Richard Desmond 'poised' to buy Five - possibly today

Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, is on the verge taking control of Channel Five with reports suggesting a deal could be confirmed as early as today.

Several newspaper reports this morning place the figure Desmond has offered its current owners RTL at around £100m.

However, The Telegraph says any potential deal could be blocked or at least put under investigation by Ofcom.

The Guardian said the regulator was unlike to block any move as the deal would not present any competition issues, it also suggested that Desmond was likely to ‘face a grilling’by MPs on the House of Commons culture committee – if he takes over – on future plans for the channel.

The FT said the takeover will see Desmond become the first individual to control a UK public service broadcaster and beat “last-minute interest from Channel 4, which has made two serious approaches”.

The emergence of Desmond as the front runner in the bid to buy Channel Five was brought to light earlier this month by the Sunday Times, which said it expected a deal “within days”.

Desmond said last month in an interview that he had £1bn to spend on acquisitions.

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