Celebrity Big Brother is set for a return to our screens despite last year's race row, according to a report.

The Sun newspaper claims the controversial show will make a comeback in January after being axed last year following claims of racial abuse in the house.

The series generated the largest ever number of complaints to regulator Ofcom over the bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, who went on to win the show.

Although several of the contestants were accused of bullying, much of the criticism centred on Jade Goody, a former BB housemate.

This year, the Big Brother spin-off was replaced by Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, which featured celebrities controlling events in a house of ordinary people.

However, the series was not the ratings success of its predecessor and the Sun claims Channel 4 bosses want to see the original back on.

"We never said that Celebrity Big Brother would be gone forever," a Channel 4 source told the newspaper.

"We wanted to give it a 'time out' – a resting period after all the friction and chaos of the Shilpa and Jade saga."

The unnamed insider added: "Channel 4 can't afford to let Celebrity Big Brother go – in the publicity or the cash stakes."

A C4 spokeswoman said "no final decision" has been made on the future of the show.

13/05/2008 16:51:32