‘We asked our staff what they thought about sponsoring Big Brother as we like to get them involved in the decisions their company makes. In this case, the majority of our staff felt that we shouldn’t sponsor Big Brother. Having taken this into consideration and having evaluated it further with our sponsorship team, we have declined this opportunity,’ said an Orange spokesman.
This left the door wide open for the rebranded Virgin Media, who are trying to portray themselves as the funky alternative operator.
James Kydd, Virgin Media’s managing director of marketing, said: "We’re a pioneering and innovative company so it made sense to create an alliance with a show that has genuinely changed the face of TV."
"Virgin is known for facing challenges head on and we know that our customers enjoy Big Brother because it’s the most unpredictable and exciting TV programme there is."
Channel 4’s head of sponsorship, David Charlesworth, said: "We share so much with Virgin in both brand and business so look forward to pooling our expertise to create a groundbreaking sponsorship."