The 20-year-old business, set up by Australian photographer Darryn Lyons, holds an archive of more than five million images.

Its ‘exclusives’ list includes the first intimate pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and ‘romantic holiday snaps of Prince William and Kate Middleton’.

Big Pictures has a worldwide staff of 75, representing more than 1,000 photographers, according to its website.

A spokeswoman for UK business advisory firm RSM Tenon told AP: ‘Simon Bonney of RSM Tenon has been appointed as Joint Administrator of Big Pictures (UK) Limited. The appointment was made on 27 September 2012.’

RSM Tenon declined to comment further.

In 2006, Big Pictures launched an amateur paparazzi service but denied the scheme would heighten the danger of a UK privacy law. 

In an interview with Amateur Photographer at the time, Lyons said: ‘Everyone’s got mobile phones these days. The fact of the matter is that this is not new.’

The service, launched under the banner ‘Mr Paparazzi’, aimed to make it easier for the public to submit digital images for a share of the commission.

In 2008, Lyons spoke of a bomb threat sent to the agency in the days following the death of Diana Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997.

Speaking via videolink from Australia, Lyons told the inquest into Princess Diana’s death how he returned to his office in Clerkenwell Road, London, suspecting the premises had been broken into and a bomb planted there. 

He reported the incident to police in the early hours of 5 September 1997.

Lyons also confirmed that on 1 September 1997 – the day after Princess Diana’s death – his general manager had received a phone call saying: ‘You killed Diana, we are going to kill you, we are going to blow up your building.’

No bomb was found and police say that ticking noises that could be heard were the sounds of clocks in the Big Pictures office.

Lyons said that pictures photographers supplied to Big Pictures after the crash were handed to police. 

Lyons was at his London home when he heard Diana had been involved in a car accident.