Great British Bake Off will have 'safe home' with Channel 4
The 'Great British Bake Off' will have a "safe home" with Channel 4.
The popular baking show has been hitting the headlines every hour since it was announced that the BBC - who has screened the programme since 2010 - had lost its rights to air the series next year, but Jay Hunt - who is the channel 4's chief creative officer - has promised the baking show will be in capable hands when it shifts across in 2017.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Ms. Hunt said: "'Great British Bake Off' will have a safe home. The show of soggy bottoms and good crumb will be made by exactly the same team who have always made it. We love it just as it is. And for an amateur baker like me, that's a real cause for celebration."
Ms. Hunt - who used to work for the BBC - believes Channel 4's quick intervention after talks between the BBC and Love Production, the makers of the show, crumbled meant that it prevented the series being snatched by a pay-to-view service.
She explained: "The BBC and Love Productions grew '...Bake Off' from a quaint idea into a global hit. But when they were unable to reach agreement on future series, '...Bake Off' risked coming off free-to-air television altogether. By bringing the show to Channel 4, Love Productions have ensured it will be on a terrestrial channel for audiences to enjoy for years to come."
Despite Ms. Hunt's confidence, Channel 4 - who bought the show for £75 million earlier this week - is going to extreme lengths to persuade the programme's judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood to stay with the series when it moves as they're concerned they'll quit following the exit of presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "Mary and Paul have always stressed they would stand by Mel and Sue as they see them as family. They spend a huge amount of time together over the course of filming and outside that as well.
"But they're at least listening to the proposition that Channel 4 are offering them, rather than just blindly ruling it out like Mel and Sue. They don't want to seem disloyal to anyone ... Channel 4 are desperate to get them on board now, despite yesterday thinking they could go on without them. They are offering them big money, more input into the show, the works. If Paul and Mary go it'll be a complete disaster."
The BBC offered Love Productions an estimated £15 million per year - double the current contract - in a bid to keep hold of the show, but producers refused to accept offers below £25 million.
It's believed Channel 4 quickly waded in with a three-year deal - worth a reported £75 million - after talks between the BBC and Love Productions broke down late Monday (12.09.16) afternoon.
Channel 4 have already confirmed plans to air a celebrity 'Bake Off' special in aid of Stand Up To Cancer next year, and it is thought they may have to wait until 2018 for a regular series due to a clause between the BBC and Love Productions.