Producers of Big Brother have defended themselves against accusations in the press that they have asked for wounded soldiers to take part in the show.

According to Saturday’s Daily Mail, programme chiefs have targeted soldiers who have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan in a bid to make next summer’s final series the most sensational ever.

The paper reported that production company Endemol had approached army charities asking for case studies of homeless or injured troops.

It quoted Hugh Milroy, chief executive of the Veterans Fund, as saying it was a “new low for reality TV”.

Annabelle Fuller, of the Army Benevolent Fund, told the newspaper: “We’re a charity, not a selection box for bad TV programmes. The people we help are often vulnerable.”

Commander John Muxworthy, of the UK National Defence Association, added: “How anyone could even attempt to try to take advantage of these people and their suffering is staggering.”

However Endemol said in a statement that it was aiming to get a “diverse” range of people to appear on the programme.

“Big Brother aims to cast the net far and wide to ensure that a range of people get the opportunity to audition and take part in the programme,” the company said.

“Many different groups and organisations have been approached as they have strong networks within more isolated communities and can help to spread the word about the dates of open auditions.”

The eleventh, and last, series of the show will be screened next summer.