ITV lures Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry to switch from the BBC
Paul Hollywood has been told he'll become a huge hit in the US if 'The Great British Bake Off' moves from the BBC to ITV.
In a new bid to get the 50-year-old celebrity chef and co-host Mary Berry to make the switch to the rival broadcaster, executives at ITV studios have told the programme's makers Love Productions that they can make the baking show "a global success story", and they've promised to make Paul and Mary, 81, as big as superstar chef Gordon Ramsay and his show 'Hell's Kitchen'.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "ITV is a huge global brand. Show bosses know that a joint deal with ITV could help them take that next leap into cracking the global market.
"ITV did exactly that for Gordon Ramsay. They could do the same again - particularly for Paul.
"He tried his hand at an American show before and it didn't work out, but they could turn him into a huge star.
"They're in a strong position financially, but they know it's about more than that. It's about taking the show to the next level."
ITV will have a challenge on their hands if they wish to poach Paul and Mary as the hunky Liverpudlian previously said he's happy to stay put along with presenting duo Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc.
He admitted: "I've said, I think the girls have said as well, we want to stay with the BBC. It's not up to us, it's up to the production company."
Meanwhile, just last month Paul said he was keen to have another go at cracking the US despite the US version of 'GBBO' that he presented three years ago being dropped after one series as it failed to pull in enough viewers.
However, he's keen for his own show 'City Bakes', which was recently picked up by a mystery US network to do well stateside.
A source said: "Everyone thought Paul had blown it last time round when his show was cancelled. But 'City Bakes' has been a great success in the UK - and this is a lifeline for his career across the pond."
As for Mary her spin-off show, 'The Great Holiday Baking Show' was dropped from ABC last year as it lost 700,000 viewers in its first month.
A source said at the time: "Figures were a disaster. It's a huge blow for Mary as it was always her dream to be big Stateside."