Channel 4 see baking as key GBBO ingredient
Channel 4 see baking as the key ingredient in 'The Great British Bake Off' - rather than the talent.
The channel have signed a £75 million, three-year deal with Love Productions to air the popular BBC show, but after co-hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins quit the programme, they could also lose judging pair Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
A Channel 4 source said: "'Bake Off' is the brand and it will always be popular. There's no doubting that when Channel 4 bid for the show they dreamt that they would get the star talent too.
"But they are now facing a very real situation where none of them are here when it comes back and they are preparing for that.
"The show is hugely popular overseas, and neither Mary and Paul, nor Mel and Sue, are a part of those shows. Baking is what people love. The four stars are just a part of the appeal."
Some have criticised Channel 4's decision to pay £25 million a series for the show when they hadn't secured the presenters and judges as part of the contract.
The source added to The Sun newspaper: "How they signed without getting the talent on board, or at least getting a steer from them, is beyond comprehension. What were they thinking?"
Channel 4 have already confirmed plans to air a celebrity 'Bake Off' special first 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, the company behind the show.
Mary and Paul are said to be on the verge of following in Mel and Sue's footsteps and quitting the programme after its channel move.
A source told the publication: "Mary and Paul believe Mel and Sue set the tone of the show. They are the beginning, middle and the end and they fit around them.
"Paul is currently in LA and hasn't had a chance to talk to Mary. But they have always said they are in it together."
'Bake Off' fans were stunned on Monday night (12.09.16) when the BBC confirmed it had lost the rights to air the show after the current series due to financial reasons.
Hours later, Channel 4 revealed they had put pen to paper on a deal for the programme, starting with a celeb special.
Mel and Sue said in a statement yesterday: "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 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."