities. This argument is unconvincing.

Les Dennis was unavailable for comment today but is reportedly "gagging" to get back into the CBB house on the proviso that he shares it with someone from any 1980s US TV show whatsoever and is given first option on getting a mouthful of Jade Goody's spicy kebab. ®

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