You heard it here first.

Fresh of the back of the success of The Block running as stripped program across the week in 2011, comes news that Channel 9 in association with Southern Star will produce a local version of Big Brother in 2012.

While no information is available yet as to hosting duties or location, it’s expected the series will return to Queensland and partner with a theme park to ensure the house is as much a tourist destination as it is a television spectacle.

Given the acceptance of social media within Australia it would be expected that a core part of the promotion and interaction for the series will be through channels like Facebook and Twitter, possibly even using the networks to source contestants. Additionally it’s a brave new television environment with all networks hosting at least two digital multi-channels in a free to air environment. Will this mean we’ll see a Ch9 dedicated digital multi-channel for Big Brother throughout the telecast (even if on a 30 minute/1 hour delay)?

This is huge news for Ch9, somewhat languishing in the ratings through 2011, and a surprise that Channel 10 have not opted to pick it up given the network hosted it for a number of years last decade. All speculation as to the host gratefully received.

This post updates.