The Great British Bake Off is set to leave the BBC, after negotiations with the show’s production company to renew the contract broke down.
And now, as a result of the move, Channel 4 have announced that beloved presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc will step down as hosts of The Great British Bake Off.
Love Productions, the company behind the hit show, signed a three-year deal to move to Channel 4, with the first programme – a version of Celebrity Bake Off – airing in 2017.
It’s thought that negotiations with the BBC had been taking place for a year, but after a last-ditch meeting on Monday and a disagreement over a price for the show, they signed a deal with Channel 4 that evening. The BBC have hinted that financial demands made by Love Productions made the programme ‘unaffordable’ for them.
Following the announcement of the move, Sue Perkins retweeted a statement from the BBC which read, ‘Working with Love Productions, we have grown and nurtured the programme over seven series and created the huge hit it is today.’
‘We made a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money. The BBC’s resources are not infinite.’
‘GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme. We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad free on BBC One.’
Shortly afterwards, it was confirmed that Sue and partner-in-crime Mel would not be staying on as hosts.
In a joint statement, the pair said, ‘We were very shocked and saddened to learn yesterday evening that Bake Off will be moving from its home.’
‘We made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was.’
‘The BBC nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm, growing it from an audience of two million to nearly 15 million at its peak.’
‘We’ve had the most amazing time on Bake Off, and have loved seeing it rise and rise like a pair of yeasted Latvian baps.’
‘We’re not going with the dough. We wish all the future bakers every success.’
The contestants on series 7 of the hit show – the last that will air with the BBC
Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, said: ‘Channel 4 is very proud to be the new home for The Great British Bake Off.
‘I’m delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much loved show on free-to-air television.’
Richard McKerrow, Love Productions creative director, said: ‘We believe we’ve found the perfect new home for Bake Off.
‘It’s a public service, free-to-air broadcaster for whom Love Productions have produced high-quality and highly successful programmes for more than a decade.
‘It’s tremendously exciting to have found a broadcaster who we know will protect and nurture The Great British Bake Off for many years to come.’
In an internal email to staff, Love Productions said it was ‘really saddened by this outcome because we always wanted to stay on the BBC … this has never been about who might write the biggest cheque but about where we can find the best home for Bake Off’.
It added: ‘Unfortunately, we were unable to agree either a fair valuation, nor were the BBC able to provide the necessary comfort for the future protection of such a distinctive and much-loved television series.’
Presenters Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are yet to comment on the outcome since the announcement, although when asked by The Sun about the potential move beforehand, Mary said: ‘I have no idea, anything that happens is nothing to do with my choice.’
Both she and Paul have made no secret of their loyalty to the Bake Off remaining with BBC in the past.
However, viewers and celebrities alike have had mixed reactions about the move.
What do you think about GBBO moving to Channel 4? Let us know in the comments below