C4 may face Reckitt pay-off after pulling the Queer Eye show

Channel 4 has pulled its much-publicised series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy mid-series, potentially leaving itself owing Reckitt Benckiser tens of thousands of pounds.

The Reckitt Benckiser depilatory product Veet was signed up as the broadcast sponsor of the show, but the series has been pulled halfway through its run, because it was attracting poor audiences. Veet previously sponsored the US version of the show, and signed up when Channel 4 adopted the format.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman confirmed that the programme will be dropped from this week. However, she said, the series would be rescheduled, but it was not yet clear when or where it would go.

Marc Bignell, the joint managing director of the Omnicom buying point OPera, who negotiated the deal, said: "We're very happy with the programme product and we'll work out whether there's any recompense when we know when and where it is going back into the schedule."

The series follows a group of gay men who attempt a makeover on a heterosexual man by imposing a new fashion, interior design and personal grooming regime.

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