No more Big Brother phone vote money will go to charity

Channel 4 says slump in advertising means it has to start running the phone lines at a profit

Channel 4 is to stop giving some of the money it receives from phone votes for reality TV series Big Brother to charity because it says it can no longer afford to do so.

Since 2006, Channel 4 has given 10p to charity for each vote cast in the show. But a spokeswoman for the channel said the slump in advertising caused by the recession meant it needed to start running the telephone line at a profit.

Last year, £300,000 was raised for charity through the phone line. The money was split between disability charity Scope, suicide prevention charity Papyrus and a cystic fibrosis charity.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said the vote line had been running at a loss and that it hoped to limit that by cutting the charity donations. She added that other commercially funded broadcasters ran their phone lines at a profit.

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