Written by Marc Butler
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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The parents of missing Brit toddler Madeleine McCann have reportedly signed up in a mega-bucks deal to star in the next series of Celebrity Big Brother later this year, we can exclusively reveal.

The deal, rumoured to be triple the fee paid to Michael Barrymore for appearing on the show previously, will take the McCanns into TV's Rich List, just behind Ant and Dec and Jonathan Ross.

Previous 'celebrities' to have starred in the hit show include Jack Tweed, Mark Owen, John McCrick, Lisa I'Anson, Kenzy, and drug-addled Bez from The Happy Mondays.

The Reality Show, which in previous series has drawn up to 8 million viewers for Channel 4, is hoping to bounce back after the recent race rows involving Jade Goody and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

A Channel 4 spokesman said earlier today: "whilst obviously we cannot confirm nor deny the McCanns' future appearance on CBB we are wary that the next series needs to include celebs who the audience can empathise with and grow to love. Love is the key. Plus, there will be a Tunnel of Love dug deep into the vegetable patch in the garden so we hope to see some tasty marital action going down."

Doctors Gerry and Kate McCann, who lost their daughter Madeleine at an upmarket tourist resort in Portugal earlier this year, are still leading the worldwide hunt for her. A close friend of the family told us: "The McCanns feel that 4 weeks in the Big Brother house would be the perfect tonic for the stress they have been through. They want to get away from the media attention and spend some quality time together."

There is no word yet on whether or not the McCann's other children, Sean and Amelie, will be in the care of a babysitter whilst their parents parade around the infamous house in Elstree later this year.

The McCanns were unavailable for comment.

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